27th Jan 2016
Customers are more satisfied now than at any time since January 2014, but their priorities are shifting, the latest UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI) produced by the Institute of Customer Service shows.
This year’s Index reveals that staff attitude and behaviour is far more important to customers today than it was five years ago. Customers see staff competence as the most important service element – a drastic change from 2010, when it was ranked 11th out of 34 criteria. Fulfilling promises and competence on the phone were considered to be the next most important.
Meanwhile, helpfulness of staff rose from 21st to fourth position, while friendliness and ease of doing business have also become increasingly important. The condition of delivered goods and the time it takes companies to respond to customer complaints still have a significant bearing on satisfaction levels, but to a lesser degree than in previous years.
The Institute’s latest findings point to the first significant rise in customer satisfaction since 2012, with average customer satisfaction levels across 13 sectors reaching 77%, compared to 76.2% in July 2015. If this progress is to continue, organisations need to invest in their people and ensure that their service strategies reflect customers’ changing priorities, the Institute’s chief executive Jo Causon warns in this video.
“Core ingredients of excellent customer service – employee competence, attitudes and behaviour – have become even more significant differentiators,” Causon notes. “Mass marketing, or a ‘one size fits all’ customer experience, is delivering diminishing returns and diluting valuable customer relationships. The insight we have gathered from this UKCSI identifies the components of excellent service and where strategic and operational effort should be focused to make further improvements.”