The Institute said: ‘Aldi and Waitrose have topped the UKCSI in previous years, but have lost ground in a highly competitive marketplace which is set to see further change with the proposed impending Sainsbury’s and Asda merger.’
The UK’s four biggest supermarket chains make up the bottom end of the top 10, with the UKCSI revealing that Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Tesco are losing out in areas including trust, transparency and reputation.
Iceland has climbed 37 places in the rankings since this time last year. Its customers have high trust in the brand, scoring it 8.4 (out of 10) compared with the ‘big four’ received scores of 7.8 or 7.9. Waitrose and Iceland lead the way for ‘caring for customers’ with a score of 8.3, while Asda and Tesco score 7.8.
The report noted that Iceland has made several moves to tap into the public consciousness with initiatives including the introduction of vegan ice cream and an affordable luxury range featuring lobster, wagyu beef and venison. It was also the first supermarket to pledge to eliminate plastic packaging from all of its own-brand products, by the end of 2023. And last month it announced it was expanding its vegan range, after sales of vegan products outsold non-vegan equivalents.
The Institute of Customer Service chief executive Jo Causon commented: “Maintaining consistency will be key to building trust and sustainable success for Iceland and other brands in the sector. In a highly competitive sector, organisations need to maintain a constant focus on understanding their customers’ needs, high standards of employee helpfulness and competence, quality and range of products and competitive pricing. At a time of dynamic change and intense competition, it is worth remembering that over the last three years the supermarkets that have outperformed the sector average for customer satisfaction have achieved the strongest revenue growth.”
The top 10 supermarkets in the July 2018 UKCSI are:
4. M&S (food)
10. Co-op (food)
The UKCSI rates customer satisfaction across 13 sectors, incorporating the views of 10,000 consumers. More than 30 different considerations – such as staff professionalism, quality and efficiency, and complaint handling – are factored into the results. It is published twice a year, in January and July. To find out more, and to download the full UKCSI report, visit: www.instituteofcustomerservice.com/ukcsi