In a series of bite size articles, this being the first, we’re going to explore the findings from the latest UK Customer Satisfaction Index results from the Institute of Customer Services.
This first piece covers the high level results, sector performance, key differentiators and loyalty. The following articles look at the impact of problems and complaints and the final part looks at channel preference and usage by customers.
To down load the full report with an executive summary click here
UK CSI Highlights
The overall index is back to its highest point ever, in the UKCSI’s 8 year history, last seen in 2013 at 78.2, up 0.8 year on year (from 77.4) amidst the turbulent back drop of a recent election and the continued Brexit discussions.
Improvements in satisfaction with complaint handing seem to be the significant driver of moving the overall index. However the number of customers indicating problems with organisation is on the increase which suggests a lack of root cause elimination of the causes of customer problems. Something we’ll discuss in more detail in the next post.
Average NPS is slightly up by 1.3 to 17 compared to this time last year but down by a massive 5.2 points from 22.2 in 2013. The average level of trust is unchanged year on year (at 7.7 out of 10) but customer effort has increased (+0.2 to 4.9), meaning customers are finding it more difficult to deal with organisations to get what they need.
6 sectors have increased by more than one point, and interestingly these include public services and utilities.
Of the 245 organisations in the CSI, 63 increased their score by over two point whilst 29 organisations fell by the same amount.
Of the 20 most improved organisations, 8 are utilities (6 water companies and 2 energy) and 5 are train operating companies driven in part by the desire from the regulator for better customer experiences.
The top 50
The usual suspects lead the league table; Amazon take top spot with 87, followed by first direct on 85.8 and John Lewis on 85.4.
Jet 2 Holidays are in the CSI for the first time and have come straight in at 4th place with a score of 84.8.
The only other new entrant in the top 50 is Pets at Home, in at joint 15th with Wilko and Premier Inn who all score 83.4
The largest year on year increase in satisfaction at 6 points is M&S (financial services), with the largest decrease seen by Iceland at 1.9, dropping their position from 16th last year to joint 47th this year.
So what’s different about the top 50 from the rest?
Apart from year on year consistency overall, complaints handling, phone experiences and getting things right first time are the key differentiators.
The graphic shows the 3 key differentiators broken down into their respective components and the difference in scores across each. Cleary the top 50 organisations are capable of delivering higher and more consistent performance in these areas.
So is loyalty dead?
This is a discussion and debate that’s been around for a while now along with the ‘is it worth wowing customers versus delivering brilliant basics?’
Certainly in respect to the loyalty question the answer is no. However customers are much more discerning and demanding with where they choose to place their loyalty (trust and confidence) than ever before.
From the numbers perspective the impact on the difference in loyalty, trust, recommendation and reputation are quite marked between customers who score 8 out of 10, to those who score a 9 or 10 out of 10. That 1 point of difference in score could mean a significant amount in repeat business (or lack of) to an organisation. If you think of all those moments of truth (or interactions) that a customer experiences, there are a lot of opportunities to make a difference and organisations need to both understand and capitalise on them if they’re going to continue to succeed. The graphic shows the difference in percentage terms that 1 point can make.
The July results report finishes with 6 areas of focus that have implications but are also areas of opportunities for organisations that should in an ideal world, already be on the radar;
1. Quality of customer experience design
2. Eliminating problems
3. Engaged, competent people still make the difference
4. Positioning service in a context of rising prices
5. Segmenting by customer preference
So that’s a roundup of the high level numbers. The next part will focus on problems and complaints results and trends and the real elephant in the room that’s still not being tackled.