Customer Satisfaction Declines in Telecom Market

A recent report from the Institute of Customer Service finding that more customers experience a problem with their telecoms provider than any other, while customer satisfaction in the telecoms sector continues to decline at a faster rate than the UK average, Telecoms organisations are urged to improve.

The UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI) reveals the average score for the Telecoms sector now stands at 72.2, down 1.1 points since January 2014 compared to the all-sector average fall of 0.8 over the same period. The sector is now 4.1 points lower than the all-sector average of 76.3.

More people experience a problem with their telecoms provider (23 per cent) than with any of the 12 other sectors surveyed in the UKCSI. 80% of customers who experience a problem report it to organisations, considerably higher than the UK average across all sectors (72.7%).

There is a significant range of scores of customer satisfaction scores in this sector. The top rated telecommunications organisation, Tesco Mobile, received a score of 85.8 (out of 100), an increase of more than three points since July 2013, and was placed fourth in the overall index of all UK companies. Giff Gaff was the only other Telecomms organisation which scored higher than the UK all sector average for customer satisfaction. Six organisations registered a drop in satisfaction of more than one point.

It is clear from the results of UKCSI that customers want a balance of cost and good service with 65 per cent of respondents favouring this option. More customers would be happy paying more for the highest levels of service – 20 per cent favoured this option while only 15 per cent of respondents were prepared to compromise service to pay less.

Unsurprisingly, the most common method for reporting a problem is the telephone with 78 per cent of customers using this channel. There is also an increasing number of customers using social media to contact organisations about a problem; since January 2014 this has increased from 3.5 per cent to 5.1 per cent of customers. 45% of customers who made a complaint said they had to escalate it and 9% of those did so using social media.

Jo Causon, chief executive of the Institute of Customer Service commented “The results of the latest UKCSI demonstrate the close link between customer service and business performance; organisations with higher customer satisfaction also benefit from stronger ratings for trust, reputation, recommendation and likelihood to remain a customer. Organisations that deliver poor levels of customer service put these at risk, underlining the importance of customer service as a driver of 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, the Telecoms sector was ranked 9th, and experienced a drop of 1.1 points between January and July 2014. The Telecommunications & Media sector includes over 3,000 customer responses.

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine