Economy

Customer complaints costing UK retail more than £9bn

The data also revealed that 42.8% of problems were linked to the quality and reliability of goods and services.

Customer complaints have reached an all-time high which has cost businesses more than £9.24bn a month in staff hours, according to the Institute of Customer Service.

The Institute of Customer Service’s Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI) revealed that 17.3% of UK customers have experienced a product or service problem, the highest figures since records began in 2008.

The data also revealed that 42.8% of problems were linked to the quality and reliability of goods and services, while 26.4% were linked to the suitability of goods and services.

Global supply chain issues and labour shortages were factors reported to have impacted the customer experience.

Jo Causon, CEO at The Institute of Customer Service, said: ”Many businesses are already struggling to deliver consistent levels of service hampered by staff shortages, supply issues and geopolitical upheaval. Organisations cannot avoid these issues. They will need to develop service strategies that are responsive to evolving customer needs but also protect short and long-term business performance. 

“UK business is suffering from a loss of productivity owing to the time spent resolving customer complaints and service failures. For me it’s clear that a carefully calibrated focus on service is crucial to boosting performance and addressing the broader challenges of societal polarisation, inclusivity and wellbeing.”

The UKCSI found that 35% of customers would pay more for a better service, with 58% stating that low prices would play a pivotal part in their choice of provider, product or service moving forward as the cost-of-living crisis continues to bite.

More than 10,000 customers were polled for the UKCSI across 13 key sectors including retail and telecommunications and media.

The top 10 rated organisations in July 2022 in order, according to the index, are UK Power Networks, Timpson, John Lewis, Tesco Mobile, Suzuki, M&S, Ocado, Waitrose, Apple, and First Direct.

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