|[March 04, 2014]
UK Customer Satisfaction at All-Time High National Customer Satisfaction Index (NCSI-UK) Results for Supermarkets, Department Stores, Electrical Retailers, E-Commerce, Petrol Stations and Pharmacies
LONDON --(Business Wire)--
UK customer satisfaction reached a new high in the final quarter of
2013, according to a report released today by the National Customer
Satisfaction Index (NCSI-UK). Higher customer satisfaction with retail
pushes the national benchmark up .5% to 75.6 on a 0 - 100 scale. Even
though this is first increase in customer satisfaction over the past
year, the improvement is large enough to propel NCSI to a record level.
The NCSI fourth quarter report covers results for supermarkets,
department stores, electrical retailers, internet retail, petrol
stations and pharmacies. For most retail categories, customer
satisfaction is stronger than it was a year ago. Department stores and
e-commerce register declines, but online retail remains the
highest-rated industry tracked by NCSI.
"Internet retail has improved dramatically over the past few years in
terms of making it easier to find information, to navigate web sites,
comparison shop, order, pay, and to complete purchase transactions,"
says Claes Fornell, American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) Chairman
and founder. "As a result, demand continues to grow, but now the weakest
part of the chain seems to be logistics: shipping the products to their
buyers so that they arrive when promised. There were quite a few mishaps
over the Christmas season that contributed to a worldwide drop in
customer satisfaction for internet retail. If you buy a Christmas gift,
chances are that you're going to be less than pleased if it shows up in
Customer satisfaction with supermarkets is up 1% to 76, the first
increase in three years. Most chains have improved the customer
experience, but competitive promotions have not been quite enough to
create high customer satisfaction or loyalty and grocery remains the
lowest-scoring category in retail.
Waitrose climbs 2% to an NCSI benchmark of 85 - the highest score of any
brick-and-mortar retailers. Smaller supermarkets (including Aldi and
Lidl) are next in the rankings with an aggregate score of 80, up 1%.
Asda also advances 1% to 78, having reduced its dependency on vouchers
to refocus on quality and consistently low prices.
Only two supermarkets show deteriorating customer satisfaction:
Morrisons and the Co-operative. Morrisons is down 3% to 76 and registers
the worst Christmas sales slump of the large supermarket chains.
Sainsbury's inches up 1% to tie Morrisons at 76 - which is Sainsbury's
highest customer satisfaction score to-date. Tesco shows the greatest
improvement, a 4% boost to 74. Though it remains below the industry
average, Tesco is no longer in last place. The Co-operative falls to the
bottom of the category with a 3% downturn to 71.
The Internet is becoming a major batleground for supermarkets as
consumer preferences shift further towards online channels. Online food
sales are rising, but it is particularly challenging for food retailers
to balance delivery logistics with profit margins - all while
maintaining a seamless customer experience. Scores for individual
companies vary widely, but the industry benchmark for supermarket
website satisfaction of 72 is far below any other retail category.
Customer satisfaction with department stores slips 1% to 77 despite
heavy discounting early in the season. Quality trumps price most
markedly for this industry. John Lewis - one of the few retailers to
refrain from discounting before Christmas - is also the only large
department store chain to improve customer satisfaction (up 1% to 84).
House of Fraser and Debenhams both match the industry average at 76, but
Marks & Spencer slumps 4% to 74. This marks the third consecutive year
of declining customer satisfaction for M&S.
Customer satisfaction with electrical retail rebounds to an NCSI score
of 79, boosted by Apple (News - Alert) Stores and the widespread availability of
tablets at other shops. At an NCSI score of 84, Apple maintains a strong
lead, rising 1% from a year ago. Argos is steady at 78 for the third
consecutive year and seems to be successfully bringing its business
online while maintaining its brick-and-mortar presence through "click
and collect" services.
In order to compete with e-commerce giant Amazon, electrical retailers
across the board have enhanced online offerings and overall website
satisfaction (78) is the highest of any retail category.
Customer satisfaction with e-commerce is down 2% to an NCSI score of 81.
With more customers choosing to shop online, internet retailers may have
struggled to maintain high levels of customer service during the 2013
holiday season. Despite the downturn, customers are still far more
satisfied with e-commerce than traditional stores. The UK also does
better than the US in this category: according to the American Customer
Satisfaction Index (ACSI), Internet retail is down to an ACSI score of
Amazon maintains the lead in customer satisfaction despite a small
decline to an NCSI score 85. Apple's iTunes advances by 3% to 82, and
Asos debuts in the NCSI with a score of 81. Customer satisfaction with
Ebay is down 2% to an NCSI benchmark of 79, matching the aggregate score
of all other e-commerce sites, including the websites of traditional
The NCSI includes data on health & beauty retailers for the first time
this year. Pharmacies make a strong entrance with an overall customer
satisfaction score of 78. Customers prefer smaller, local pharmacies
(82) to any of the larger retailers, but there is very little
differentiation among the largest chains. The Co-operative Pharmacy
leads by a narrow margin at 77, but the Co-op Group is exploring options
to divest its pharmacy business, which relies mostly on NHS
prescriptions. Notably, the Co-op Pharmacy scores far better than its
grocery stores (71), which are managed separately. Boots, Superdrug and
Lloyds Pharmacy all follow closely behind at 76.
for all customer satisfaction index scores and customer experience
benchmarks in the full report.
The National Customer Satisfaction Index (NCSI-UK) is a national
economic indicator of customer evaluations of the quality of products
and services available to household consumers in the United Kingdom, and
is produced by the American
Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Results are based on survey data
from more than 6,799 customers collected via online panel during Q4 of
This methodology was developed at the University of Michigan and has
been adopted worldwide as a leading macro- and micro-level indicator by
universities, governments, and countries including the United States,
the United Kingdom, Sweden, Singapore, Korea, Turkey, South Africa,
Mexico, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Kuwait and Barbados.
According to research from the University of Michigan, customer
satisfaction - as measured by the NCSI-UK and ACSI - is directly linked
to stock market performance. Companies with high scores on the ACSI and
NCSI-UK produce higher stock returns than competitors and greatly
outperform market indices.
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