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The changing face of customer service

It’s no secret that customer service is key to a successful business model. You can provide the best products and services in the world, but if you don’t give your customers the care and respect they deserve, your success level will likely plummet.

While the message behind customer service has remained steady over the decades - provide good service and people will come back, provide bad service and you risk losing customers - there have been significant changes in the way feedback is delivered and received in recent times. There are more channels than ever in which people can contact your business (and indeed, talk about your business) and organisations have been forced to keep up in order to survive. So what are the biggest challenges we’ve seen recently, and how is IFDS faring in the world of customer service?

The internet is everywhere

While the old adage may say that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, any customer service professional will tell you that negative customer experiences can be disastrous. The modern age of social media and review websites has led to anyone and everyone being able to voice their opinion to a public audience at the click of a button, meaning businesses have to be more alert than ever to public sentiment and what’s being said about them.

A 2013 report entitled Customer Service and Business Results found that customers are sharing their interactions with companies more widely than they have done in the past, with 45% of people sharing their bad customer services through social media (as opposed to just 30% who showcase their positive experiences in this way).

Before the internet became such an overwhelming force, businesses relied more on in-person and written feedback to gauge how their service was being received. The age of the internet can be seen as both a blessing and a curse for businesses of any size. For one thing, many members of the public now go straight to social media or review sites to comment on an interaction, as opposed to approaching the company directly and privately to voice their opinions. However, this approach does allow organisations to help to shape their public perception by responding to and remedying any issues in a public forum, showing other potential customers how committed it is to its service.

Customer service excellence at IFDS

We’re proud of the service excellence we offer to our clients and customers, and this is reflected in our results. We’ve won various awards for the service we provide, including maintaining our 3 Star ‘Exceptional’ Investor in Customers (IIC) UK accreditation for the sixth year in a row.

The rating is the highest an organisation can achieve through IIC, who undertakes an independent assessment of an organisation and its customer relationships. The process typically takes around five weeks and involves the collection and analysis of feedback from customers, staff and senior management , along with desk research carried out by an assessor. At the end of this, successful organisations may be awarded one of three rankings: Superior (one star), Outstanding (two stars) or Exceptional (three stars).

On top of this, our clients and customers can contact us in a variety of different ways, including through our voice centre, by mail, email and web chat.

We’re thrilled to maintain our high level of customer service year after year, and employ the best representatives to ensure we continue to do so into the future. If you’re looking for your next customer service job, take a look at the range of IFDS vacancies here.

Our commitment to customer service extends to our sponsorship of the 8th Annual Insurance Europe conference in Dublin, which has a theme of ‘servicing our customers in tomorrow’s world’. It’s one of the largest insurance-focused events in Europe and we’re excited to be a part of it. Find out more about the conference here.

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