Customers’ satisfaction with retailers improved for the first time after three quarters of small declines, according to the National Customer Satisfaction Index.
The latest National Customer Satisfaction Index (NCSI) study measures customer satisfaction with department stores, supermarkets, electrical retailers, petrol stations, and E-commerce. The biggest increase in the past year was seen in department stores, which gained 2.6% to a customer satisfaction score of 78. John Lewis widened its lead, improving by 4%to 83. Marks & Spencer gained 1% to 77, followed closely by House of Fraser, up 4%to 76. Debenhams was unchanged at 74.
Electrical retailers came second in customer satisfaction improvement, up 1.4% to 75. Argos gained 3% to 75, Comet was up 1% to 74, and Currys brought itself up closer to its competitors with a 4% surge to 72.
E-commerce, the leader in retail in customer satisfaction according to these figures, increased slightly, up 1% to 83. Play.com and Amazon UK lead, up 1% to 88 and 2% to 87 respectively, the two highest scoring companies in any industry of the NCSI.
Supermarkets were the only category to see their customer satisfaction score fall. Supermarkets now rank as the lowest scoring retail industry for both service quality and price. Customer complaints are the highest at 13%.
However, customer satisfaction with Waitrose surged by 4% to 85, the highest score for any retailer outside of the e-commerce category. Asda gained 4% to 79, while Tesco dipped by 1% to 72. Tesco’s decline coupled with Asda’s big gain means that the customer satisfaction gap between the two has doubled from a year ago. Morrisons is up 1% to 77 and Sainsbury’s is unchanged at 73. The aggregate of smaller supermarkets fell 5% to 70, contributing most to the drop in satisfaction for the industry as a whole.