Times they are a changing as organisations who are working to increase levels of customer satisfaction are refocusing investment in their employees, rather than in new technology.
The finding comes from the latest survey from Investors in People UK (IiP), which comes to the conclusion that employee engagement is the key to success.
The research found that:
- 59 per cent of organisations plan to invest more on customer service in the coming year than they did in the past 12 months (40% will invest roughly the same)
- 61 per cent cite staff training and development and better management as the most important route for achieving better customer service
- Only 26 per cent point to new technology and improved communications systems as the most important area for investment.
Employers also highlight a range of challenges that they are looking to address in order to improve customer service levels. Recruiting the right people is cited by 28 per cent while 23 per cent are specifically seeking to increase employee motivation.
Simon Jones, acting chief executive of IiP, said: “As customer service becomes an increasingly critical way to differentiate from the competition, organisations need to make sure they are doing everything in their power to keep customers engaged.
“Unsurprisingly, 97 per cent of organisations said that ability and attitude of staff has a significant impact on customer service. This underlines just how important it is to find the right employees and both inspire and equip them to deliver the type of service needed to create a positive customer experience.
“Employers should look to strike the balance between supporting employees, providing advice and assistance, and giving them the responsibility to respond to customer demands on an individual basis. Employees who are empowered in this way, and aren’t restricted by excessive procedure, will inevitably be more motivated and inclined to go ‘the extra mile’ for customers.”