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Customer satisfaction index drops: how can you avoid the same in your business?

The Institute of Customer Service published its latest UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI) figures for January 2024. The Index has fallen by 1.7 points since last January to 76.0 (out of 100) – https://www.instituteofcustomerservice.com/research-insight/ukcsi/

Each of the 13 UKCSI sectors showed lower customer satisfaction than a year ago, with Utilities, Transport, Insurance and Service declining by more than 2 points. The highest rated organisations are Ocado (85.7), first direct (85.3) and John Lewis (85.1).

Looking at an index update like this can provide a good opportunity to reflect on the customer satisfaction of your own customers. Good customer service is characterised by several key elements that prioritise and promote positive experiences for customers.

Effective communication

Clear and concise communication that demonstrates an understanding of customers’ inquiries and addresses them promptly is key. This needs to be true wherever the interaction happens, whether through in-person interactions, phone calls, emails, or live chat support.

Empathy

Empathy is essential for demonstrating that you understand a customer’s needs, emotions and concerns. Empathetic customer service will allow your customers to feel a rapport with you that builds trust.

Responsiveness

Customers expect their needs and any issues they have to be dealt with in a timely manner. Prompt response times tell a customer that they are important to you and build loyalty.

Consistency

A high service level in one area of the business can be compromised if other areas of the business do not maintain the same standard. For instance, a high standard in pre-sales support will be undermined if after-sales support is lacking. Consistency across all touchpoints and interactions with customers is therefore important. It gives your customers confidence in your business and contributes to you winning repeat business.

Flexibility

Each customer is unique, so being able to accommodate customers’ preferences and resolve unique situations or challenges is an important part of being able to keep your customers happy. Being willing to go the extra mile, and to tailor solutions to individual customer needs, can significantly enhance satisfaction and loyalty in your customers.

Continuous improvement

Regularly collecting feedback from customers and implementing the insights that it gives you will allow you to adapt and evolve your customer service practices to meet their changing needs and preferences.

Good business systems

Having good business systems in place helps staff in their quest to provide excellent, consistent customer service. Good systems mean that staff know who is responsible for what, and where or who to get information and authorisations from when they need it.

Why not talk to us about how we can help you with improving your business systems for growth? We would be happy to help you!

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