Findings from the 2016 BAB Client Survey
A sample of 300 clients were selected at random from a population of almost 2,000 clients that had completed their ISO certifications. Clients were contacted on our behalf via telephone interviews administered by Lake Market Research throughout March 2016.
Clients were asked to rate their overall satisfaction with BAB on a scale from 1 – 10, where 10 is totally satisfied and 1 is totally dissatisfied. Of the 300 respondents, 67% rated their satisfaction as 9 or 10, 29% at 7 or 8, and just 4% rated 6 or below.
Of the clients that scored 8 or above, reasons for high satisfaction included (among others): the advice and knowledge given (45%), general high quality service (31%), and quality of the Auditor (19%). Of those scoring 7 or under, clients stated ‘clearer communication’ (33%), ‘more consistency in Auditors’ (21%) and ‘more regular contact’ (17%) as aspects for further improvement.
A high proportion (71%) of our clients can be classed as ‘promoters’ – those that are very/extremely likely to recommend us. Just 6% are classed as ‘detractors’ – those that are less likely or unlikely to recommend our services. By subtracting these detractors from our promoters we are able to calculate our Net Promoter Score (NPS), which currently stands at 65. To provide some context, each year, Satmetrix publishes the NPS ‘Stars’ for each industry – those companies achieving the highest NPS score in their sector. In banking, First Direct clocked up an impressive 71; in health insurance, Simply Health achieved 25, and in Auto Insurance, LV achieved 34.
Furthermore, almost a quarter of clients (23%) have actively recommended us in the last 6 months.
Satisfaction with pre-defined service elements
Aside from overall satisfaction, clients are also asked to rate their satisfaction with different elements of the service. Whilst satisfaction remains high across the board, there were some reductions in satisfaction when compared with 2015 results. Significant reductions are apparent in terms of ‘convenience of appointments’, ‘quality of information provided by the Centre Team’, and ‘clarity of what is required of the customer’.
Chart 1: Satisfaction with pre-defined service elements
Importance of pre-defined service elements
Alongside satisfaction, clients are also asked to rank the importance of service elements to them. This helps us to identify where we need to concentrate our efforts in order to provide our clients with the type of service they want. For most, ‘Clarity of what is required from the client’ and Feedback from the Audits’ were clear priorities, closely followed by ‘Explanation of the ISO Standards’ and ‘Communication with the Assessor’. Field team metrics have increased year on year, notably ‘Professionalism of the Assessor’ (see Chart 2).
Chart 2: Importance of pre-defined service elements
Motivations for and benefits of attaining ISO 9001 certification
A mixture of benefits are cited as primary motivators. These included satisfying client and/or industry requirements (60%), attracting new business (43%) and improving internal processes (27%).
When asked about the resulting benefits, the majority related to improving internal processes and/or winning new business:
- 61% found that achieving ISO 9001 improved their internal systems and processes/made them more organised
- 28% stated that they had won more work/been more successful at winning tenders
- 27% believe that achieving certification has raised the profile/credibility of their company
- 24% stated that they were able to tender for more work
 The sample size for clients achieving other ISO Standards was too small to report reliably, therefore the focus was on clients achieving ISO 9001; where the sample size achieved was 178.
A mirror survey was conducted at the same time as the Client Survey in order to ascertain employees’ perception of customer satisfaction and customer service priorities. This was analysed alongside responses from the Client Survey to identify ‘understanding gaps’ – areas where staff may misplace client priorities of areas of satisfaction.
In terms of stated importance of pre-defined service elements, scores were broadly consistent with those of clients.
In terms of stated satisfaction, employees tend to perceive client’s satisfaction as lower than it actually is – both at an overall level and for all but one of the individual service attributes (see Table 1 below).
Table 1: Perceived satisfaction with pre-defined service attributes (Mirror Survey)
|OVERALL SATISFACTION WITH THE BRITISH ASSESSMENT BUREAU||8.9||8.5||-0.4|
THE CENTRE TEAM
|Quality of information provided by Centre team||9.0||8.5||-0.5|
|Support received throughout certification process||9.0||8.6||-0.4|
|Responsiveness to enquiries||9.1||9.0||-0.1|
|The ISO toolkit supplied (including templates)||8.6||8.5||-0.1|
|Convenience of appointments||8.8||6.7||-2.1|
|Professionalism of Centre Team||9.2||8.9||-0.3|
|Friendliness of Centre Team||9.4||9.3||-0.1|
|Clarity of what is required||8.9||8.4||-0.5|
|Feedback from audits||9.3||8.6||-0.7|
|Explanation of ISO requirements||9.1||8.6||-0.5|
|Communication with the assessor||9.2||8.2||-1.0|
|Thoroughness of audits||9.4||8.9||-0.5|
|Professionalism of the assessor||9.5||9.0||-0.5|
ADMINISTRATION / ONGOING SUPPORT
|Completion pack (including certificate)||9.0||8.3||-0.7|
|Value for money||8.2||8.3||+0.1|
|Communication received since certification||8.6||7.9||-0.7|
Priorities for improvement
Although satisfaction remains high across the board, there has been a reduction in scores across the majority of service attributes surveyed, when compared year-on-year. An analysis of verbatim comments revealed the following for some of our ‘problem’ areas:
- Convenience of appointments – main concerns are experiences of cancellations and long waiting times
- Value for money – main concerns are perceived value, perceptions of increased costs and the expectancy of a loyalty / existing customer discount
- Communication since certification – the majority of comments concern a desire for more contact once the certification has been issued to keep up to date with new developments and improvements
- ISO toolkit – main concerns are lack of awareness, perceived understanding and areas of clarity.
We are now working on an ‘Improvement Plan’ for 2016, with further updates and specific actions to be communicated in due course.
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