Trust issues

nisesurveyexpectationsConcerns about honesty among lawyers and residential building contractors were chief among areas listed for improvement by consumers in the newest customer satisfaction survey.

Additionally, time management among private doctors and improvement in aesthetics of beauty and personal care professionals also topped the list of things they need to improve.

The National Customer Satisfaction Index survey, done by the National Initiative for Service Excellence, was conducted between January and April this year measuring satisfaction for professional and general services.

On the issue of honesty, which topped lawyers and contractors customers’ concerns, Tudor said NISE also shared the worry about this factor.

“It is a concern and I remember when we did the Diaspora, that was their concern as well,” she said, adding that the responses in the survey about improvements had a long list of persons quoting “be honest” for both sets of professionals.

“I think some of the honesty is not giving you accurate information and then the follow through. You don’t trust them when they give you reasons for the delays. So the honesty probably has two components — the honesty in terms of the money and them, the money that you deposit, but also honesty in terms of not telling you the truth when it comes to delays,” she said.

Apart from honesty, areas for improvement for lawyers included fees and price, communication and follow through, efficiency and timeliness. For contractors, honesty was followed by efficiency, communication and pricing on estimates.

Private doctors, it was suggested could improve their appointment times, bedside manner and communication; and beauty and personal care professionals, the aesthetics, refreshments and other value added amenities and courtesy and professionalism.

Tudor said too that for lawyers, the overall satisfaction was of such a concern because they had fallen way below expectations.

“[M]ore than that [is] that they have fallen below the European counterparts, the UK counterparts; the satisfaction with lawyers is below four government agencies, sanitation, the post office, the hospital, Water Authority. “As professionals, their level of satisfaction should be much higher than that. So I think that all two arms, the court arm and the judicial arm are going to have to get together and iron out some of the bottlenecks in that process because the lawyers did give the reasons for the delays.

“At least 25 per cent of all clients experienced some delays and the reason given was that it was due to a third party, or the other lawyer being busy or them being busy. So if it was third party, the courts and so forth, then they as a profession need to get together with the judicial system to see how they can iron out those bottlenecks to make it a lot more efficient.”

She said NISE had met with the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners and the Bar Association ahead of the survey and would do so again after about the findings.

“Fair Trading [Commission] would help with the contractors and so forth, but I think these two organisations, as organisations, need to make more attempts to address some of the systemic problems they have. When people talk about better estimates, the contractors can run a course for contractors on how to prepare better estimates, have better templates.”

She suggested as well that the small contractors, and personal care professionals would do well to ensure they had a functioning representative organisation that could filter standards and other recommendations down the line. The results of the survey, she said, would be filtered down to the Bar Association and BAMP.

Tudor noted that there were only two sectors left, tourism and retail, wholesale and distribution, before the NCSI is complete. (LB)

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