Retail (food) sector sees small drop in UKCSI customer satisfaction

7th Apr 2020

The retail (food) sector has scored 79.9 out of 100 in the January 2020 UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI), published by The Institute of Customer Service.

The score is 3 points higher than the UKCSI average, but 0.7 points lower than in January 2019 and the sector’s lowest score since July 2015.

The retail (food) sector is now the third-highest rated of the 13 UKCSI sectors.

There has been little change in the individual measures of customer satisfaction compared with January 2019, but there has been a drop in each of the complaint handling measures. The outcome of the complaint has dropped by 0.6 points (out of 10) and staff attitude in the context of a complaint by 0.4 points.

Average satisfaction with the handling of complaints is lower than a year ago, but the sector continues to perform better in complaint handling than any other sector bar tourism.

There has been an increase in the number of problems concerning the availability of goods and services. Of the 11.7% of customers who reported experiencing a problem with an organisation in the previous three months (down one percentage point compared to January 2019), nearly one in three (31.9%) cited availability of goods as the cause, up a significant 9.8 percentage points compared to the same time last year. By comparison, in the retail (non-food) sector, this was cited by just 18.1% of customers.

The number of experiences reported as right first time has increased by 2.1 percentage points to 86% – a higher rate than all sectors except leisure.

The results suggest that an experience being right first time impacts average satisfaction. The average satisfaction of customers whose experience was right first time was 82 points, compared with 66.7 points when an experience was not right first time.

Of the 11 organisations to receive a score in the January 2020 UKCSI, Aldi is rated the highest at 82.3 points – the same as in January 2019. Aldi is the only organisation from the sector that features in the top 20 overall UKCSI.

After Aldi, Ocado (82.1 points) and M&S Food (81.6 points) are the other two highest-performing organisations in the retail (food) sector.

Six organisations saw a fall of at least one point compared to January 2019, while none have improved by a point or more.

The three leading issues that customers believe require improvement are product availability, product or service range and website navigation.

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