The latest authoritative report from the esteemed Institute of Customer Service says that customers are complaining more than ever and that specific areas of the motor retail sector are seen as letting them down on a regular basis.
The report says that the number of UK customer complaints has hit its highest level, up from 11% to 13%, but at the same time average customer satisfaction in this sector has risen to 80.7%. So more people are happy (despite the shortage of vehicles to satisfy demand) but those that are not happy are quicker to complain.
And it’s not dealership staff who are the problem – they come out of this well with fewer complaints against them. The problem is the availability, quality and reliability of goods and services being sold are less satisfying.
However, the report said that rising complaints were, at least in part, triggered by the short supply of vehicles due to COVID-19 and the semiconductor microchip shortage.
Interestingly, more customers are now willing to pay extra for a better service, with this cohort rising from 37.8% to a new high of 43.5%.
Jo Causon, CEO at The Institute of Customer Service said: “The latest UKCSI results demonstrate the complexities of the current environment the automotive sector continues to face. The number of customers experiencing a problem with an organisation is at its highest ever level, although satisfaction with complaint handling and overall satisfaction has improved. This suggests many organisations have got better at service recovery and adapted to new ways of working. However, wider service chain issues continue to plague the automotive sector. This is something we need to tackle if we are to improve organisational performance and productivity. Those organisations in the top 10 make it easy to contact the right person, show they care about their customers, and build trust by making them feel reassured.”