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The Independent Online

Poor customer service is costing British business pounds 21bn a year, even though more than two-thirds of companies believe that how they serve customers is more important to their success than technical skills, according to a report published today Reed Personnel Services, the recruitment consultancy, claims to be the first to quantify the cash cost of orders lost by poor service It finds that recent "delayering" of middle management has placed increased stress on the roles of front-line staff Never before has the front-line office worker carried as much responsibility for the commercial success of their company, says the report, based on an investigation of 301 businesses Reed says that last year contracts worth an estimated pounds 21bn, equivalent to nearly pounds 1,000 per employee, were transferred to alternative supplies because of bad service, including poor telephone manner