National Customer Satisfaction Index-UK

NCSI-UK News Second Quarter 2012

National Customer Satisfaction Index (NCSI-UK) Results for for Cars, Full Service Restaurants, and Limited Service Restaurants

Carmaker Gains Driven by Quality Improvements; Love for Fast Food Continues to Grow as Restaurants Fight to Stay Ahead

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LONDON (September 5, 2012) – Customer satisfaction at the national level grew by 0.2% in the second quarter of 2012, according to a report released today by the National Customer Satisfaction Index (NCSI-UK). The index is currently 74.8 on a 0-100 scale. The slight gain is the result of increased customer satisfaction with cars and restaurants.

Customer satisfaction with carmakers is up for the first time in two years, from 79 to 80. The improvement corresponds to a 5% growth in sales from a year ago, and July marked the highest level of new car registrations in two years. While carmakers have been offering large discounts to attract consumers, the gain in customer satisfaction is largely due to quality improvements and the release of new, more fuel-efficient models.

“If there is one thing we have learned from the near-death experience of the American car industry, it is that rebates and price promotions are a double-edged sword,” said Claes Fornell, founder of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) and author of The Satisfied Customer: Winners and Losers in the Battle for Buyer Preference. “They help sales in the short term, but make it more difficult over the long run as they condition consumers to expect price discounts.”

Audi continues to lead with a customer satisfaction score of 84. Audi drivers are also most likely to research cars online before buying – and 81% visited the Audi website to make their purchase decision. Customer satisfaction with Toyota increases to 83, and according to motorists, Toyota provides the highest service quality in the industry. Nissan, included in NCSI for the first time this year, debuts at 82, tied with BMW and Volkswagen, and above the industry average.

Ford improves the most, from 76 to 79, while Vauxhall and Peugeot are unchanged at 77. Renault drivers are the least satisfied at 76 (up from 74), and customers rate Renault dealership salespeople lowest in the industry. Customer satisfaction with restaurants also rises this year. Limited-service restaurants are up to an all-time high of 76, the third straight year of small improvements. Full-service restaurants increase customer satisfaction from 78 to 80. With a score of 78, Subway has the highest customer satisfaction of any restaurant tracked by the NCSI. Starbucks improves 74 to 75, while Costa coffee jumps from 71 to 74.

Burger King shows the most improvement, advancing from 66 to 71 and overtaking McDonald’s. Nevertheless, McDonald’s improves from 68 to 69, its highest customer satisfaction score to date.

Additional Findings:
Best Ambiance: Gondola Holdings (ASK, Zizzi, PizzaExpress)
Best Value Restaurants: Whitbread Group (Beefeater and Brewers Fayre), Subway and Greggs
Highest Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): Starbucks