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UKCSI

First Direct tops latest UK Customer Satisfaction Index

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Banking provider First Direct has topped the UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI), with a customer satisfaction score of 86.7 (out of 100).

The UKCSI, published today by The Institute of Customer Service, is produced twice a year and rates customer satisfaction at a national, sector and organisational level across 13 sectors – incorporating the views of 10,000 consumers on 247 brands.

Retailer, John Lewis, and M&S Bank follow immediately behind first direct with scores of 86.5 and 86.3 respectively. High street brand, Next, ranks fourth.

Next recently reported overall sales growth of 1.5% for the last two months of 2018, against a backdrop of ever-growing challenging conditions on the high street. Online giant, Amazon, which became the world’s most valuable listed company last month, takes fifth position.

The Index reveals M&S Bank is the top performing brand in the UKCSI’s ‘emotional connection’ dimension, which measures the extent to which an organisation engenders feelings of trust and reassurance in customers. Three banks and building societies make up the top 10 in a year where providers have been compelled to publish their customer ratings by the Competition and Markets Authority.

The Institute’s research shows a brand achieving high ratings for customer experience (such as ease of doing business with, getting things right first time) and on measures like emotional connection, customer ethos and ethics can engender higher levels of satisfaction, particularly when paired with a customer-centric approach.

The top 10 rated organisations in January 2019 are:

1. first direct

2. John Lewis

3. M&S (Bank)

4. Next

= 5. Amazon.co.uk

= 5. Nationwide Building Society

7. Netflix

8. Argos

9. Nationwide Insurance

10. LV=

The upper part of the index is dominated by retail brands, making up almost half of the top 10 and top 20. John Lewis outperformed other historically bricks and mortar retailers as the leading non-food retail brand. Iceland is the supermarket consumers are most satisfied with for the second time in a row with a score of 83.2, followed closely by Aldi.

Retail food and retail non-food are the highest scoring sectors in this latest iteration of the UKCSI, followed by banks and building societies. Insurance is the only sector to have risen by more than one point, helped by top 10 rankings for Nationwide Insurance at number nine and LV= at 10. Overall, the UKCSI puts customer satisfaction at its lowest since July 2016 – the third consecutive half-year drop.

Twenty-five customer measures are surveyed as part of the UKCSI, including staff professionalism, the quality and efficiency of the service, trust and transparency, the actual customer experience, complaint handling and ethical dimensions. To reflect evolving customer priorities, an additional set of measures reflecting consumer emotional and relationship needs were introduced in this latest iteration of the UKSCI. These include whether consumers feel organisations keep their promises, do ‘the right thing’ in business practices and make them feel reassured.

In the food retail sector, Co-op Food is the most improved supermarket, in line with a 7% sales growth and market share increase of 0.2%. Companies whose customer satisfaction was at least one point higher than the sector average earned average sales growth of 6.9%, compared to 1.5% for those with lower than average satisfaction; showing a clear ROI on exceptional customer service.

Jo Causon, CEO of The Institute of Customer Service, said: “In today’s complex world, it is vital organisations get the basics rights first: efficiency of service, complaint handling and the actual customer experience. On top of this, consumers are placing growing importance on trust, transparency, emotional connection and ethical behaviour. Our research shows there’s a compelling argument for meeting both these types of customer priorities for a profitable business return.”

Amazon still top of UK customer satisfaction index

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Amazon is still number one in the UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI), published by The Institute of Customer Service.

With a customer satisfaction score of 86.7 points (out of 100) this is the sixth consecutive time consumers have rated Amazon number one.

Eight non-food retailers make up this year’s top 20, and the retail sector performed better than any other boasting an average score of 82.2, against a backdrop of challenges that continue apace for High Street brands.

The food retail sector performed best after non-food retail with an average score of 81.2. Iceland took the top spot for the first time, whilst also claiming the title of most improved supermarket, having climbed 26 places in the rankings in just six months.

Four financial institutions made the top 10 organisations, with Yorkshire Bank scoring highest, followed by First Direct and Nationwide. The banking sector overall performed better than ever before, reaching a score of 80.4 and exceeding the UK all sector average score of 77.9.

The Institute warns that “survival of the fittest will be driven by how well customers are served”. After a steady increase in the first five years of the last decade, the latest UKCSI shows levels of UK customer satisfaction across all brands peaked in 2012/13 and have largely plateaued since.

The UKCSI is the national measure of UK customer satisfaction. It rates customer satisfaction at a national, sector and organisational level across 13 sectors – incorporating the views of 10,000 consumers. More than 30 different customer measures are surveyed – such as staff professionalism, the quality and efficiency of the service, trust and transparency scores, the actual customer experience and complaint handling – are factored into the results. It is published twice a year, in January and July.

Jo Causon, CEO of The Institute for Customer Service said: “The stagnation in customer service levels should be of concern for the UK economy. This comes at a time when, just nine months from Brexit, we need more than ever before to show that Britain is a great place to do business with and in.

“Alongside tangible financial measures, trust, reputation and recommendation are crucial benefits of a deliberate and consistent focus on achieving high levels of customer satisfaction. The UKCSI shows that customers who give the highest ratings for customer satisfaction – express strong levels of loyalty, which brands will need in difficult and unpredictable market conditions.”

This UKCSI’s top organisations are rated favourably for measures of customer effort, trust, ease of contact, employee helpfulness and competence, speed of response, getting things right first time and complaint handling.

The top 50 rated organisations in July 2018’s UKCSI are:

1. Amazon.co.uk

2. John Lewis Retail

3. = Next Retail, Yorkshire Bank

5. = first direct, Nationwide Building Society

7. Tesco Mobile

8. = M&S Bank, Wilko Retail

10. Iceland

11. Netflix

12. Specsavers

13. Pets at Home

14. = Greggs, Superdrug

16. = Argos, Trivago, Waitrose Retail

19. Nationwide Insurance

20. = Green Flag Services, Jet2holidays.com

22. Aviva

23. = Aldi, M&S (food)

25. = Jet2. LV=

27. Halfords autocentre

28. = eBay, Premier Inn

30. SAGA Insurance

31. Santander

32. M&S

33. = Holland & Barrett, Honda, Kia

36. Caffe Nero

37. = Brittany Ferries, Jaguar

39. = Apple, booking.com, Co-op Insurance, Mini, TSB

44. = giffgaff, More Than, Primark

47. Halifax

48. = Lidl, Subway, Toby Carvery

Industry Spotlight: Customer satisfaction in telecoms industry ‘on the up’, despite remaining the lowest ranked sector…

800 450 Jack Wynn

Continuing the ‘ongoing upward trend’ in satisfaction since 2011, overall customer satisfaction in the telecoms sector has reportedly increased in the last 12 months, according to the UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI) published by The Institute of Customer Service.

The UKCSI, which analyses customer satisfaction levels across 13 ‘key’ industries, has given the UK telecoms sector a customer satisfaction rating of 72.9 out of 100; 1.2 points higher than its recorded score in the same report the previous year – however still remains the lowest ranked sector.

The Index provides fundamental insights into key metrics – such as complaints, trust and changing channel use — and this year, the sector has experienced improvements in measures including the speed of service for face-to-face contact with customers; as well as the ease in getting through to companies on the phone. Nonetheless, telecom continues to generate the highest number of complaints, with 20 per cent of customers having experienced an issue.

Although this has dropped by 2.6 per cent over the past year, the figure is still much higher than the UK average of 12.5 per cent.

Analysts found a total of eight organisations within the sector have made significant improvements, with only one demonstrating a fall in customer satisfaction. Giffgaff tops the tables as the highest scorer in the industry, with Tesco Mobile considered as the most improved.

CEO of The Institute of Customer Service, Jo Causon, said: “’Getting it right first time’ has to be a prerequisite for any organisation. Customers expect to be dealt with quickly and competently – as soon as they start to feel let down or ignored, their trust is lost. It’s encouraging to see the telecoms sector is making progress, but prevention is always better than cure, so the industry should take note of the areas which need to be focused on. Efficiency, effectiveness and empathy are key, and organisations should always follow up with customers to ensure that the problem is resolved.”

The Index concluded its results on the basis of 10,000 consumer responses, and found that in many sectors, there has been an increase in the score for ‘customer effort’ – meaning customers had to invest more time in dealing with organisations than they did a year ago.

 

Download the UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI) here