Transport sector embarking on the long journey to improve customer service

6th Nov 2014

With the business community and politicians debating the future of the UK’s railways, quality of service and the passenger experience has rarely had such scrutiny since privatisation. The Institute of Customer Service’s UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI), shows the sector still has some way to go to deliver the highest levels of customer service.

The transport sector has maintained a relatively stable performance since January 2014, falling by only 0.4 points, which is just half the all-sector average drop of 0.8 points. Earning a UKCSI score of 72.1, the transport sector sits 4.2 points below the all-sector average of 76.3. There are some good news stories, with P&O Ferries achieving a very positive UKCSI score of 81.6, the highest scoring organisation in the sector. However a more representative picture is painted by the ten organisations in the sector that scored below 70 points.

The UKCSI provides 28 metrics of customer satisfaction and the transport sector scores below the all-sector average in all but three areas. When compared to the all-sector average, the largest difference is for “friendliness of staff (in person).

In addition, only 64 per cent of customers who had a problem went on to report it to the transport organisation in question, compared to an all-sector average of 73 per cent. The most significant reason for not reporting a problem was “didn’t think it would make any difference” (cited by 70 per cent of those who had a problem but did not report it).

When customers do decide to voice their complaints, they are embracing digital channels to do so, with 40 per cent using email to complain. Also revealing is the use of social media as a complaint channel; its use has doubled to 8.2 per cent, rising from 3.8 per cent in January 2014.

Jo Causon, chief executive of the Institute of Customer Service commented:“With over 2 million people employed in this sector it is imperative that they are empowered, and have the right skills and competencies to deliver for the customer. It is the responsibility of leaders to set clear objectives for customer service, enabling all employees to engage with the service agenda and help them to deliver the highest levels of customer satisfaction and in turn improve efficiencies and business performance.”

The UKCSI, carried out by the Institute of Customer Service, includes over 40,000 responses from more than 9,000 customers. During these interviews customers gave insight into 197 of the UK’s leading brands across 13 different sectors. Of these, Transport ranked in 10th place, and saw a drop of 0.4 points between January and July 2014. The Transport sector includes over 3,000 customer responses.


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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