Institute chief executive Jo Causon discusses the UK Customer Satisfaction Index results for the Retail (food) sector.

The index is based on the responses of 26,000 UK adults to a survey about their customer service experiences.

The results show an increase in what is traditionally (and perhaps unsurprisingly) a strong sector. Waitrose and Marks and Spencer are the two top performers, with Iceland in third place.

Jo discusses where Iceland performed well. Price is an obvious area, but they also demonstrated customer service excellence in problem solving.

Buy the Retail (food) sector results. The results list all scoring organisations within the sector, drill into which survey areas they performed well in and provide additional complaints data.


The Institute of Customer Service undertakes, twice a year, the UK Customer Satisfaction Index and we've been undertaking this for three years. What is interesting is that during that time, customer service is improving and the most recent results are showing an overall score of 77 out of 100.

However, the top performing sector is Retail (food), and that has an average score of over 80 out of 100. What’s also pleasing to see is that there are some interesting brand names there at the top of the tree: Waitrose for example had an overall score of 89 out of 100, close to them are also Marks & Spencers but also up there is Iceland.

So what we're seeing in this very competitive sector is a real thirst and a real understanding of the need to focus on the customer in order to drive results, particularly the areas of professionalism. How easy am I to do business with? How well do I handle complaints? And do I feel treated fairly and individually as a customer?

What we're seeing from these results from the survey is that generally consumers in this particular sector are feeling that they are actually getting their problems resolved and more importantly that they are treated as individuals. Long may it continue. It is a very important sector and obviously very important in terms of the overall satisfaction of customer service to UK PLC.

Now the Institute of Customer Service is able to help organisations by focusing them on ‘What does good customer service look like?’ It helps individuals improve their skills and their capabilities and it also lobbies and positions customer service as a very important industry for the UK. 77% of GDP is service related. It is really important that we ensure that we deliver the best possible service that we possibly can.

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