Understanding the customer journey HMRC qualitative research

29 November 2018

The findings of the qualitative research published in Research report 515 will help HMRC to understand the customer journey of small, micro and nano businesses that cannot meet their tax liabilities. The aim is to both understand how and where HMRC can make service improvements to meet the needs of customers, and in the longer term to lead to the transformation of the customer journey.

HMRC is developing a number of Master Customer Journeys that focus on customers’ journeys with the Department during particular life events.

This study found that:

  • participants had very little experience of interacting with HMRC, particularly to resolve a debt. As such, they were unclear on what they needed to do and when and wanted clear guidance on this from HMRC
  • participants found having a debt to HMRC stressful as they were worried about the implications of not paying their tax. This influenced how they responded to the debt, including whether they dealt with it proactively or tried to avoid it. It also influenced how they responded during interactions with HMRC
  • when customers took action to resolve their liability to HMRC they wanted to be able to deal with the issue quickly and efficiently
  • throughout the journey participants wanted to feel that HMRC had taken their personal circumstances into account. This included their business and whether it would be put at risk by any of the actions suggested by HMRC; any additional debts and their health. The extent to which participants felt that HMRC had taken their personal circumstances into account influenced how customers felt towards HMRC