New guidance from BSI British Standards targets low consumer satisfaction and confidence

Press release - 18 March 2008

Customers are disillusioned with the level of service they are receiving and many will move to a competitor if they are treated badly. This is according to new research from BSI British Standards, who also announce new customer satisfaction standards today.

  • 64% of those surveyed believe that customer service in the UK is getting worse
  • 72% moved to a competitor after receiving poor customer service
  • 55% of customers are left unsatisfied by the handling of their complaint

To help organizations improve levels of satisfaction among their customers, BSI British Standards has recently published two new standards in this area:

BS ISO 10001 Customer satisfaction — Guidelines for codes of conduct for organizations provides guidance on the design and implementation of a customer satisfaction code of conduct. Implementation of the standard will potentially reduce confusion about the products and services a customer will receive and will explain what will happen in the event of a quality problem.

BS ISO 10003 Quality management — Customer satisfaction — Guidelines for dispute resolution external to organizations is designed for situations when complaints cannot be resolved within an organization. It gives guidance on facilitation, advice and decision making within the dispute resolution process, including direction on the selection of resolution services and the involvement of top management in the process.

The survey also found that:

  • 48% of customers surveyed had made an official complaint in the last year, with 17% complaining more than once
  • 65% of those making a complaint had not been made aware of the procedures available to them for resolving the dispute
  • Only 21% of people who had made a complaint had seen a positive outcome from a dispute resolution scheme
  • 73% of customers surveyed said that a Code of Conduct would make them feel more confident about buying products and services online

Mike Low, Director of BSI British Standards, said, “Many people will have experienced poor customer service and this survey shows just how damaging that can be to an organization. Customers are not afraid to turn to a competitor if they feel they have been treated poorly. It’s also very important that customers are aware of how their complaint will be handled and how disputes will be resolved. BSI is now offering a suite of customer satisfaction standards which have the potential to address these issues and improve customer confidence.”

BS ISO 10001 and BS ISO 10003 now form part of a suite of customer satisfaction standards, available from BSI British Standards. Used in conjunction with BS ISO 10002: 2004, Guidelines for Complaints Handling in Organisations, an organization can implement comprehensive and effective systems for dealing with customer satisfaction from complaint prevention and handling through to dispute resolution.

The benefits of implementing one or more of these standards include:

  • Enhancement of fair trading practices and customer confidence in an organization
  • potential decrease in the need for new regulations governing an organization’s conduct towards its customers
  • improvement of the organization’s reputation or avoidance of damage to it
  • improvement of domestic and international competitiveness.

Both new standards are suitable for use by a wide range of organizations, including small businesses.

Buy a copy of BS ISO 10001 at the BSI Shop
Buy a copy of BS ISO 10003 at the BSI Shop

For further information please contact Lucy Fulton, PR Officer at BSI British Standards on 020 8996 7248

- Ends -

Notes to Editors:

1. About the research:
This was a survey of 1,845 adults carried out on behalf BSI British Standards in February 2008

2. BS 1SO 10001 and BS ISO 10003 make up a suite of standards with BS ISO 10002, Customer Satisfaction – Guidelines for complaints handling in organizations and BS 8477, Code of Practice for Customer Service