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Food sector’s fall in customer satisfaction index suggests need for greater understanding of customer requirements

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Businesses in the retail food sector, which was one of the biggest fallers in the latest UK Customer Satisfaction Index from The Institute of Customer Service, need to work smarter to understand and address the needs of their customers, according to consumer insights and analytics specialist Bonamy Finch.

The survey, which also shows that satisfaction levels vary by age, with the 25-34 age group being the least satisfied with the service they receive, highlights the importance of brands doing more to get under the skin of the different types of consumers in their market. “These findings suggest that businesses need to work harder to understand who their consumers are, what motivates them and then how best to address and engage with them,” explained Leigh Morris, Managing Director, Bonamy Finch.

 Morris said that brands would benefit from more regular market segmentation analysis. By identifying distinct groups of people, each of which will respond differently to variations in the marketing mix, this would help brands tailor their products, pricing and communications to specific groups, thereby making the best use of limited marketing resources.

“The Index shows what we all know, that growth is intrinsically linked to giving customers positive brand experiences,” continued Morris. “Brands cannot afford to ignore rising customer expectations. There is demonstrable proof that techniques like segmentation and market tier definition can help support growth, improve levels of customer retention and ensure that brands are communicating appropriately with different customers with different requirements. This, in turn, can help underpin growth and increased profitability by ensuring you are delivering what the customer wants in the manner that they want it.”

Bonamy Finch, which has conducted more than 800 segmentations, advocates a range of additional methodologies that will also help brands to address changing customer requirements. These include Conjoint Analysis, which helps brands understand what combination of features are most influential in the consumer’s decision-making process; Key Driver Analysis which can suggest what brand characteristics drive purchase intention, or Max Diff Analysis, in which respondents choose the most and least important or appealing features of a product.

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