Thought leadership

 More than a third (38) per cent of complaints made to public sector organisations within the last year were unresolved, according to new research* into citizen satisfaction with public sector organisations. Furthermore, only 5 per cent of UK citizens rate public sector organisations as offering the highest standards of customer service.

The new study, conducted by contact centre software provider Aspect Software, found that UK citizens are increasingly frustrated with the service they receive from public sector organisations. Aspect’s Consumer satisfaction benchmarking report 2013 reveals that only 3 per cent of citizens can recall a good customer experience with a public sector organisation over the past year.

 Public sector institutions and agencies are the second worst offending organisation type with regards to unresolved complaints from citizens, with only credit card providers faring worse, seeing less than half (44 per cent) of complaints unresolved. Additionally, of those complaints with public sector organisations that were resolved, half (50 per cent) were actually dissatisfied with the outcome of their complaint, demonstrating a strong lack of responsiveness and willing to put things right from public sector organisations.

 Mark King, Senior VP Europe and Africa at Aspect commented: “Maximising the resources available for citizen engagement has never been more important. Due to continual reforms, changing political parties and differing public opinion, the sector as a whole is under constant scrutiny – not just in terms of the money that is spent and where, but how organisations engage with UK citizens at a regional and national level too.”


King added: “Our research, which also found that only 9 per cent of citizens are extremely satisfied with the overall service they receive from public sector organisations, clearly demonstrates a worrying disconnect between public services and what the public expects of them. Unfortunately, because we are a captive market for most public services, there is little apparent drive to really up the stakes.”

 Conversely, 42 per cent of citizens did state that they are satisfied with the service that they receive from public sector organisations, and a further 42 per cent claim to be neutral. The remaining 7 per cent say that they are dissatisfied or extremely dissatisfied.

 King concluded: “Organisations, especially those within the public sector need to be enhancing their customer engagement efforts through effective technologies which facilitate the service citizens have come to expect today, and therefore demand.”

 Other key findings:


  • 2 per cent of respondents in the study can recall a particularly bad customer experience with a public sector organisation over the past year

  • The telephone is the most popular method of contact with public sector organisations, with 47 per cent stating this. Email came in as the second most popular contact channel, with 39 per cent stating this and in third place is letter, with 7 per cent

  • 54 per cent stated that they would not use social media to contact a public sector organisations as it would not deliver the desired response


To download Aspect’s Servicing’s today’s citizens in the public sector 2013 paper, click here.


To download the full report, click here.


*Study of 1,000 UK based consumers over the age of 16. Survey by Vanson Bourne, commissioned by Aspect in May 2013.

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