I’ve previously said tipping should be performance related, with good service being rewarded. Yet, our survey insinuates that rewards may not be deserved, as we think Britain’s customer service isn’t up to scratch.
Almost half of the respondents to our recent survey didn’t think the standard of customer service in Britain was getting better, while 50% believed that in the current climate it’s inevitable companies will cut corners on customer service to save money.
In a week where we’ve seen the demise of Moben, Habitat and Dolphin, it would appear that customer service is more important than ever. Indeed, 39% of people in our survey said they’d be prepared to pay more for better service.
Poor customer service must end
The attitude that tough times means cutting back on customer service has got to stop. Indeed, two thirds of those asked said they don’t want poorer service even if it brings a saving.
I witnessed a great example of the effects of poor service this week. My wife was trying to upgrade her mobile phone with a major provider. She was passed from one ‘service adviser’ to another and her problem was never resolved. Eventually, she became so frustrated that she cancelled her contract and switched to another provider.
But the story didn’t end there. She wasn’t refunded when she said she was leaving, her contract wasn’t cancelled on time and another direct debit was taken from her account. Sadly, stories from Which? members suggest she’s not alone. There are an army of people being poorly served across a whole variety of industries – from personal finance to utility companies.
Fight for better customer service
Thankfully, there is a solution – vote with your feet. The only way to fight the ever-growing poor service culture is to stop encouraging it. So, if you’re not happy with your bank account, for example, switch to a Which? Recommended Provider. If you can’t get a straight answer out of your utility provider, switch.
And if a shop assistant is more interested in selling you an extended warranty than a washing machine, walk away. We have the power to fight back.
Or perhaps I’m being too harsh? Are there still pockets of great customer service out there? And if there are, let’s find them, publicise them and let others learn from their examples.