By Sarah Stainthorpe, Client Manager, TLF Research
The UK Customer Satisfaction Index, the national measure of customer satisfaction based on over 39,000 customer responses, stands at 77.0 (out of 100) in January 2016, up 0.8 points compared to July 2015 (76.2) and up one point compared to January 2015 (76.0)
Covering 13 sectors of the economy, the UKCSI is conducted by TLF Research for the Institute of Customer Service. The biggest year on year sector increases are for Utilities (1.9 points), Public Services (National and Local) (1.7) and Insurance (1.6). The scores for Retail (Food), Transport & Telecommunications & Media have increased by at least one point. The other sectors have remained relatively flat with only Banks & Building Societies seeing a slight drop (down 0.4 points)
That’s how to promote the fact that you’re the UK’s most highly regarded companies for customer satisfaction. First, they’re feeding it back to customers to make sure they notice and second they’re making customers feel great with Amazon offering a discount worth up to 20% and Utility Warehouse offering £25 retail vouchers for existing customers taking a second product. Very clearly they’ve used the news as an opportunity to make customers even more satisfied than they were before
T-Mobile has seen the biggest increase – nine points - since January 2015. With the exception of Nationwide (Insurance) and Zurich, the most improved organisations are not drawn from the sectors that have seen the biggest improvements. Ryanair has continued its improving trend, though it remains below the Transport sector average (73.5). The most significant improvements in these organisations’ scores are in customers’ online experience, speed of service generally and especially in writing and measures associated with complaint handling
Customer Satisfaction & Sales Growth Organisations with higher customer satisfaction in the Retail (Food) sector on average achieve better sales growth and market share. Organisations with a UKCSI at least one point higher than the sector average achieved average sales growth of 7.6% compared to a drop in sales of 0.4% for those with a UKCSI less than the sector average. Lidl and Aldi have continued to post the strongest sales results, each exceeding 17% year on year growth for the 12 weeks prior to the 11 October 2015. Iceland, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and The Co-operative Food also achieved positive sales results.
Navigating the multi-channel environment This section examines how customers use different channels, how this varies by sector and type of experience and the implication for channel strategy and customer satisfaction. Whilst customers use a diversity of ways to interact with organisations, “in person” (46.9%), “website” (22.6%) and “over the phone” (20.2%) are the most popular channels. Social media, text and webchat usage is most marked by 18 – 24 year olds, comprising 2.1% of primary interactions with organisations for this age group. Customers tend to be more satisfied when using websites or dealing “in person” with organisations, but there are a number of striking differences by sector. Where customers are checking account information, getting a quote, making an enquiry or purchase multi-channel usage tends to attract relatively high levels of satisfaction. However, where customers have experienced a problem or complaint, multi-channel use may signify dissatisfaction and unresolved issues.
On average, customers are more satisfied when using websites or “in person” as their primary way of interacting with organisations. But there are a number of striking differences by sector: