Three Quarters of Brits Think Customer Service is Poor

From scripted customer service bots to conflicting advice from representatives, 74% of Brits say UK customer service is missing the mark…

A survey of 2,488 18 to 65 year olds, by customer insight company Feefo, has told some shocking home truths about the state of Britain’s customer service industry. Only 10% of people said they said a ‘good’ experience, with nearly three-quarters complaining that the standard is ‘poor’.

Matt West, Chief Marketing Officer at Feefo said, “Considering how much emphasis UK businesses now place on customer service, the fact that UK service levels don’t appear to be hitting the mark is likely concerning many companies.”

So what appears to be the issue, exactly? Take your pick. The most common complaint, made by 82% of customers, was about frustrating robotic or scripted responses from customer service teams.

Fortunately, our extensive list of UK contact numbers connects you to the relevant department. And perhaps that could help fix a second key flaw in British customer service – because 77% of people struggled to understand foreign call centres, which gave them a negative experience.

However, in the telecoms industry at least, that particular issue looks set to improve, because 2016 saw some positive changes made. BT promised to hire 1000 representatives at four UK call centres by the end of March 2017 in response to similar complaints made about their Indian call centres. And they’re not alone, because EE also created more than 1,000 jobs to answer 100% of calls in the UK last year.


So hopefully, you’ll soon notice the improvements, after all, BT and EE were the most complained about broadband providers in the first three months of 2016. Although, let’s be fair – Feefo’s research survey showed that customer service in the tech sector was faring better than the rest.

West said, “It is however encouraging to see some business sectors including energy, telecoms and insurance have fared better than other industries and suggests that these companies have been taking customer feedback on board and working to improve their offering.”

Of course, not all customer service woes are so easily solved and there’s plenty of work to be done, in terms of training customer service representatives and cutting wait times.

Four in five people were given conflicting advice by different customer service advisors, making the situation more complicated than it should have been. But at least they made it through to speak to someone, because two-thirds of people complained about lengthy hold times.

Wondering who the worst culprits are for ‘poor’ customer service? That’ll be the travel industry at large, which came bottom in the survey with 63% of people complaining about the service they received. Followed by leisure & hospitality 57%) and retail (54%).