One in ten set to terminate supplier agreements due to lack of trust or respect
17th May 2009
Nearly 14 million Britons have either changed, or considered changing, their bank, healthcare or utility provider in the last year because they didn’t feel they were getting ‘anything back’ from the relationship.
With fewer pounds in everyone’s pocket and the mounting pressure on individual and family budgets, we are becoming ever more conscious about how we spend our money. According to new research released today by Benenden Healthcare Society, more people are embarking upon socially responsible spending and investing in relationships where a return is promised.
The research reveals the renaissance of traditional values such as ‘trust,’ ‘and ‘security’; traits more commonly critiqued in our personal relationships are creeping into the decision making process when choosing service providers.
97 per cent of those questioned felt that mutual co-operation is vital in all business dealings and the largest portion valued customer service (36 per cent) over and above making a return on their investment (16 per cent), or finding a better deal (23 per cent).
Two thirds of UK adults in employment say their outlook has changed since the start of the global economic downturn, with a third taking security into greater consideration when choosing a service provider or utilities supplier.
The results raise the question whether the demand for ‘mutually beneficial’ relationships across all aspects of modern life is merely a result of increased concern over money, or if the general public is signalling demand for a return to a ‘friendly society.’
Renowned social commentator, Mal Fletcher said “In these difficult times, as material security decreases, we're finding that people's sense of altruism is on the rise. People are looking for relationships on which they can depend, both on a personal and professional level.
"In the wake of a recession that was brought on largely by short-term thinking and credit-based spending, people want services that add real value to their lives over the long-term, rather than those that simply provide immediate convenience.
"In particular, we are looking for involvement in alliances through which we can become more than consumers; where we are able to become part of a process of positive change at the same time as finding the services we need. The research by the Benenden Healthcare Society bears this out."
Ken Hesketh, Chief Executive at Benenden Healthcare said ‘Now, more than ever, people are looking to place their money in the hands of organisations that uphold high values and place the interests of their members at heart.
‘It would appear that the British people are emerging from the gloom of economic hardship, with a renewed and enlightened sense of what really matters. We are beginning to assess our relationships with service providers more in terms of core values such as: trust, respect, reciprocity and mutuality.
‘There also appears to be a greater desire to become more involved to influence from the bottom up. Friendly societies and mutual providers that prioritise services based on the needs of their members, and who do not have to balance members or customers needs with the interests of shareholders, present attractive options for a growing number of consumers.’
Summary of research findings:
- Since the recession one quarter almost (24 per cent) of adults place an importance on traditional values such ‘trust’ when it comes to all relationships;
- This is particularly important for women and those aged 35 – 44 with three quarters saying as such (75 per cent);
- 97 per cent agree that mutual co-operation in business dealings is vital;
- More than one in every ten UK adults would end a business relationship if there was a lack of respect;
- Just under two thirds of UK adults in employment say that their outlook (in regards to the most important factors now considered when choosing a supplier) has changed since the start of the recession (65 per cent);
- Almost a third of adults in the UK feel that the economic downturn has made them take security into consideration to a greater extent when choosing a service provider (e.g. bank, healthcare provider) or utilities supplier (31per cent);
- Despite the economic climate, over a third of adults in the UK believe that customer service matters the most when it comes to choosing/staying with their bank/building society (36 per cent);
- In fact, twice as many adults in the UK believe that customer service is more important than maximising their investments (36 per cent v 16 per cent); and
- Almost two fifths of people aged 35-44 believe that customer service matters the most (39 per cent).
Benenden Healthcare is a mutual & not for profit Friendly Society, run for its members. As a mutual organisation, not a medical insurer, members club together so that they can get the first class medical help they need, when they need it most. The Society seeks to be an agenda-setter in the world of healthcare and actively promotes the benefit of mutual relationships.
If you'd like to find out further information about Benenden Healthcare Society and the research they conducted call 0845 270 3832*.