Study reveals customer experience champions

22nd Jun 2010

Good customer service is linked to both customer retention, new customer acquisition as a result of positive word-of-mouth communications and profitability, according to a study.

Conversely, the poll undertaken among 24,000 European consumers by customer experience software supplier Satmetrix, also revealed that poor customer service had caused a huge 10 million consumers across Europe to switch suppliers in the last six months. Key bugbears included unfair charges, poor product or service quality and rude and disinterested staff.

Deborah Eastman, the company’s chief marketing officer, said: "We continue to see the impact that the customer experience has on loyalty and business growth and profitability. Best-in class companies are those that truly focus on their customers, put in place the right processes to take action based on their feedback and evaluate how this strategy translates to loyalty and personal recommendations."

As part of the research, consumers were asked to rate their customer care experiences across seven industry sectors – banking, car insurance, internet service providers (ISPs), mobile phone networks and handsets, computer hardware and TV/DVDs.

The clear winner in the banking industry was First Direct, which received a 42% rating compared with the sector average of -4%. Fans liked the fact that customer service staff were accessible, friendly and knowledgeable; they were put through to UK-based call centres and banking charges were transparent.

In pole position in the care insurance market, however, was Saga, which scored 17% compared with an industry average of -9%. Virgin Media beat Sky by less than half a point in the ISP bracket, with both providers scoring between nine and 10% compared with the sector average of -11%, while O2 was top of the mobile network scorecard. It gained a rating of 24% compared with an industry average of 3%.

Apple’s iPhone won the best customer experience accolade in the mobile handset category by a street, meanwhile, with a score of 67% compared with an average of 18%. It also attained the highest rating in the computer hardware space at 52% compared with the average of 21%, while Sony was number one in the TV/DVD market, with a score of 39% - 15 points higher than the industry average.

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