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Telco industry ranks bottom in UK for customer service

The Institute of Customer Service has released its Customer Satisfaction Index stating the telco industry is the lowest ranked sector in the UK, reports

While the industry has made improvements over the last twelve months, it finished in last place with an index of 72.9, behind the likes of utilities and public services. The industry was one of the strongest improvers over the course of the last twelve months, improving its score by 1.2, it is still the industry with the highest numbers of complaints, 20% of customers compared to a national average of 12%.

“It’s encouraging to see the telecoms sector is making progress, but prevention is always better than cure, so the industry should take note of the areas which need to be focused on,” said Jo Causon, CEO of The Institute of Customer Service. “Efficiency, effectiveness and empathy are key and organisations should always follow up with customers to ensure that the problem is resolved.”

One statistic which could be seen as concerning for the industry is the number of customers who would be prepared to pay a higher cost for enhanced customer service. This was another area where the telco industry was ranking last with only 24% agreeing. The concern here would be surrounding the industry’s long-standing quest to avoid being relegated to the ranks of utilities, though the survey does suggest the industry is heading that direction.

Over the course of recent months, numerous value adds, bundle packages, brand marketing campaigns and customer services initiatives have been launched by the telcos in an effort to avoid being commoditised. Competing on price is worst case scenario for the industry, and despite the efforts, when surveys like this imply a high proportion of customers are basing their decision on price, in could indicate the industry is heading towards a ‘race to the bottom’.

In terms of best performers, giffgaff and Tesco Mobile were the highest performers in the telco industry, and the only two who featured into the top 50 overall.