Independents are best at dealing with complaints

18 May 2006
Independents are best at dealing with complaints

Independent hotels are among the most successful UK businesses when it comes to appeasing unhappy customers, according to the latest National Complaints Culture Survey.

The wider leisure and hospitality sector isn't as successful at dealing with customer complaints, however. While outperforming financial services, utilities and the public sector, it tails retail, IT and manufacturing.

Ineffective complaint management is costly, with 15% of hospitality customers never returning to a business if their gripes are mishandled. Most (89%) of those surveyed also said they told others about bad experiences.

Brits are complaining more, with 60% of those surveyed admitting they do. Most expect their complaint to be dealt with within a week.

A spokesman for the Forum of Private Business, said: "The quality of service and personal touch of small business can't be matched. But the consequences of poor service are also greater than those for big names."

The annual report was commissioned by TMI and the Institute of Customer Service and featured the views of 6,000 people.

Biggest frustrations when complaining

  • Transferring of calls 52%

  • Automated call routing 52%

  • Length of time to resolve 48%

  • Lack of empathy 43%

  • Lack of product knowledge 42%

Source: National Complaints Culture Survey

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