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Tesco Most Improved Supermarket In Customer Satisfaction Survey

| International retailers

Tesco is the most improved UK supermarket in terms customer satisfaction, whilst Amazon leads the way overall.

After a year of improved trading figures, the UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI) published by The Institute of Customer Service, reveals that during that time, Tesco has also recorded the sector’s largest year-on-year increase in customer satisfaction, up 1.2 points to 80.1 (on a 100 point Index). Tesco’s biggest areas of improvement were for measures of complaint handling and the proportion of customers who reported staff got things ‘right first time’ (85%).

Asked whether they trust the retailer, consumers scored 7.7 (out of 10) this year – up from 7.5 in January 2016. The data suggests that this improvement is because customers have been impressed with the attitude demonstrated by Tesco’s staff (scoring 6.6 compared to 5.8 out of ten last year). The result is that customers score 8.5 out of ten when asked if they are likely to repurchase from the retailer.

Meanwhile, Morrisons’ score rose 0.9 points, taking its rating to 81.6, reflecting its improved trading performance this year. However, Sainsbury’s score slipped 0.6 to 80.8, and Asda’s rating fell to 80, down from 81.4 a year ago.

Meanwhile, Amazon (87.3) was number 1 for customer satisfaction a the wider survey covering a host of consumer-facing organisations, closely followed by ASOS on 85.8.

Jo Causon, CEO of The Institute of Customer Service, said: “It has been widely acknowledged that customer trust in Tesco suffered during the 2014 accounting scandal which saw the company lose touch with loyal patrons. This loss in trust saw record losses of £6.4bn during 2014/15 but a renewed focus on service excellence has finally got customers back on side – this can be seen in the 2017 UKCSI, and, as shown by the company’s recently announced full year results, has paid dividends.”

The impact of customer satisfaction on sales growth can be seen across the sector. Retail (food) companies with a UKCSI score of at least one point higher than the sector average achieved average year on year sales growth of 7.2%, compared to –0.2% for those at least one point below the sector average. Iceland, which now ranks 9th out of all organisations in the UKCSI, reported that sales increased 8.3%. Aldi, which ranks in the top 20 this year and was one of the standout success stories from the July 2016 UKCSI reported record sales at the end of last year.

Despite the overall increase in customer satisfaction, there has been an increase in the score for customer effort – in other words, customers said they had to expend more energy dealing with organisations than they did a year ago. For example, 51% of people say that it has taken them more than two attempts to get a problem fixed.

Causon continued: “The importance of the customer cannot be ignored when it comes to business success for UK supermarkets. Traditional supermarkets have felt the pinch this year with the perfect storm of competition from new entrants to the online arena, fluctuations in exchange rates and rising costs in the shape of prices and raw ingredients. With the smallest gap in customer satisfaction between the highest and lowest performing businesses out of any sector, a sustained focus on customer satisfaction will be key for business success in 2017. There is everything to play for and UK supermarkets cannot take their eye of the ball.”

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