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UK employees Could Lose 223 Man Hours Every Year Due to Poor Customer Support from IT Service Providers, Says Rackspace Report

Inadequate customer service is costing UK employees almost 223 hours a year1 according to new research from Rackspace Hosting (NYSE: RAX), the open cloud company.

The Rackspace IT Industry Service Report, the first annual snapshot of IT service quality in the UK, found that the problem worsens when we look at IT teams. Thirty nine per cent of respondent company IT staff are estimated to be losing 6 hours or more per week on tackling IT problems and chasing suppliers.

This waste of resources has huge productivity implications, making it unsurprising that IT customer service now appears to be a key issue both mid-sized and enterprise businesses. Almost half (48 per cent) of respondents reported that customer service has become an increased priority over the last 12 months, while over a quarter (27 per cent) already regard customer service to be a high priority.

Taylor Rhodes, Managing Director, International at Rackspace said: “A staggering amount of man hours are being wasted by UK businesses as they struggle to manage and control IT service issues. CIOs are taking note however and it is encouraging to see service being acknowledged as a crucial factor in procurement decisions along with parameters such as price, security and uptime guarantees.”

UK businesses switch providers if customer service is not up to scratch

Although the average score for IT service satisfaction amongst enterprise IT decision-makers interviewed was a relatively high 7.2 out of 10, a total of 69 per cent of respondents have dropped IT suppliers in the past 12 months because of customer service shortfalls.

“Our report shows that ‘satisfactory service’ is no longer good enough. Seven out of 10 of the respondent UK companies have voted with their feet in the past year and changed suppliers because of poor quality service,” continued Rhodes. “In today’s highly competitive business environment, customer support is a crucial factor, which is precisely why Rackspace champions a culture of ‘Fanatical Support’. The results revealed today prove that many IT suppliers in the UK today are not rising to the challenge and are quite rightly losing out on business as a consequence.”

‘Why are we waiting?’ ask UK businesses

The most common causes for complaint relate to IT suppliers having an inadequate level of interaction with their customers, rather than issues of a technical nature. A poor response time to faults (32 per cent) and a low quality of communication (32 per cent) were the most commonly reported customer support failings.

Moving forwards, it is clear that IT organisations need to take a customer-centric approach if they want to win and retain business. This view is supported by Stephen Mann, Senior Analyst, Infrastructure & Operations, Forrester. In a recent blog post Stephen stated:

“Research shows what a difference customer experience makes to company success. Rackspace is such a company – it differentiates itself through service. Rackspace exemplifies the benefits of employing the right kind of people (‘obsessive’ about what they do) and shows how this competitive differentiator has translated into business success. They rely on capable people, not limited and rigid processes operated by “scriptbots,” to support their customers.”

1 The average number of hours lost by an employee due to an IT failure as used in this release is calculated by taking a fixed mid-point for each range indicated by the respondents in the survey (for example, the fixed midpoint for the range 2-6 hours is 4 hours), multiplied by the respective percentage of respondents who selected that range, with the resulting amounts for each range then added together (this was equal to 4.75 hours). The sum was then multiplied by 47 weeks, a typical number of weeks worked by UK employees in a year.

ENDS

About the research

This research was conducted by Vanson Bourne in September 2012 amongst 250 organisations with at least 250 employees. The study included organisations from private and public sectors. Vanson Bourne is a specialist research-led consultancy carrying out user research within a technology context. Vanson Bourne's clients range from start-ups to well-known companies that need expert guidance, delivering robust and credible research-based analysis. Detailed information and the full survey report can be found here.

About Rackspace

Rackspace® Hosting (NYSE: RAX) is the open cloud company, delivering open technologies and powering more than 190,000 customers worldwide. Rackspace provides its renowned Fanatical Support® across a broad portfolio of IT products, including Public Cloud, Private Cloud, Hybrid Hosting and Dedicated Hosting. The company offers choice, flexibility and freedom from vendor lock in. Rackspace has been recognised by Bloomberg BusinessWeek as a Top 100 Performing Technology Company and is featured on Sunday Times list of 100 Best Companies to Work For. Rackspace was positioned in the Leaders Quadrant by Gartner Inc. in the “2011 Magic Quadrant for Managed Hosting.”

Rackspace Limited, the UK subsidiary of Rackspace Hosting®, is headquartered in San Antonio with offices and data centers around the world. For more information, visit rackspace.co.uk.

Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. If such risks or uncertainties materialize or such assumptions prove incorrect, the results of Rackspace Hosting could differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and assumptions. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including any statements about historical results or third party data that may suggest trends for our business or industry; any statements of the plans, strategies, and objectives of Rackspace for future operations or growth; any statements of expectation or belief regarding future events, and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the items mentioned. Risks, uncertainties and assumptions include the possibility that expected growth or success may not materialize because of the lack of acceptance of cloud computing in the marketplace or specifically, Rackspace’s cloud computing services, Rackspace's failure to execute on its operational plans, rapid technological changes that adversely affect the demand for Rackspace services, and other risks that are described in Rackspace Hosting's Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2012, filed with the SEC on August 9, 2012. Except as required by law, Rackspace Hosting assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements publicly, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.

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