Ombudsman Services conference rated highly by attendees

By Ombudsman Services | Jun 29, 2019

The first annual Ombudsman Services conference, held in London on 25 June, has received positive feedback from attendees.

Every delegate who completed our feedback survey gave the event at least three out of five as an overall rating, with 30% awarding it a five-star rating.


The same was true when attendees were asked if the event was relevant for their role and organisation.

Our speakers and panelists all scored highly, while everyone agreed that there were some practical, actionable insights in terms of customer service, complaint handling and building trust with consumers.

Everyone who responded said they would be interested in attending again next year.

In terms of key takeaways from the conference, one survey respondent observed that:

“In an age of fake news and lack of trust, for companies to succeed they either have to show that they’re like the customer, so part of their community, or provide ways for them to be more self-reliant.”

They added:

“Use of social media for complaints leads to expectations of faster responses but not always a better resolution.”

Another observed that augmented intelligence, rather than artificial intelligence, is “the future” of customer service.

In a reference to the use of Implicit Attitude Testing (IAT) in our latest Consumer Action Monitor (CAM) report, which was showcased at the conference, one delegate noted that:

“What consumers say in response to surveys may not be what they think.”

Another said their key lesson from the day was that “trust is essential” and that “flawless fundamentals” – including making things simple and easy for consumers – is key to building this trust.

Asked for their assessment of the event, one attendee said it was “overall a really rounded day and lots of generally very interesting information.”

Another said it was a “stimulating inaugural event and a solid platform for next year.”

In terms of practical application and actionable insights following the conference, one delegate said the debate on the 8-week rule “provided insight and has been valuable in discussing the merits within the business.”

A fellow attendee said that the conference had given “insights into how challenges that are prevalent across public and private organisations manifest themselves in a specific sector.”

Asked if there are any topics or challenges that they would like to work on in partnership with Ombudsman Services, attendees gave a range of responses including the following:

  1. “The relevance of the 8-week rule and how to incentivise shorter/more effective response times (not necessarily resolutions) to complaints”
  2. “Working together to better understand real-life scenarios across the sector, which can help inform the guidance we offer around working with vulnerable customers/identify what support companies need when it”
  3. “Reform of the Complaint Handling Standards”

We would like to thank everyone who responded to the survey for taking the time to give their constructive feedback.

We will take all comments, including suggestions for improvements to the format and structure of different sessions, on board for next year.

Watch this space for news about our 2020 annual conference and other Ombudsman Services events.