Local public services improve customer satisfaction scores

25th Sep 2017

The local public service sector is at its highest point for six years, The Institute of Customer Service has found.

In the latest UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI), local public services scored 75.4 out of 100, an improvement of 1.5 points on the previous year.

This makes it the third most improved sector overall, although it is still scoring below the UK average of 78.2

The rise in customer satisfaction is reflected in improvements for nearly all customer experience measures. Consistent with the national trend, measures around managing complaints showed the largest year-on-year increases, in particular for staff doing what they say they will do and the outcome of the complaint.

However, the incidence of problems is notably higher than a year ago.  Almost one fifth of customers (19.4%) had a problem, up from 17.4% and substantially more than the national average, 13.1%. This is the largest increase in problems for any sector. 

The sector also has the second highest rate of problems which go unreported. Over a quarter of customers who had a problem (27.4%) “suffered in silence” compared to 25.7% a year ago.

The sector also received the highest rate of complaints (14.1%) in over seven years and has the largest proportion of problems pertaining to staff competence and attitude, 36.9% and 34.3% respectively.

Getting things right first time makes a significant difference to customer satisfaction. The average satisfaction of customers whose experience was right first time was 82.7, compared with 51.5 when it was not. This 31.2 points gap is the largest of any sector in the UKSCI.

Libraries remain the top-performing type of organisation in the sector – their UKCSI of 84.0 is slightly higher than their score last year and 8.6 points above the sector average.

And local councils are the most improved organisations, up by 3.7 points since last year. Their UKCSI score of 64.7 is at a nine-year high.

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