The importance of good customer service and efficient complaints handling has been highlighted in a new report by the Institute of Customer Service (ICS), hrmagazine.co.uk reports.
The Institute’s research discovered that British consumers experience fewer problems when buying goods or services than they did five years ago. However, should anything go wrong, they are far more likely to complain and it is ‘people-related issues’ that give rise to the majority of complaints.
In ‘Handle With Care’, the ICS found that 62 per cent of complaints related to customer service, compared with 34 per cent made about the quality of an item or service provided. Asked to rate the biggest problem, failing to keep promises was awarded 8.8/10, staff attitude, 8.5 and staff competence, 8.4.
The findings should be particularly pertinent to those that work within franchise services – whether the franchisor, franchisee or an employee – as many businesses are customer-facing. Poor experiences will often prompt many consumers not only to turn elsewhere, but also share their bad experience to warn others.
However, providing customer service refreshers and complaints handling training could help transform an bad situation; most people are happy if a complaint can be resolved well and quickly.
ICS chief executive, Jo Causon emphasised the point on freshbusinessthinking.co.uk: “The research suggests that customers are most satisfied when complaints are dealt with immediately. As a result, organisations need to ensure that all customer contacts are handled consistently well, and that customers are not passed from pillar to post.”