Retail (non-food) remains the highest-rated sector for customer satisfaction

9th Apr 2020

The retail (non-food) sector was the highest-rated sector overall for customer satisfaction in the January 2020 UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI), published by The Institute of Customer Service.

The sector’s score of 80.3 out of 100 was 1.3 points lower than in January 2019 and its lowest score since January 2011. Despite this, it is ranked 3.4 points higher than the UK all-sector average and, out of 13 sectors, continues to be the highest-performing.

Compared with January 2019, the retail (non-food) sector has seen more experiences right first time, at 85.9%, 2.1 percentage points higher than last year and 5.3 percentage points higher than the UK average. This is the third-highest level of any sector, only outranked by the leisure and retail (food) sectors, which scored 86.9% and 86% respectively.

This is especially good news for the retail (non-food) sector as overall customer satisfaction in this sector when an experience is right first time is 82.9 points, compared with 64.1 points when it is not.

However, 12.2% of customers experienced a problem with an organisation – the second-highest level of problems ever recorded for the sector. The main problems cited by customers are quality or reliability of goods, suitability of goods and late delivery or slow service.

The three highest-ranked organisations in the sector are John Lewis (85.6 points – the top-rated organisation in this sector and across the UKCSI as a whole), Next (85.1) and (84.1). However, each of these companies received a lower score than in the January 2019 UKCSI.

The most improved organisations in the sector are Sports Direct (whose ranking increased by 8.2 points), Matalan (by 6.8 points) and Ikea (by 5.1 points). Both Ikea and Sports Direct received their highest ever UKCSI scores: Ikea with 83.8 points and Sports Direct with 81.9.

Of the 25 organisations ranked, nine were ranked higher than January 2019, one the same and 14 lower. featured in the UKCSI for the first time since January 2017, with a score of 81.1, 0.8 points above the sector average.

The leading issues that customers believe organisations in the retail (non-food) sector need to improve are: product availability, website navigation and product or service range.

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