Retail industry creates happy customers

9th Sep 2016

Customers are more satisfied with the retail (non-food) sector than with any other, 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 retail industry an overall customer satisfaction rating of 82.1 out of 100, which places it 4.7 points above average.

Nine organisations within the sector have improved since the UKCSI was last issued in January, with only four demonstrating a fall in customer satisfaction. Amazon tops the tables as the industry’s highest scorer, with Homebase deemed the most improved.

The report shows that, when compared to the national average, the highest-scoring measures are those for online experiences, pricing and complaint handling, the latter of which received a score that was 10% above the UK average. 

The results also found a clear link between organisations getting customer experiences right first time and achieving high scores for satisfaction. The retail sector achieved the highest proportion of such interactions, with 83% of customers satisfied with their initial exchange with a retailer.

However, as with all sectors, the UKCSI does highlight areas for improvement. Though the sector’s ‘customer effort’ score (which reflects the energy customers feel they need to expend in order to reach the outcome they want) remains one of the lowest of any sector, this has risen by 0.4 points within the last year. 

The extra staff time spend on repeat customer contact to resolve issues is arguably time that could be better spent, with businesses set to save money on staff hours if a focus is placed on making life simpler for the customer.

Across all sectors, the research reveals that many people don’t make the effort to complain to organisations if they do have a problem. Within the last six months, nearly a quarter of people who experienced an issue did not report it. ‘Not thinking their complaint would make a difference’ was by far the most common reason for not reporting, and was cited by more than 50% of customers.

Click here to download our executive summary.

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