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Employees dealing with personal complaints cost UK economy billions

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

Consumers spend an average of two hours a month dealing with customer service complaints and delivery issues during work time, costing the UK economy £190bn a year in lost productivity.

Issues related to house maintenance and repairs are the most time consuming, followed by resolving delivery issues and problems with house purchases

According to research by The Institute of Customer Service, workers dealing with customer service issues during working hours cost their employers £6.9bn a year in lost productivity.

But this has a knock-on effect as customer service staff need to sort out the issues, to the tune of £99bn a year. However, it doesn’t end there as the cost of sorting out the issues with suppliers comes in at £84bn a year.

In total, employees who spend the average two hours during the working month dealing with their personal complaints cost the UK economy £190bn, the institute revealed.

Other areas of complaints being dealt with at work include car problems, banking, transport, tax, faulty goods, utilities and insurance.

Jo Causon, CEO of The Institute of Customer Service, said: “This research highlights both the extent of the service productivity problem facing the UK and the scale of the opportunity.

“Forward-thinking businesses are deploying a combination of technology and employee empowerment to boost productivity while providing a great customer experience. Employees who attend regular training – particularly for personal skills such as confidence, innovation or dealing with customers are far more productive, and improvements in customer service could add £81bn to the UK’s GDP in just 12 months.

“Brands need to understand how and why customers interact with them and how they perceive the quality of their experience. By enabling customers to self-serve and getting things right first time, businesses create powerful advocates who stay for the long-term.”

Causon added that 20% of people said the government should penalise organisations that deliver poor service.