Survey finds that more than one in ten consumers switch on ethical grounds

Research by Echo Management Services has found that more than one in ten consumers claim to be “increasingly likely to switch their business to a service provider which is viewed as more ethical than the competition.”

The survey by Echo found that practices including a strong green policy or a reputation as a fair employer, give companies a march on the competition, “including those offering cheaper deals.”

According to Echo: “Customers are becoming increasingly aware of the reputation of the businesses they give money to, and are giving more weight to corporate social responsibility when choosing a supplier – with 12% saying this would be the main issue when evaluating a provider.

“Another 16% say they would switch providers if their current supplier became involved in a public scandal, like being exposed for poor customer service.”

While price remained consumers’ chief motivation to switch with 61% saying they would walk for a cheaper deal the Echo study – Retaining Customers in a World of Choice – found that one third of consumers said they reviewed their bills and service providers annually.

Customer services director at Echo, Monica Mackintosh, said: “Businesses – whether they operate in a competitive or monopoly market – need to be more conscious about how they are perceived by customers and, rather than engaging in a race to the bottom pricewise, should be putting more focus on general business practices.”