Sales & Marketing

Customer Satisfaction Index results spell the end of British patience for bad service

4 min read

16 January 2015

The latest figures from the UKCSI aren't pretty and only serves to highlight that we are in the midst of a societal shift. They show that many businesses are actually getting worse at listening to the feedback that is readily available to them.

The fact that customer satisfaction has dropped to its lowest level since 2010 will be creating shudders among businesses everywhere. And it’s worrisome that only two sectors seem to have improved – utilities and banks and building societies rose by 1.9 and 0.3 points.

“But there is another ray of light within the UKCSI data,” suggested Charter UK CEO Paul Clark. “One key sector that has traditionally struggled with service – energy – has begun to pick up its performance. The data shows that four of the ‘big six’ energy firms are bucking the UK trend and actually improving their ratings. 

“There’s a long road ahead for this industry however, and progress will be slow, but each of the big six firms have made a commitment to Ofgem to improve their service, reduce call waiting times and make billing more reliable.”

All food retailers that scored below the UKSCI have lost market share.

More importantly, however, the younger generation are the most unsatisfied customers.

According to Iain Chidgey, EMEA VP and general manager of Delphix, “the rise of an application economy has been driven by digital natives that have grown-up with an inherent understanding of technology. This is a generation with an on-demand mentality towards every company that they interact with. Bugs, slow service or breaks in service will not be tolerated.”

In fact, a recent Delphix survey of 2,000 consumers revealed that 70 per cent of Brits would actively avoid companies that have technical issues and 42 per cent would definitely switch to a competitor if problems went unresolved.

“In this new age, brand loyalty is eroded and every single customer or sale needs to be earned,” he explained. “To satisfy customers’ rising expectations, businesses need to re-architect core infrastructure to provide the continuous delivery of new features and services. In turn, this requires core assets and data to be more flexible and readily available.

“Speeding up access to data will enable organisations to embrace agile practices for the fast delivery of new features that provide an enjoyable, quick and easy experience, which engages customers. Businesses must recognise that they only have two options left ­- innovate or fail.”

As organisations consider how to deliver customer service that meets the demands of a cross-channel generation, it will be important to develop the infrastructure needed to ensure that the customer experience is the very best it can be.

This is something Andreas Pouros, COO of digital agency Greenlight, agrees with. 

“Businesses need to ensure that consumers can access help quickly and easily and get the support they need through the channel of their choosing,” he said. “For example, responding to a customer’s enquiry on Twitter by asking them to call a number is not good service, and neither is requiring customers to pick up the phone to report a lost or stolen card when they may find doing this more convenient online.

“The ‘Google it’ generation have no qualms in looking online for customer service, but businesses need to make sure that common questions are optimised for search engines, websites, mobile or app services in order to maintain a truly authentic customer experience. When customers expect in-depth support and access to expert advisers, real-time difficulties in connecting with a brand won’t cut it.”

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