Debenhams, Next, Marks & Spencer and John Lewis have been named among the top 20 organisations for customer satisfaction, new research has found.
The Institute for Customer Service has revealed that the retail (non-food) sector is experiencing its lowest customer satisfaction in eight years. The twice-yearly UK Customer Satisfaction Index July 2019 found that the sector suffered its biggest year-on-year drop in customer satisfaction since January 2015.
Despite this, there was an in customer satisfaction fashion retailers overall. Debenhams, M&S, Matalan, TK Maxx and New Look all showed year-on-year increases.
The research shows a close grouping of fashion retailers at the top of the customer satisfaction rankings, led by Debenhams with a score of 86.7 (out of 100 points). Retailers who have consistently sat in the top 10 were close on the department store’s heels with John Lewis (85.3), Next (85.1) and Amazon.co.uk (84.4) following.
1 First Direct
4 John Lewis
13= Pets at Home
13= Premier Inn
16 P&O Cruises
17= Home Bargains
17= Skoda UK
Meanwhile, customers noted that product availability, website navigation and service range were the areas most in need of improvement across the retail sector.
More than 25 different customer measures were surveyed as part of the UKCSI, including staff professionalism, quality of service, transparency, customer experience, complaint handling and ethics.
Joanna Causon, CEO of The Institute of Customer Service, said: “This is a crucial time for the retail sector, and the overall drop in customer satisfaction in a sector that consistently out-performs others is a concern. Despite this, retailers like Next, Amazon and John Lewis appear in the overall top 10 time after time, and this consistency is mirrored in a long term healthy financial performance. Debenhams’ ascension, perhaps from a range of new customer-facing initiatives is eye-catching, but only time will tell if this can be sustained in coming years in order to translate into sales and repeat custom.
“John Lewis, a consistent top 10 retailer and fourth in the overall rankings, has been experimenting with its shopping experience, building in catwalk events to showcase the Somerset by Alice Temperley collection instore, providing a beauty loyalty scheme as well as other in-store options such as hair salons and upscaling its dining offer.”