Feedback from nearly 40,000 customer experiences have revealed that customer satisfaction has dropped to its lowest level since 2010, according to the 2015 UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI) released by the Institute of Customer Service.
The report, which features more than 200 organisations across 13 different sectors of the UK economy, shows that department store chain John Lewis and online retailer Amazon topped the league for delivering “high levels” of customer satisfaction. They were joined by other retailers in the top ten including Ocado, Marks and Spencer for food, Waitrose, Argos and Aldi.
However, the customer satisfaction index revealed that overall satisfaction was found to be now lower than at any point since January 2010, with only the utilities and banking sectors have improved during 2014.The survey found that customers feel that ‘speed and responsiveness’, ‘complaints handling’ and ‘staff behaviour’ had deteriorated most in the last two years. Only ‘outcome of the complaint’ and ‘on-time delivery’ measured improvements since January 2013, which is only two of the 28 metrics measured in the UKCSI.
Age, socioeconomic group and region are also having an increasing impact on customer satisfaction, with younger people being less satisfied on average than their older counterparts, and they are more likely to recommend and use social media when they have a complaint. With regards to regional satisfaction, the survey found customers from Wales were the most satisfied, followed by the North of England and Scotland, while people in the South East of England are the least satisfied.
Jo Causon, chief executive of the Institute of Customer Service, said: “Many organisations are struggling to keep pace with a business environment that has undergone rapid change in recent months. Some brands are improving customer satisfaction by operating in an agile and innovative way, but overall it is clear that a new approach is required for this new environment. Businesses need to take a look at the experience they are delivering to customers and identify how it can be improved.
“The UK is shifting from a transactional economy to a relationship economy, customers expect a dialogue with organisations rather than monologue, and they are using a mixture of new and existing channels to engage.”