NEWS8 February 2024

UK customer satisfaction slumps

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UK – Customer satisfaction has fallen to its lowest level since 2015, according to research from the Institute of Customer Service.

person selecting an unhappy emoji face on a computer tablet

The January 2024 UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI) is 76.0 (out of 100 ), down 1.7 points compared with the same period a year ago. The index score was 2.4 points below its January 2022 level.

All of the 13 sectors analysed in the UKCSI had lower customer satisfaction than January 2023, according to the report, which benchmarks 287 organisations.

Ocado, first direct and John Lewis ranked top three of the highest-rated organisations in the index.

The report also found that almost a third of customers ( 31.3%) claim to prioritise ‘excellent service’ when purchasing goods or services, even if it costs them more.

When asked why they would be willing to pay more for excellent service, participants cited trust in the company ( 31%) and access to support and advice ( 30%) as the key factors.

Meanwhile, two-fifths ( 41%) of customers who are dissatisfied with a business say they avoid using it again, and only 1.5% say they would spend more with that business going forward, according to the report.

The research also found that over a third ( 35%) of customers report that positive use of technology by an organisation has led them to use it again, while 45% say poor use of technology has made them avoid an organisation.

Jo Causon, chief executive, the Institute of Customer Service, said: “These latest figures are a clear signal to business leaders and board members that customer service is not an optional extra, but a strategic imperative. Customers are demanding better service, especially in times of rising costs and uncertainty. They will not hesitate to switch to organisations that they can trust to deliver on their expectations.

“It also highlights that the gap between businesses getting it right, and those getting it wrong, is widening – and the impact of a strong service strategy on an organisation’s bottom line has never been clearer.”

The UK Customer Satisfaction Index, published twice a year, is based on 59,250 survey responses provided by over 15,000 individual customers, representative of the UK adult population.