Marks & Spencer’s results will offer food for thought

5th Nov 2015

London, 3 November 2015 – As the City prepares for Marks & Spencer to announce its interim results, Jo Causon, CEO of the Institute of Customer Service, argues that established High Street names must not rely on a short-term  approach to attract  and retain customers and, instead, focus on improving how easy they are to do business with over a sustained period.

She says: “Whether it’s on the High Street or online, customers are demanding faster service, increased choice and better quality goods as the price for their loyalty.  It means that how retailers respond and improve the overall customer experience is increasingly becoming a key differentiator and the retailers most likely to  succeed, and consistently perform, will be those better able to personalise  their service.

“Our own research shows that customer satisfaction in the retail food sector has dropped over the past 12 months.  It is partly because customers are demanding more, but is also a sign that challenger brands have made real inroads into the customer base of more established retailers, through a sustained focus on the customer experience.  Those retailers who respond with innovative ideas that put customer needs at the heart of what they do, making greater connections across the whole service experience and understanding personal needs will be the ones to see performance, profitability and market share improve.”

Causon’s comments come in the wake of research amongst 2,000 consumers from the Institute of Customer Service which show that, when things go wrong, 83 percent of organisations readily pay compensation.  However, the data also shows that most consumers don’t seek financial redress and are more interested in ensuring problems don’t happen again.


Causon concludes: “UK plc needs to be aware that providing good customer service does not just mean offering a financial fix for mistakes made.  If organisations continue down this path they face the very real risk of harming their future prosperity by creating an expectation of compensation. The long term solution lies in building strong relationships with consumers and meeting their demands for speed, convenience and choice.”




Notes to editors

For further information please contact:

Nathan Field / Michael Creane / Tom Ingoldby (Chameleon PR)

E: [email protected]

T:  020 7680 5500

About The Institute of Customer Service

The Institute of Customer Service is the professional body for customer service delivering tangible benefit to organisations and individuals so that our customers can improve their customers’ experience and their own business performance.  The Institute is a membership body with a community of over 400 organisational members – from the private, public and third sectors – and over 5,000 individual memberships.  For more information about the Institute of Customer Service go to

Share this