What is the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Customer Service?
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Customer Service is run by and for Members of the Commons and Lords, although interested individuals and organisations from outside Parliament are invited to meetings to add their perspective. The APPG conforms to rules concerning transparent funding and working in a cross-party manner.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Customer Service was established in July 2014, aiming to raise awareness and understanding of customer serviced amongst parliamentarians, and to establish a dialogue with UK organisations across all sectors. Members debate the impact of customer service on economic growth, business performance, public services and skills development to enhance prospects for employability.
Please note, this is not an official website of the House of Commons or the House of Lords. It has not been approved by either House or its committees. All-Party Parliamentary Groups are informal groups of Members of both Houses with a common interest in particular issues. The views expressed in these webpages are those of the group.
Why is an All-Party Parliamentary Group on Customer Service important?
Over 70% of the UK working population perform roles that involve dealing directly with customers. The service sector generates approximately 78% of UK GDP, and services are an increasingly important source of revenue for manufacturers. Quality and competence in customer service therefore has a significant impact on the UK's competitiveness and quality of public services .
Customer expectations have risen and their priorities are changing. They are better informed, often have greater choice, are less tolerant of organisations that fail to meet their expectations and can use a variety of communication channels to express their opinions about organisations. There is a growing recognition of the links between customer service and organisations' sustainable business performance.
Philip Davies MP (Co-Chair)
Amanda Milling MP (Vice Chair)
Lord Scriven (Vice Chair)
Bernard Jenkin MP
Calum Kerr MP
Chi Onwurah MP
Chris Evans MP
Craig Tracey MP
Gareth Thomas MP
Ian Austin MP
Jeremy Lefroy MP
Kelvin Hopkins -MP
Paul Maynard MP
Robin Walker MP
Stephen McPartland MP
Lord Sherbourne of Didsbury
Baroness Masham of Ilton
To raise awareness and understanding of customer service, including its impact on economic growth. To improve public services, business performance and employability through customer service skills training and provide an improved outcome for customers and citizens.
• Philip Davies - Co-Chair
• Mark Garnier - Vice Chair
• Lord Scriven - Vice Chair
• Amanda Milling - Vice Chair
The relevance and significance of customer service to the economy and public services is not sufficiently appreciated in government and Parliament. The group wishes to change this for the benefit of British businesses and citizens. Key facts:
• 78% of UK GDP is generated by the service sector
• 25% of manufacturing companies’ revenues comes from services
• Over 70% of UK employees deal directly with customers in their jobs
• 64% of global GDP is accounted for by the service sector
• Customer service is central to the delivery of public services
The group conducts its business by meeting three or four times a year. Each meeting considers a different aspect of customer service or different sector of the economy and includes a presentation by an industry representative and a group discussion. The secretariat invites industry representatives relevant to the meeting topic that are exemplars in customer service improvement as speakers and to contribute to the discussion.
The group may also decide by consensus: to consider particular elements of government policy in relation to customer service; conduct an inquiry on customer service issues; or, make recommendations for industry or government.
The APPG’s work is driven and controlled by its parliamentary Members, led by the Chairs. The quorum for the each meeting is 5 members. The group is supported by the Institute of Customer Service which is the secretariat and provides policy support, suggests topics for meetings, organises meetings, prepares and circulates agendas and minutes for meetings, and generally keeps members informed of the group’s activities.
For all enquires about group contact the secretariat, The Institute of Customer Service, at [email protected]
Each meeting considers a different aspect of customer service or different sector of the economy. The secretariat invites industry representatives relevant to the meeting topic that are exemplars in customer service improvement as speakers and to contribute to the discussion.
Previous meeting minutes can be accessed here.
The Institute of Customer Service is the Secretariat to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Customer Service. Within this role, we support and assist the group with administration and event organisation throughout the year.
If you would like to contact the group, please email the Institute at [email protected]
Minutes from each meeting and further information on the topics covered
Read the minutes from the most recent APPG meeting which looked at issues around use of customer data
Read the minutes from the July 2016 APPG meeting looking at regulation and customer service.