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Public sector rated poor for customer service

By Vivienne Russell | 21 December 2012

Only a quarter of people in the UK are satisfied with the customer service they receive from the government and public sector, a survey has found.

The poll, conducted by Ipsos Mori and customer loyalty analysts Verint, quizzed 2,000 British citizens on their dealings with various public and private service providers.

The public sector scored poorly against the private sector, where satisfaction rates were 40%. Around 60% of people said they got angry if public sector organisations kept them waiting unnecessarily or if mistakes were made. More than a third (38%) said they were dissatisfied and only 25% said they were satisfied.

Almost a third (29%) said they had waited more than ten minutes for a government organisation to resolve an issue, 14% said they had found mistakes in paperwork they had received and 20% said they felt customer service operators did not have the information required to help them.

The survey also established that people were now more likely to share poor customer service experiences with friends via Facebook and other social media outlets.

Steve Rosier, director of analytics at Verint, said budget cuts meant it would be ‘tough’ for the public sector to get to grips with long telephone waiting times and poorly briefed operators.

But he added: ‘As the “next generation” of citizens and future voters continue to strive ahead in the online era, understanding citizen experiences and expectations from all user channels will become increasingly important.

‘Public organisations need to listen to their customers on social media platforms, through verbal conversations and other communication platforms. They must act on the findings and ensure that processes are put in place to improve workforce management and training. Public organisations could learn from examples and best practices in the private sector.’

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