How Low CSAT is Eroding your Brand & Revenue

The silent revolt: how low CSAT is silently eroding your brand and revenue (and what to do about it)

Declining CSAT scores point to contact centre agent training failures and overreliance on self-service.

Leading agent-centric Artificial Intelligence (AI) provider, Elephants Don’t Forget, have compiled a free comprehensive research report examining key need-to-know insights from leading consumer bodies and UK regulators, outlining critical service improvements organisations need to make in 2024 to improve deteriorating customer satisfaction standards.

Adrian Harvey, CEO of Elephants Don’t Forget, explained the focus of the report’s narrative:

“We’ve unpacked the findings from The Institute of Customer Service’s (ICS) most recent UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI), which provides a barometer of overall customer satisfaction and experience and serves as a benchmark for organisations to measure their performance and identify areas for improvement.

We have also looked extensively at common service and support challenges that UK regulatory bodies have highlighted that organisations need to focus their attention on in 2024 and provided some use cases to illustrate the proactive approaches businesses in various sectors are now taking to address key drivers of poor satisfaction and sub-optimal customer outcomes.

This report will be especially relevant for inhouse and BPOs who are impacted by key changes to regulatory compliance – specifically those regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat) and the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem).

In the interests of proportionality, we know that every industry and contact centre operation is different, so it’s certainly important to acknowledge that it is not the case that all customer experience and satisfaction is inherently poor. However, the research that we’ve compiled in this report looks to shed some invaluable insight on how the prolific rise of digitalisation and self-service tools in the contact centre is having a detrimental impact on specific cohorts of customers.

More importantly, drivers of declining customer satisfaction standards are now also being regularly attributed to rapidly declining levels of agent in-role knowledge and competence. Just recently, for example, a survey conducted by Which?, the leading UK consumer champion organisation, revealed yet more concerning trends in declining standards across various sectors; particularly in the telecoms and energy industries. Two of the leading causes of customer dissatisfaction were specifically cited as ‘a lack of agent knowledge to resolve queries’ and / or ‘being provided with inconsistent information’.

It is quickly becoming apparent that traditional approaches to the way organisations are training their agents is not working as effectively as it should be. Otherwise, we would not be in a position where consumer organisations – such as Which? and the ICS – are now having to continually urge businesses to prioritise their efforts on developing the skills, knowledge and competencies of their agents to deliver against customer expectations.

The industry has undergone a radical transformation since 2020, driven by global events and evolving trends. The COVID-19 pandemic propelled the widespread adoption of work-from-home arrangements, redefining the traditional workplace for agents. Advancements in AI, predictive analytics and self-service tools have reshaped the nature of agent work, while the “great resignation” has impacted employment patterns and motivations.

Economic pressures and inflationary trends are also now compelling contact centre leaders to scrutinise and justify every expense. Prior investments are now under the microscope, and continuously evolving customer expectations demand ongoing refinement and optimisation of use cases to ensure technology investments remain relevant.

This year, “doing more – and getting more – from less” is the paramount objective for many in the industry. And, with human interaction expected to be central to improving customer satisfaction and experience in 2024, the improvement recommendations from the ICS – coupled with collective pressure from UK regulatory bodies – now puts the onus on customer service leaders to critically reevaluate how they will upskill their agents, improve approaches to regulatory compliance, and deliver what customers say they really want.”

Customer satisfaction declining at fastest pace on record…

Recent UKCSI data presents a sobering, if not unsurprising picture – with the overall score declining to 76.6 points; its lowest mark since 2015. Particular customer pain points also remain persistent from previous UKCSI reports; with customers consistently citing the following areas as requiring improvement:

» Employee competence and behaviours: poor knowledge of products and services, insensitive behaviour, and a lack of soft skill expertise among frontline staff are significantly impacting customer satisfaction.

» Ease of contacting the right person: customers are finding it challenging to reach the appropriate support staff, face long wait / hold times, resulting in frustration and elongated delays in resolving issues.

» Complaint resolution: organisations are taking longer to resolve complaints and more problems are remaining unresolved for protracted periods of time.

The downward trend in CSAT underscores the growing imperative for organisations to prioritise customer experience and implement effective agent training strategies to foster satisfaction improvement. By understanding the key factors contributing to the declining UKCSI, businesses can look to prioritise key areas of concern to elevate their service standards.

Learning outcomes of this report include:

» Assessing the customer service landscape: how organisations are preparing to address the immediate issues of operational performance and resourcing to improve declining customer satisfaction standards in 2024.

» Operating in regulated markets: the key customer areas to focus your attention on in 2024 to satisfy FCA, Ofcom, Ofwat and Ofgem expectations.

» Comparing customer attitudes to business beliefs: understand the priority areas that UK customers say they want organisations to improve in 2024.



The report by Elephants Don’t Forget is available by download – Click Here

Elephants Don’t Forget are world leaders in the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to optimise employee competency to improve performance and mitigate risk.

They financially guarantee that workplace training is learned and retained by employees and support customer service leaders in some of the world’s leading brands including Microsoft, Aviva, Vodafone, RAC, AIG, Capita, and AIG to improve people performance and drive operational efficiencies.

For additional information on Elephants Don’t visit their Website

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