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Last Updated: Friday, 18 May 2007, 12:46 GMT 13:46 UK
Firms told saying sorry can work
Call centre
A simple apology can make a world of a difference
More than a third of consumers would stay loyal to a firm if it apologised following a customer service failure, a survey suggests.

The British Standards Institute (BSI) said a simple apology would suffice, yet in three-quarters of all cases of poor customer service none was offered.

Firms were seeing their profits cut as a result, the BSI added.

Overall, 76% of consumers said they had taken their business to a competitor as a result of poor customer service.

"Poor customer service is the largest cause of customers moving from one provider to another," Mike Low BSI Director said.

"Reducing customer defections has been found to boost profits in 25-85% of cases, yet in 73% of cases the organisations made no attempt to persuade dissatisfied customers to stay," he added.

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