Poor customer service, redundant questions, disconnected processes and long waits are causing customers to leave brands in droves, according to a survey published by enterprise process automation firm Redwood Software. This article is copyright 2013 The Best Customer Guide.

The survey results suggest that it is the 'little big problems' that customer-facing companies should be concerned about: the problems that may seem inconsequential at first but build up over time to dramatically change the relationship a customer has with a once-favourite brand.

Consumers say they expect excellent, streamlined, and efficient end-to-end service wherever they go, and if they don't get it, they leave. In fact, nearly half of potential buyers terminate online purchases because they take too long (49.35%) or are too complicated (48.35%).

More than 75% of shoppers leave brick-and-mortar stores-and 65.3% leave online marketplaces-because they can't find what they wanted. Ultimately, 51% of the consumers surveyed said they have ended contracts or changed suppliers because of continued service failings.

Customer service also came under fire in the survey, as 61% of respondents reported dissatisfaction at having to repeat personal information to an operator after providing that information through an automated telephone system, and 58.85% were similarly annoyed when repeating information to multiple people or departments when transferred on a phone call.

Consumer expectations are high, but so is the potential loss with these annoyances translating eventually into lost revenue. "It's often the little problems that cause the biggest issues," explained Tijl Vuyk, CEO for Redwood Software. "In a time where blind loyalty is dead, brand reputation is critical and speedy service is imperative."