Following on from last years annual report that found HMRC’s customer services somewhat lacking. The report highlighted that over the course of the year, HMRC failed to answer approximately four million telephone calls. When the calls were answered, 14% of the calls took over 10 minutes to be answered and then a further 4 minutes before they were connected to a member of the team.

Because of this seemingly low standard of quality, it caused many to wonder if HMRC was ‘fit for purpose’. This has caused HMRC to more closely pay attention to its customer service, and they have commissioned Ipsos MORI to perform a report on their services to find areas that function well and those that don’t.

This report appears to highlight that HMRC is progressing in terms of customer satisfaction, with a generally accepted percentage of customers receiving the information and services that they required. One highlight of this report was the two main ‘motivations’ for complaints.

The motivations were separated into ‘active choice’ and ‘means to an end’, and these refer to why the customer would seek to make a complaint. An ‘active choice’ complaint is regarded as when “When customers made an active choice to complain they were usually dissatisfied with the HMRC service received and wanted to make a complaint to let this be known,” as per the report.

Whereas, a ‘means to an end’ complaint is described as “Where the complaint was made as a means to an end, customers were trying to resolve their issue and had exhausted all other options available to them. Making a complaint was felt to be a logical next step in the customer journey as they sought to understand how or why the initial issue had occurred or they were looking for a practical outcome, such as a change in tax code or reimbursement.”

This change and awareness of these different types of complaints can allow HMRC to more accurately handle the needs of the customer and should further improve the quality of service.