customer satisfaction survey

The UK’s food retail sector is the best in Europe for customer satisfaction, according to a report from the Institute of Customer Service.

The industry body’s first-ever European Customer Satisfaction Index (EUCSI) gives the UK’s food retail sector a customer satisfaction rating of 81.1 out of 100 - 3.5 points higher than second-placed Italy on 77.6.

Customer satisfaction in the food retail sector Europe-wide also did well against other industry sectors, and the UK topped the EUCSI overall, with a customer satisfaction rating of 76.1, behind closest rival Germany on 73.1 points.

“It’s encouraging to see that the UK’s food retail sector is achieving higher levels of customer satisfaction compared with the rest of Europe,” said the institute chief executive Joanna Causon.

“Its overall customer satisfaction ratings topped the Index too - this clearly demonstrating our competitiveness as a nation.”

In her foreword to the report, Causon put the results in context of the EU debate.

“Whatever the outcome of the 2016 EU Referendum, the UK is well positioned to be Europe’s leader in customer service,” she states.

“This has the potential for huge benefits for the economy in terms of attracting investment, encouraging tourism and winning business in European and global markets.

“Above all, the UK’s strengths and competences in services demand to be given due weight, both in the context of the EU referendum, but also in the future policy-making agenda for skills, competitiveness and growth.”

The newly created EUCSI builds on the institute’s six-monthly UK Customer Satisfaction Index, which is currently topped by Waitrose.

Research for the EUCSI was conducted with 26,906 customers in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, the Netherlands and Sweden and across banking, telecommunications, transport, insurance, utilities and retail.

In customer trust rating for the UK there was room for improvement with the UK average of 89% below the 95% across the EU, putting the onus on UK companies to build greater confidence among customers to ensure long-term, sustainable loyalty, the report said.

More than 79% of the UK GDP comes from service sectors and over 70% of employees work in customer-related roles.

The report claims both the UK and the wider European economy stand to gain from a deepening of the single market in services.

“The decision to leave or remain in the EU will depend on a wide range of economic, political, social and cultural calculations made by individuals,” it said.

“In terms of the service agenda, a key consideration is: whether a revitalised single market in services offers enhanced opportunities for UK organisations; or, the extent to which the UK could harness its competitive strengths to maintain and build on current relationships.”