Price wars don’t necessarily lead to great customer service

10th Sep 2015

Reacting to news that some UK retailers have been engaging in price wars in tough trading conditions Jo Causon, CEO of the Institute of Customer Service, says:

"UK supermarkets are trying to improve their market share by going head to head in a price war, but with many retailers looking to claim the value end of the market, the competition will only get tougher. Our research suggests that retailers should be strong and resist the temptation to slash prices, instead concentrating on balancing price with serving their customers better.  The inclusion of customer service as one of Dave Potts' 'six strategic priorities' is an encouraging sign, but the process will not work overnight.


"Supermarkets have seen levels of customer satisfaction drop faster than any other sector in the UK, according to the latest UK Customer Satisfaction Index, with traditionally maligned sectors such as banking rapidly closing the gap. More than any other sector, retail food organisations have shown the clearest link between strong customer satisfaction levels and improved profits, making it critical to turning around fortunes. Improving areas such as complaint handling and staff attitude will be central to the poorer performing supermarkets climbing out of this malaise. If they ignore customer service and focus on the price war, profits will continue to be hit." 




Notes to editors

For further information please contact:

Nathan Field / Michael Creane / Tom Ingoldby (Chameleon PR)

E: [email protected]

T:  020 7680 5500

About The Institute of Customer Service

The Institute of Customer Service is the professional body for customer service delivering tangible benefit to organisations and individuals so that our customers can improve their customers’ experience and their own business performance.  The Institute is a membership body with a community of over 400 organisational members – from the private, public and third sectors – and over 5,000 individual memberships.  For more information about the Institute of Customer Service go to

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