5 takeaways from July’s UK Customer Satisfaction Index

22nd Jul 2016

On average, customers are happier with service than they were a year ago, but there is room for improvement in certain sectors, the Institute of Customer Service’s latest biannual UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI) shows. 

The report, which is the national measure of UK customer satisfaction, rates customer satisfaction at a national and organisational level across 13 sectors. The Index has run every six months since January 2008 and involves interviews with 10,000 UK consumers. 

This year’s study highlights just how powerful excellent customer service can be in terms of tangible business benefits. Here are five important takeaways for organisations wishing to reap the rewards.  

1. There’s cause for celebration… 

Across all sectors and organisations, customer satisfaction has increased by 1.2 points (out of 100) compared to a year ago – the third consecutive rise in the Index. It also represents the largest year-on-year increase since July 2011.

2. … but not complacency

This year’s data shows a clear correlation between organisations who ‘get it right first time’ when interacting with customers, and their overall UKCSI score. On average, the UKCSI score is 82.7 for those organisations where customers said they had issues resolved immediately, but when this did not happen, the score drops to an average of 59.  

3. Retailers have the edge

Amazon is the organisation with the highest levels of customer satisfaction in the UK, according to the latest UKCSI. Second to the online retailer is Wilko, which rose from 45th place last year, followed by Land Rover, which has climbed 54 places, and food retailers Waitrose and Marks & Spencer Food. Non-food retailers also feature heavily in the top ten list, with Amazon.co.uk and Wilko joined by Apple and John Lewis, which feature in 8th and 9th place respectively. 

4. Don’t bank on customer loyalty

Banks and building societies have slipped down the sector rankings in the last year, dropping from fourth to seventh place. The Index lists just four banks in the top 50 organisations for customer satisfaction. With the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) set to make switching easier, the Institute has warned that banks that fail to improve their customer service may quickly lose customers as a result.

5. Prioritise service over price cuts

The report also shows the importance of focusing on service over pricing. A growing number of customers are prioritising excellent service, even if it means paying more, with 28% willing to pay higher prices for enhanced customer service, four points higher than in 2014.

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