National Customer Satisfaction Index-UK

NCSI-UK News First Quarter 2013

National Customer Satisfaction Index (NCSI-UK) Results: Airlines, Mobile Phone Service Providers, Mobile Phone Handsets, ISPs, Fixed-Line Telephone, Subscription Television and Energy Utilities

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LONDON (June 4, 2013) – The National Customer Satisfaction Index (NCSI-UK) releases new results for subscription television, energy suppliers, airlines, internet service providers, fixed-line telephone, mobile phone networks and mobile handsets today. On the national level, the UK’s customer satisfaction benchmark is down 0.3% to 75.2 on a 0-100 scale.

“None of the communications industries score higher than the national average in the UK or the US for that matter,” says Claes Fornell, ACSI founder of and chairman. “High consumer expectations for information services combined with limited competition have resulted in relatively low customer satisfaction.”

Of the industries tracked in the first quarter, only airlines improve customer satisfaction, up 1.4% to an NCSI score of 70. The improvement is the result of gains for smaller airlines and low-cost carriers Flybe and Easyjet. New customer experience benchmarks reveal that airlines receive top marks for punctuality and the lowest scores for seat comfort.

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) enter the NCSI with a customer satisfaction score of 67 – the lowest score of any industry tracked by the index.  Problems across a broad spectrum of customer experience benchmarks – such as service reliability, data transfer speed, and call centre satisfaction – have left customers less than satisfied.

Among the largest ISPs, Sky holds a slim lead (69) over Virgin Media (68), BT (66) and TalkTalk (63), but customers are most satisfied with smaller providers (aggregate score of 71).

Sky also tops the subscription TV industry (68), followed closely by Virgin Media (67). Subscription TV customers give high marks for picture quality, but are less satisfied with websites and call centres.

Customer satisfaction with mobile network service slips from 75 to 74 as nearly every provider experiences a decline in NCSI. Tesco Mobile remains on top (82) despite a 2% decline from a year ago. Virgin Mobile slides further (-3% to 74) than O2 (-1% to 76). EE’s Orange (73) and T-Mobile (72) both decline, as does Vodafone (70). Three remains at the bottom, unchanged at 69.

Customer satisfaction with mobile phone handsets is 78 – among the highest scoring industries in NCSI. Apple leads the category (81) in the UK as well as in the US. Sony (79), Samsung and Nokia (both 78) follow closely behind.  HTC and Blackberry fall short at 73 and 70, respectively.

The customer satisfaction benchmark for fixed-line telephone service score at 69. The aggregate of smaller companies leads the category at 77. Among larger providers, Sky again tops the competition (70) with a slight lead over Virgin (69), followed by BT and TalkTalk (both 67). Call centre satisfaction with fixed-line companies is the lowest among all telecoms services.
Customer satisfaction with energy utilities is down to 68, following price increases and a cold winter. Among the big six companies, EDF improves the most, now tied with SSE at 71. In second place is Scottish Power (70), followed by British Gas and E.ON (both 67), and npower (63).