14th Sep 2016
Customer satisfaction in the food retail sector has increased, the latest UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI) from the Institute of Customer Service shows.
The Index, which measures customer satisfaction across 13 sectors of the economy, gives the UK's food retailers an overall customer satisfaction rating of 81 out of 100 – an increase of 1.3 points since July 2015.
The data shows that five food retailers have improved since January 2015, with only two demonstrating a fall in customer satisfaction. Waitrose tops the tables as the industry’s highest scorer, with Morrisons as the most improved. Alongside the latter, value brands such as Co-op Food and Lidl have seen the biggest growth in customer satisfaction since July 2015.
The results also reveal a clear link between organisations getting customer experiences right first time and achieving high scores for satisfaction. The sector achieved one of the highest proportions of such interactions, with 82% of customers satisfied with their initial exchange with a retailer.
Compared to many other sectors, there is a relatively narrow gap, of just 5.8 points, between the highest and lowest scoring organisations. The biggest gaps regard complaint handling, trust, reputation and a number of online measures, including availability of support and on-time delivery.
In many sectors, there has been an increase in the score for customer effort – in other words, customers felt they had to expend more effort in dealing with organisations than they did a year ago. In the food retail sector, 17% of people say that it has taken them more than two complaints to get a problem fixed.
The extra staff time spent on repeat customer contact to resolve issues is arguably time which could be better spent, with businesses set to save money on staff hours if a focus is placed on getting it right first time.