UK customer service ‘depressing’ and ‘disappointing’ reveals new study
Third of Brits waste 40 days of their life waiting to be served
9th October 2023, United Kingdom: A new study reveals that one in three Brits waste at least 40 days in their lifetime waiting to be served. Nearly a third admit that the cost-of-living crisis has made them less tolerant of poor customer service, equating to more than 22 million people nationally.
‘Depressing’, ‘disappointing’, and ‘people aren’t generally happy’, were the phrases used by some Brits when describing customer service in the UK while one in six said they were often left feeling ‘ambivalent’, ‘irritated,’ or ‘enraged’, by service in the UK.
The study of 2,000 adults, commissioned by three rocks®, found that 34% of Brits admit that long wait times are the thing that annoys them the most about customer service when dining out, while 33% selected slow service. Nearly a third (30%) state rude or unhelpful staff as their biggest gripe, followed by waiters getting their order wrong (24%) and people receiving food at different times (20%).
The research also revealed the top ways Brits are wasting time when it comes to dining out, with 29% waiting to be served and 23% waiting for food or drink, or waiting to pay the bill.
As a result, 62% of Brits would consider trying a fully automated ‘robotic restaurant’, while 56% would choose an AI or automated self-service system such as self-ordering kiosks or AI sommeliers over a human if it meant a faster, more accurate service when eating or drinking out. This figure rose to 76% among 18-24-year-olds.
This trend continues within the older generations, with nearly a third (31%) of 65+-year-olds claiming they’d be happy to use technology for paying their bill instead of interacting with staff.
One in 10 Brits even admit they would be happy to visit a fine dining restaurant with fully automated service and food served using a robot or other technology.
Scott Muncaster, Managing Director of customer service specialist, three rocks®, said: “Our research found that there is a real appetite for automation and AI when eating and drinking out, as long as it provides a better service.
“What was surprising was the settings in which Brits were open to using technology rather than interacting with people, such as in fine dining restaurants. This wider acceptance may be a result of the pandemic with many more people now being used to contactless systems. We uncovered how many of the slightly older generations are keen to use automated systems when eating or drinking out. It’s often assumed that baby boomers and Gen X customers want to interact with a person, however our data shows that this isn’t always the case.
“We also found an acceptance of automated or AI systems extends to other areas, from technical support for a device such as a phone or laptop to diagnosing an issue with a car or other vehicle - 14% were happy to use AI for diagnosing a medical issue with a GP.”