The results from our twice yearly survey of 26,000 UK adults show that customer satisfaction has increased slightly over the last six months, some budget brands are performing well and that concern with the government's spending cuts varies according to age and gender.

Every six months we survey 26,000 UK adults about their customer service experiences (find out more about the methodology and the questions we ask). The scores are collated to form an index, where organisations are rated on a 100 point scale for the service they provide.

The latest results paint a generally positive picture of customer service. The overall index increased to 76.7, while 54 organisations managed to score 80 or above (a score of 80 represents “world class” service).

Buy the Index results. You can also download an executive summary.

The top organisations for customer service

The top 10 scoring organisations were:

  1. John Lewis (89)
  2. Waitrose (89)
  3. BUPA (88)
  4. Marks & Spencer (food) (87)
  5. Lloyds Pharmacy (86)
  6. Marriott (86)
  7. SAGA Holidays (85)
  8. Enterprise Rent-A-Car (85)
  9. Boots (84)
  10. P&O Cruises (84)

Readers may not be too surprised by the highest scoring organisations; after all, John Lewis and Marks & Spencer are renowned for their customer service and customers pay a premium for this. However, the data reveals some (perhaps surprising) service stars. For example, the third highest scorer in the retail (food) sector (behind Waitrose and Marks & Spencer) is Iceland, while the best corporate scorer in the leisure sector is Subway, beating chains such as Pizza Express and Starbucks.

Value for money

It's interesting that these two budget brands perform so well in the Index. This could represent increasing consumer concern over cost (one area organisations are rated on is price), but both organisations perform well in other areas; for example, Iceland receive a high rating for problem solving. (Buy sectoral results to get a more detailed view of the data).

Iceland supermarket trucks

We've also analysed the balance between service levels and price. Overall, supermarkets do well in this area (again, Iceland is a star performer), while Mazda's performance is particularly notable. Consumers appear to be able to differntiate clearly between low prices and value for money.

Concern over the public spending review

In each survey we add a set of questions that help gauge the public mood over a hot topic. This time we asked respondents how they felt about the government's comprehensive spending review and how it would affect public services.

While the Index reveals that satisfaction with public services has grown over the last six months, we wanted to find out how concerned the UK public is about the future of four different public sector areas:

  • health services
  • policing
  • local authority services
  • education

We asked respondents to rate their concern on a scale of 1-10, with 1 representing not at all concerned and 10 representing very concerned. We found that there appears to be more concern over the effect on health services (which scored 7.5) than over any other area, which perhaps reflects anxiety over the radical nature of the government's proposals.

We also analysed demographic differences in the responses and found that women are more concerned than men and that concern increases with age (although, interestingly enough, concern drops off in respondents aged 65 and above).

Want to find out more about public concern over the government's spending review? Download the executive summary.

Summary

Despite what certain television programme trailers imply, customer satisfaction levels in the UK are high and improving over time. The big service brands continue to provide ‘world class’ service, but some less well known names are also doing an excellent job by balancing price and quality of service.

If you want to find out how the public rates organisations, and a more detailed analysis of the Index data, buy our sectoral presentations.

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