As the competition regulator in the Channel Islands, CICRA has an important role to play in ensuring that local consumers have access to robust and independent information on which to make informed purchasing decisions.
Often local consumers are able to use information available nationally such as website reviews on sites such as Amazon and Trip Advisor as well as the UK’s consumer association, Which?, to help them make these decisions – but this is not always possible when using local service providers.
The local telecommunications sector is a case in point. In some ways it looks very different from the UK in terms of infrastructure, number of customers, technologies and tariffs. CICRA’s aim here is to ensure local telecoms consumers receive best value, choice and access to high quality services.
Healthy competition encourages the local telecoms operators so we have made it a priority to seek out local customers regularly and ask them what they think of the services they receive.
CICRA’s independent surveys initially started as twice a year and assessed customer satisfaction experiences across a number of areas in mobile, broadband and customer services to help consumers make informed choices. The questions have continued to evolve to reflect what is really important to local customers.
The results of the surveys to date (with almost all areas of service improving in quality) show the success of canvassing consumers and fostering a real ‘race to the top’ by operators.
Alongside the surveys we also do ‘mystery shopper’ research providing information on in-store and telephone customer service experiences.
Being able to benchmark allows the Channel Islands consumers to make a value judgment to hold their operator to account when things fall short of satisfactory and gives those operators an excellent opportunity to strive for continually better results.
From this year CICRA has decided to conduct one round of mystery shopping and one consumer survey and again evolved the questions asked to further hone the results and give an even clearer picture of where operators are improving and where work still needs to be done. The survey results will be published 19 July and the mystery shopper will take place… well that’s got to stay a secret.