Amazon retains top spot for satisfied customers

Amazon has secured the top spot in the UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI), published yesterday (Wednesday July 12) by The Institute of Customer Service.

The ecommerce giant leads the top 10 for the fourth consecutive time and is followed by high performers from the retail, tourism and banking sectors. UKCSI is a biennial report and the July 2017 UKCSI results are based on 43,500 survey responses. The Index rates customer satisfaction at a national, sector and organisational level across over 250 organisations and 13 sectors, incorporating the views of 10,000 consumers.

Thirty different considerations, including staff professionalism, quality and efficiency, and complaint handling, are factored into the results.
The top dozen organisations, in July 2017, are:

1. Amazon.co.uk

2. First direct

3. John Lewis

4. Jet2holidays.com

5= Subway

5= Next

7= Aldi

7= Greggs

9= Nationwide

9= M&S (bank)

9= The Trainline.com

9= Superdrug

 The report reveals that, despite price uncertainty in the wake of the Brexit vote, there is a growing trend for customers to place more emphasis on service over price.

More than 1 in 4 (28%) of respondents favour excellent service – even if it means paying more – compared with just 15% who ‘always want the cheapest deal’. The Institute of Customer Service chief executive Jo Causon said: “Many organisations have woken up to the need to respond to more savvy, confident customers, who are clear about what they want and what they will pay for.

“However, in many cases, relationships are too transactional, and organisations are failing to create the sort of relationship that leads to loyalty, advocacy and sustained business growth.

“Business leaders need to reflect on the fact that customer priorities are changing. Failure to do so increases the risk that organisations will sleepwalk into a situation where the investment they make in customer service, no longer delivers the sort of return that’s necessary for long-term business success.”

Key findings from the report include:

Generation gap: customers aged 18-24 recorded a bigger increase in satisfaction than any other age group. Those over 65 are the most satisfied.

Top sector: The retail (food and non-food) sectors are the top overall for customer satisfaction, whilst banking is among the most improved. Eight of the top ten organisations are from these industries, including Amazon (at number one), John Lewis, Next, Aldi, Nationwide and M&S Bank.

Biggest improvement: but the biggest improvement comes from an organisation in the transport sector: London Midland scored 80.3 (out of 100): a rise of 9.1 points since July 2016.

Supermarket sweep: Aldi is now the highest performing supermarket for customer satisfaction, overtaking Marks & Spencer and Waitrose, whilst also making the largest gains in sales and market share.

The three supermarkets with the lowest customer service levels – Tesco, Asda and Co-op Food – all saw small drops in market share. The report concludes that customer satisfaction scores a total of 78.2 (out of 100) overall. This represents a rise of 0.8 points above the July 2016 total and is the highest score ever achieved by organisations in the UKCSI.

Jo said: “The findings from this report paint a clear picture for UK plc: place the customer at the centre of business strategy, or risk losing out to those who do.

“For customer satisfaction to continue on this upward trajectory, organisations need to focus on: the way they deliver a quality customer experience, the way they tailor what they do to individual customer preferences, and the way they analyse problems to eliminate them at source.

“At this pivotal moment, now is the time for organisations to be brave and drive the customer experience agenda harder – and in a more sustained manner – to ensure long-term survival.” To find out more, and to download the full UKCSI report, visit: www.instituteofcustomerservice.com/ukcsi.

The Institute of Customer Service is a body of more than 500 organisational members (from the private, public and third sectors) and over 3,000 individual memberships. For more information go to www.instituteofcustomerservice.com

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