Retail customer satisfaction sees longest period of decline since records began

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Retail customer satisfaction sees longest period of decline since records began
The UKCSI measures customer service in the UK, with the results from a survey of 10,000 consumers published twice a year.
// Customer satisfaction levels have fallen for the 5th year in a row
// This marks the longest period of decline since The Institute of Customer Service began tracking in 2008
// John Lewis, Next, Amazon, Debenhams, Ikea & Superdrug top retail (non-dood) sector rankings

Customer satisfaction levels across a range of retailers and brands have endured the longest period of decline since records started in 2008, according to a report.

John Lewis topped the overall UK Customer Service Index (UKCSI), compiled by The Institute of Customer Service, with a customer satisfaction score of 85.6 despite its score declining by 0.9 points year-on-year.

Other retailers that made the top 10 of the overall index include Next in third place at 85.1 followed by Amazon in fifth place with 84.1.

Rounding out the top 10 are Debenhams, Ikea and Superdrug, which scored 83.8 points each and came in at seventh placed tied.


READ MORE: Debenhams & Ocado dominate customer service rankings


While Next and Amazon saw their customer satisfaction points decline 0.7 and 1.3 points year-on-year respectively, Debenhams, Ikea and Superdrug improved their scores.

Ikea was the most-improved brand in the whole top 10, with its customer satisfaction score increasing 5.1 points year-on-year.

Superdrug also had significant improvement with a year-on-year increase of 4.8 points.

Debenhams’ customer satisfaction score only improved by 1.5 points year-on-year.

The UKCSI measures customer service in the UK, with the results from a survey of 10,000 consumers published twice a year.

People are asked to give their verdicts on brands they have had dealings with, from a range of more than 250.

Customers are asked about different aspects of brands, including customer ethos, the experience they offer, ethics and complaints handling.

Overall customer service satisfaction level across all brands was at 76.9, the lowest since July 2015.

Satisfaction levels fell for the fifth time in a row – the longest period of decline since the data was first tracked in 2008.

In the retail (non-food) sector, customer service dropped by 1.3 to 80.3, and only 20 per cent of the non-food retailers increased by two points or more.

The overall top 10 UKCSI in January 2020: 

Organisation Sector Jan 2020 score (out of 100) Y-o-Y change
John Lewis Retail (non-food) 85.6 -0.9
first direct Banks & building societies 85.4 -1.3
Next Retail (non-food) 85.1 -0.7
Nationwide Banks & building societies 85.0 -0.4
Amazon Retail (non-food) 84.1 -1.3
Suzuki Automotive 84.1 1.1
Debenhams Retail (non-food) 83.8 1.5
Ikea Retail (non-food) 83.8 5.1
Superdrug Retail (non-food) 83.8 4.8
LV= Insurance 83.3 -0.6

 

“Today’s figures are not cause for celebration,” The Institute of Customer Service chief executive Jo Causon said.

“This is the longest continuous run of declining customer service in the history of our index.

“The index demonstrates that a number of organisations are struggling to meet customer needs in a more complex trading environment.

“Our evidence does show that where organisations ‘buck’ this trend over the longer term there are clear links to overall business performance.’’

She added: “Excellent service is not just a collection of transactional experiences.

“The most effective organisations demonstrate agility, innovation and a consistent and constant realignment with purpose.”

The latest UKCSI also suggested many customers want better service and are willing to pay for it.

Over a quarter (26 per cent) said they were willing to pay more for excellent service, while just 14 per cent said they would prefer the cheapest options, even if it meant sacrificing service.

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