More than just a household name

More than just a household name

28 March 2012

The Met Office is known and trusted by millions of people across the UK. For over 150 years we have pioneered the science that makes today's advanced weather and climate forecasting possible. But to stay at the front, we know we can't rest on our laurels. That's why the findings of a recent Customer Attitude Survey are helping to shape our services.

Overall, more than three quarters of respondents to the Customer Attitude Survey said that they not only trusted the Met Office but also considered it to be the best weather and climate service in the world. The feedback, in general, was incredibly encouraging, acknowledging significant improvements made by the Met Office in recent years.

From the first legendary public weather forecast in The Times newspaper in 1861 to our first ever iPhone app last year, the Met Office has come a long way. Today, almost everyone in the UK uses the Met Office's Public Weather Service to help make informed decisions about their daily activities - from planning a weekend away, to knowing when to hang the washing out.

But world-class weather broadcasts aside, the Met Office does so much more to help a huge range of sectors function safely and efficiently - from UK and overseas governments to airlines and energy companies.

To provide the best services to these sectors, we are making a real effort to understand their needs and each year we conduct a Customer Attitude Survey. This year's survey asked commercial and government business customers across every sector what was important to them and what they thought of the current service.

Overall, more than three quarters of respondents said they not only trusted the Met Office but also considered it to be the best weather and climate service in the world. The feedback, in general, was incredibly encouraging, acknowledging significant improvements made by the Met Office in recent years.

However, the research also uncovered some key areas for development. Specifically, these were based around being more proactive, communicating the capabilities we can offer more effectively and improving how problems are resolved when they arise. Tackling these three areas head on, the Met Office has resolved to:

 - continue to unearth what our customers want, and adapt our services accordingly.

 - work to emphasise the breadth of our services so organisations have a clear idea of what's available to them.

 - make sure problems are satisfactorily resolved and improve follow-up contact.

Developments are already underway to help our customers - in business and government - succeed and achieve their goals.

Developments are already underway to help our customers - in business and government - succeed and achieve their goals.

Constantly evolving

While the survey has prompted the Met Office to act in certain areas, we are constantly looking for ways to sharpen our offering. The recent move to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), for example, has helped the Met Office reinforce the links between science, services and business. By understanding the direct impact weather and climate have on the economy, the Met Office is perfectly placed to support BIS' long-term objective to drive UK growth.

Many of the improvements at the Met Office go on quietly behind the scenes. At the moment, for instance, we are helping the National Health Service manage workloads by providing information on how the weather affects hospital admissions. We also work closely with government departments, and UK public sector bodies to help them improve the effectiveness of their services. And for defence, our work is vital to help military operations succeed around the world. Climate research too is becoming an increasingly important business sector for the Met Office.

Even though the Met Office is consistently one of the top two operational weather forecasting services in the world, we understand there's no room for complacency. And that's precisely why we're always striving to build on the strengths and successes of our world-class reputation.

Share this page

In brief

Videos