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Nov 19

Greater Focus Needed to Secure Sustainable Growth

Published by Bryan Shendon

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The Governments March budget included a number of measures designed to help business and boost growth, however, there are a number of additional measures that the Institute Of Customer Service believe the government needs to focus on to tackle underlying weaknesses in the UK economy and secure sustainable, long-term growth.



Importance of the Service Sector to the UK economy

The service sector is crucial to growth and employment in the UK. It accounts for over 70% of GDP, and our research indicates that almost 600,000 people will be employed directly in customer service roles by 2014. UK businesses face challenges on 2 fronts: building consumer confidence to retain customers and profits in a fragile domestic and European market, and taking advantage of opportunities in growing and emerging markets. In the UK it’s vital that companies retain customers. There is a wide body of evidence which shows the link between customer satisfaction, loyalty and financial performance. In times of economic challenge and uncertainty, the behaviour of customers is often the leading factor in determining a company’s financial performance. The Institutes research shows that UK companies face a £2.3 billion threat from customer churn, either from customers switching to a competitor, or lost business.

The Institute of Customer Service believe there are four key measures the Government and Organisations should focus on to promote sustainable, long-term growth and employment. 

1. Invest in Customer Service Skills

The Commission for Employment and Skills has identified customer handling skills as one of the leading skills gaps in the UK economy.  Businesses in all sectors should look to equip their people with appropriate customer service skills. In particular, they should help young people gain vital customer service skills so they can be effective in the labour market and develop sustainable careers, in any sector, with companies who recognise the long–term value of customer engagement.

2. Ensure that Training is of the right quality

Companies should ensure that customer service training schemes are fit for purpose and benchmarked against National and World Class standards. Companies and individuals need the skills to compete in the global economy, and customer service should seen as an important profession and genuine career option.

3. Promote Best Practice in Employee Engagement

Engaged and motivated employees who understand a company’s strategy and their role in delivering it are much more likely to have a positive impact on customer loyalty. The research shows that 85% of private sector employers believe that the linkage between business strategy, process and engaged employees will be very important for their organisation in the next 5 years. 

4. Corporate Governance

Companies and Investors should place a greater focus on customer satisfaction reporting and measuring against best practice of staff as an indicator of future sustainable financial performance.

At Target Training we believe that all Staff should be allowed to develop their skills and knowledge. By offering the City and Guilds Qualifications and effective training we can help staff gain national recognition of these skills and knowledge and give them the confidence to be an highly effective member of any Organisation.

 

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