Customer service

The latest report* on customer service across the UK economy from the UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI) shows that customer satisfaction has pretty much remained flat over the last year.

The UKCSI is an independent, national benchmark of customer satisfaction published each January and July which measures customers’ experiences and relationships with organisations on 26 metrics which are based on research into customer priorities.

Key headlines

  • The July 2020 UKCSI is 77.0 (out of 100), 0.1 points lower than a year ago and 1.2 points below the highpoint recorded in July 2017.
  • In the context of the COVID-19, customers believe that doing the right thing to protect their employees (40.1%), prioritising the needs of vulnerable customers (39.8%) and keeping customers updated (39.3%) were the top 3 most important things for organisations to focus on during the crisis.
  • The research also indicated that COVID-19 has changed the way people think about customer service with 65.6% of customers valuing the role of employees who work in customer services more than before.

Impact of COVID-19

We have seen that some companies have responded more effectively than others during the crisis in terms of their agility and employee and customer engagement. As lockdown eases against a backdrop of an uncertain economy, companies will be tested even more with customer satisfaction and complaints handling capabilities at the forefront.

As lockdown eases, 4 key factors will frame the challenges for organisations:

  1. The evolving threat of COVID-19 and measures needed to reduce the threat.
  2. Changes in customer needs, preferences and behaviours.
  3. Economic legacy for communities, individuals and organisations.
  4. Organisations’ priorities: short-term sales or service and care for customers.

What the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted is that customer service is a key function and agility, innovation, commercial acumen and customer care are not created overnight but are the products of a long-term focus on culture and values.

Joanna Causon, Chief Executive of the Institute of Customer Service, commented:

Now is a time to reset business and customer objectives and focus on employee engagement, service productivity and innovation. I believe organisations will need to re-examine who they serve, how they provide service, the value they create and the sustainability of operating models.

The central challenges will be managing financial pressures alongside developing a culture of employee engagement, innovation and genuine care for customers: both are essential to achieve short and long-term objectives.

Key priorities identified by customers for organisations to focus on during the COVID-19 crisis

Additional research was collected from over 1,000 customers to assess what was important to their experiences with organisations during the crisis.

In the context of the COVID-19, customers believe that doing the right thing to protect their employees (40.1%), prioritising the needs of vulnerable customers (39.8%) and keeping customers updated (39.3%) were the top 3 most important things for organisations to focus on during the crisis.

customer service

Vulnerable customers

Many people have been physically, mentally and financially affected by the pandemic and may now fall into the ‘vulnerable’ category. In many cases, customers’ needs and priorities when dealing with organisations have changed significantly and will continue to evolve, often in unpredictable ways.

Organisations must understand how their customer experience is performing and how customer expectations are shifting. Customers need to know what to expect from organisations and how to access services, help and advice.

Complaint Handling

The research also compared average scores of the 50 highest rated organisations against the remaining organisations looking at customer experience, service and complaint handling. As you can see below, complaint handling and speed of resolving complaints across both the top organisations and the poorer performers is still rated as poor, scoring less than 7 out of 10 across the board.

customer service

We’ve introduced a NEW complaint cost calculator which you can download here. Input your business figures to calculate the impact on your company’s revenue and margin.

About QASSS

We provide complaint handling and dispute resolution services across the home improvement and renewable energy sectors. We recognise speed is crucial in both complaint and dispute handling and to that end, we are award-winning and industry-leading with an average dispute resolution time of just 3.59 days.

To find out how we can help, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0330 335 3354 or email Laura, our Service Delivery Manager at l.holmes@qasss.co.uk

 

 

*The UKCSI is an independent, national benchmark of customer satisfaction published each January and July. The UKCSI measures customers’ experiences and relationships with organisations on 26 metrics which are based on research into customer priorities. This UKCSI covers 271 organisations across 13 sectors. The research for this UKCSI is based on 45,000 customer responses conducted in 2 waves of research: the first wave was conducted between 10 September and 7 October 2019; the second wave was conducted between 16 March and 13 April 2020.