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Customer service standards worsening in UK - report

23rd Jan 2012
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Most homeowners think customer service in the UK is failing to improve, according to a new survey, despite having a huge impact on brand and market share.
Two thirds of homeowners think UK customer service has stayed the same or worsened in last three years, according to the YouGov survey. Almost half (49%) of those surveyed cited unfriendly and impolite staff as the most common reason for poor customer service, followed quite some way behind by timeliness (19%) and the inability to fix a customer’s reported problems (19%).
And even thought organisations appeared to step up their customer service focus over the festive period, impolite staff remains a key service issue. An analysis of service standards over the recent winter and festive period found that 44% of homeowners rated the customer service they received as good, while 32% gave it an average rating. In London only 5% rated service over Christmas as very good, which was less than the national average of 11%.
Jonathan Chevallier, strategic development director at mobile workforce management experts Cognito, which commissioned the survey, said given the impact customer service had on their brand and market share, boardrooms should start recognising this as an opportunity.
“This survey tells us that there is still significant room for improvement, especially when customers are viewing it as a key differentiator and increasingly taking to social media to broadcast instances of poor service. An organisation’s service has a real impact on their brand and market share, so boardrooms should start recognising this as an opportunity and that the first place to start is by focusing on service performance management.
“In these times of economic uncertainty, there will be a polarisation of approach: those that invest to improve service and efficiency and those that slash costs. We expect those that invest to be the overall winners in the long term and await to see whether those slashing costs ultimately undermine their ability to provide the service their customers expect.”

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