16th Dec 2015
As January’s UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI) draws closer, local public service providers have an opportunity to improve their relationships with customers.
According to the Institute of Customer Service’s most recent index, customer satisfaction in local public services increased by one point over the past year. But despite showing signs of improvement in 22 of the 28 measures of customer experience, the sector still scores below the UKCSI average on all 28 metrics.
This year, the sector welcomed a new entrant to its list of UKCSI ranked organisations; the library. It scored a relatively high 81.8 points (out of 100), which no doubt helped the sector improve on last year’s overall score. However, this encouraging result did not translate to all public service organisations. The ambulance service experienced the biggest drop in satisfaction since July 2014, falling 6.8 points – from 85.4 to 78.6. Only one public service provider, the local fire service, improved its score, with a rise of 5.1 points.
But rather than being discouraged by these results, local public service providers should use these findings to pinpoint how they can improve their relationships with customers. Complaint handling and reputation produced the widest gaps between the highest and lowest performers, and organisations at the lower end of the spectrum should consider revising their service strategies in a bid to rectify this.
Meanwhile, online interactions also offer an opportunity for increased satisfaction, particularly in terms of online support and website functionality. In local public services, websites were only used in 4.8% of customers’ interactions, compared with the UK average of 22.9%. Organisations that focus on improving these areas will provide customers with a better quality of service and, ultimately, generate greater satisfaction.
For a snapshot of customer satisfaction levels across all sectors, take a look at our infographic.