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The Institute of Customer Service

Tourism customer service praised as bank performance highlighted

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Average customer satisfaction for the tourism sector remains above the UK average in the latest UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI), published by The Institute of Customer Service, but the country’s banks have had mixed performances highlighted in separate data published by the government.

A score of 80.3 out of 100 for the tourism sector in the January 2019 index for the UKCSI, which was published last month, is 2.6 points above the UK all-sector average, and means that the sector is ranked fifth out of 13.

Overall customer satisfaction is the same as in July 2018, but slightly lower than a year ago, to the tune of 0.4 points.

Tourism is rated above the all-sector average on all experience measures, especially when it comes to the ease of using an organisation’s website.

However, measures for helpfulness and competence of staff have fallen slightly (by 0.2 points) compared to a year ago.

10.9% of customers experienced a problem with an organisation, 1.7 percentage points more than in January 2018, but below the all-sector average of 13.9%. The biggest cause of complaints was quality or reliability of goods/services, which was cited in 41.4% of complaints.

Satisfaction with complaint handling has improved, especially for outcome of the complaint (up 0.5 points out of 10), staff attitude and speed of resolving a complaint (up 0.4). However, the number of experiences rated as right first time fell by 5.3 percentage points to 78.6%.

The sector – which includes scores from 19 tourism organisations – is bettered only by retail (non-food) when it comes to its rating for the customer ethos and emotional connection dimensions of customer satisfaction. topped the sector with a score of 82.5, beating off competition from Premier Inn and Trivago, which scored 82.4 and 81.9 respectively. Premier Inn continued its achievement of scoring at least two points higher than the sector average in every UKCSI since January 2016.

Meanwhile, the customer service performance of the UK’s banks has been detailed by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The Royal Bank of Scotland came bottom of the rankings, while Metro Bank overtook First Direct to go top.

Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive of the Competition and Markets Authority, said: “We introduced this survey last August so that people can see exactly how well banks are treating their customers.

“If people are unhappy with the customer service they are currently getting, I would encourage them to look at the results and think about switching to a better performing bank.”

The results of the survey must be prominently displayed in banks’ branches, as well as on their websites and apps.

The latest survey results are available on the following links:

Industry Spotlight: Customer satisfaction in telecoms industry ‘on the up’, despite remaining the lowest ranked sector…

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Continuing the ‘ongoing upward trend’ in satisfaction since 2011, overall customer satisfaction in the telecoms sector has reportedly increased in the last 12 months, according to the UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI) published by The Institute of Customer Service.

The UKCSI, which analyses customer satisfaction levels across 13 ‘key’ industries, has given the UK telecoms sector a customer satisfaction rating of 72.9 out of 100; 1.2 points higher than its recorded score in the same report the previous year – however still remains the lowest ranked sector.

The Index provides fundamental insights into key metrics – such as complaints, trust and changing channel use — and this year, the sector has experienced improvements in measures including the speed of service for face-to-face contact with customers; as well as the ease in getting through to companies on the phone. Nonetheless, telecom continues to generate the highest number of complaints, with 20 per cent of customers having experienced an issue.

Although this has dropped by 2.6 per cent over the past year, the figure is still much higher than the UK average of 12.5 per cent.

Analysts found a total of eight organisations within the sector have made significant improvements, with only one demonstrating a fall in customer satisfaction. Giffgaff tops the tables as the highest scorer in the industry, with Tesco Mobile considered as the most improved.

CEO of The Institute of Customer Service, Jo Causon, said: “’Getting it right first time’ has to be a prerequisite for any organisation. Customers expect to be dealt with quickly and competently – as soon as they start to feel let down or ignored, their trust is lost. It’s encouraging to see the telecoms sector is making progress, but prevention is always better than cure, so the industry should take note of the areas which need to be focused on. Efficiency, effectiveness and empathy are key, and organisations should always follow up with customers to ensure that the problem is resolved.”

The Index concluded its results on the basis of 10,000 consumer responses, and found that in many sectors, there has been an increase in the score for ‘customer effort’ – meaning customers had to invest more time in dealing with organisations than they did a year ago.


Download the UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI) here

Industry Spotlight: ‘Customer of the Future’ report details expected consumer self-awareness within the next decade…

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According to new research conducted by The Institute of Customer Service, the current indecisiveness of the country’s economic and political landscape will present a further opportunity to empowering to a ‘new breed’ of customer.

Determining 12 key ‘factors of change’ expected to outline the business landscape in 2025, the ‘Customer of the Future’ report also highlights a series of potential scenarios facing UK organisations and suggests how they can start ‘future-proofing’ themselves in a bid to keep up with changing consumer trends.

Predictions made include the ‘mass consumerism’ trend ultimately becoming a thing of the past with a personalised service reigning supreme; as well as a greater influence on the ‘network economy’ resulting in competing organisations collaborating to build market share, and ensuring customers receive innovative products at a better value. With this said, an ‘unpredictable’ mindset will also be shared by customers of the future, as a reluctance to give out personal data and the attraction to personalisation may cause some problems for organisations to sustain customer loyalty.
Chief executive of The Institute of Customer Service, Jo Causon, said: “Customer behaviour is changing, and the future promises vast, exciting opportunities for new products and ways of delivering service. Yet in a climate of expanding choice, customers will also want integrated services and simple, straightforward experiences from companies they can trust. The challenge will be for organisations to understand both sets of needs and be able to move seamlessly between them.”
Researchers constructed seven pivotal recommendations to provide valuable advice to UK businesses; one of which is centred on the need for organisations to tighten their processes around the security of data – aspiring to a future scenario in which customers can give their personal information with confidence, and are assured of its long term security.
View the report infographic here