Telecoms M&A puts customer service in spotlight

24th Mar 2015

The news that Hutchison Whampoa is a step closer to purchasing 02 could have a noticeable impact on the customer service landscape, says Jo Causon, CEO of the Institute of Customer Service.

The latest UK Customer Satisfaction Index, released in January, demonstrates that sectors where there is more competition, deliver higher levels of customer service.

Jo Causon, CEO of the Institute of Customer Service, comments: “News of the impending purchase of O2 by Hutchison Whampoa raises real concerns for customer service for UK consumers. The latest UK Customer Satisfaction Index placed telecoms in 11th place out of the 13 sectors and consistently demonstrates that sectors where there is most competition deliver the highest levels of customer satisfaction. Coming just months after BT's acquisition of EE it is critical that regulators and consumers continue to demand that telecoms firms improve customer service where competition does not create a natural incentive."

Customers experience a relatively high rate of problems in the Telecommunications and Media sector. More than one in five (22%) customers experienced a problem in the three months preceding the UKCSI survey, a figure that is considerably higher than the all-sector average of 13%. Of these customers, 81% who had a problem went on to report it the organisation in question - 79% of customer who contacted an organisation about a problem used the telephone, by far the most frequent complaints channel for the sector.

The telecoms sector delivered lower scores than the all sector average in all but one of the 28 metrics of customer satisfaction. Staff competence is worst in comparison with the average, suggesting the need for better staff engagement. Scores for ease of doing business, speed of problem resolution and finding what you want on websites were also low compared to the all sector average.


Notes to editors

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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.

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