Organisations cannot compensate for bad service

16th Nov 2015

A survey by the Institute has found that, more often than not, customer complaints stem from poor customer service. 

The data released during National Customer Service Week (#NCSW) last month compiles more than 2,000 responses, and reveals that almost a third of those who launched a complaint did so to highlight unsatisfactory goods or services. Slow service was the respondents’ second biggest gripe, accounting for 18% of complaints, while poor staff attitudes and failure to deliver on promises were other popular reasons for criticism.
“The long-term solution lies in building strong relationships with consumers and meeting their demands for speed, convenience and choice.”
Our findings also reveal that, although 83% of companies readily offered compensation to those who launched a complaint, only 34% of customers actually requested it to offset their grievance. In fact, a mere 17% cited a financial reward as their main motivator. Instead, the overwhelming majority said that they had complained to make the company aware of its error. 

These responses suggest that a strong focus on high-quality service can reduce the number of complaints companies receive, lessening a ‘need’ for compensation – which, in reality, is often not sought by customers anyway. 

Jo Causon, the Institute’s chief executive, believes these statistics confirm that British businesses should not confuse compensation with customer service. “If organisations continue down this path they face the very real risk of harming their future prosperity by creating an expectation of compensation,” she said. “The long-term solution lies in building strong relationships with consumers and meeting their demands for speed, convenience and choice.”

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