26th Feb 2018
Upmarket food retailer Waitrose has clinched the highest score in its sector in the latest UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI). Its average score was 84.2, higher than both the food retail average (81.3) and the all-sector average (78.1).
The latest score is a 0.4 decrease from this time last year, when Waitrose received 84.6. Aldi and M&S hold the next two highest scores – 83.9 and 83.8 respectively. M&S’s score has dropped from 85 this time last year.
Satisfaction with complaints handling and with the final outcome of complaints were strong points for the sector as a whole. An average score of 7 out of 10 for both these aspects of customer service puts the sector higher in this field than the index’s all-sector average.
The sector also had the lowest rate of complaints escalation of any of the sectors.
The latest UKCSI also shows that the food retail sector was one of the most competitive. There is only 6.3 points separating the highest and lowest rated organisations.
Lidl and Sainsbury’s both improved their UKCSI scores by more than one point in the time between January 2017 and 2018.
Customers find that food retailers deliver, on average, a high level of service. This is especially apparent when compared with other areas of the economy, such as transport.
Jo Causon, CEO of The Institute of Customer Service, says that companies must keep striving for high levels of customer satisfaction.
“Our research has shown that companies with higher customer satisfaction can reap an employee productivity gain of as much as 114%,” she says.
“Over an eight-year period, those organisations with higher customer satisfaction in their sector have experienced nearly 10% higher profitability.”