NCSI-UK News Fourth Quarter 2014
National Customer Satisfaction Index Results: Department Stores, Supermarkets, Electrical Retailers, Petrol Stations, Pharmacies and E-Commerce
LONDON (March 25, 2015) – The national level of customer satisfaction remains at an all-time high, according to a report released today by the National Customer Satisfaction Index (NCSI-UK). Higher customer satisfaction with department stores stabilizes the national benchmark at 75.7 on a 0 – 100 scale, offsetting weakening customer satisfaction for petrol stations and electronics stores. E-commerce retailers rebound from a year ago, whilst supermarkets and pharmacies are unchanged.
“Heavy discounting on Black Friday lifted spending in November, so retail sales were expected to fall in December,” says Claes Fornell, . “But with customer satisfaction at an all-time high as the holidays approached, shoppers continued to spend. December sales grew, and quarterly growth hit the fastest rate in more than a decade.”
Customer satisfaction with department stores is up 1% to 78, led by John Lewis with an NCSI score of 84. House of Fraser (+1%) and Marks & Spencer tie at 77, below the industry average, but a 4% gain for Marks & Spencer marks a recovery from a steep drop a year ago. Meanwhile, Debenhams slips 1% to the bottom of the category at 75.
Customer satisfaction with supermarkets is unchanged at 76, as economic recovery continues to elude the sector. Waitrose, however, improves, gaining 1% to an NCSI score of 86. This is both an all-time high for Waitrose and a new record for the category. In second place, the combined score for all other, smaller grocery stores (including ALDI and LIDL) increases 1% to 81. Meanwhile, ASDA falls 1% to 77, to tie with Sainsbury’s. Morrison’s is stable at industry average (76), followed by Tesco (-1% to 73) and The Co-operative Food (unchanged at 71).
Customer satisfaction with electrical retail drops to an NCSI score of 78, the result of declining satisfaction with smaller stores. Most of the largest electronic chains actually improve. Apple continues to lead the category, up 1% to an NCSI score of 85. In a distant second place, Argos gains 3% to 80. At the bottom of the category, Dixon’s improves 3% to 76.
Customer satisfaction with e-commerce is up 1% to an NCSI score of 83. Amazon maintains the lead in customer satisfaction with a 1% uptick to 86. Apple’s iTunes slips 1% to 81. Ebay advances 1% to tie ASOS at 80. However, smaller e-commerce sites and the websites of traditional retailers make the largest gains, moving up 5% to a combined score of 83.
Pharmacies are stable with an NCSI score of 78, though individual company results vary widely. Customers still prefer smaller, local pharmacies (80) to any of the larger retailers, but a 3% improvement pushes Superdrug to the lead at 78. Boots follows close behind, unchanged at 76. Following a takeover by Bestway Group last year, the Co-operative Pharmacy tumbles 5% to 73. Lloyds Pharmacy also posts an NCSI score of 73, down 4% for the year.
The National Customer Satisfaction Index (NCSI-UK) is a national economic indicator of customer evaluations of the quality of products and services available to household consumers in the United Kingdom, and is produced by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Results are based on survey data from more than 6,799 customers collected via online panel during Q4 of 2014.
This methodology was developed at the University of Michigan and has been adopted worldwide as a leading macro- and micro-level indicator by universities, governments, and countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Singapore, Korea, Turkey, South Africa, Mexico, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Kuwait and Barbados.
According to research from the University of Michigan, customer satisfaction – as measured by the NCSI-UK and ACSI – is directly linked to stock market performance. Companies with high scores on the ACSI and NCSI-UK produce higher stock returns than competitors and greatly outperform market indices.