Aldi has leapfrogged M&S and Waitrose to score the highest customer satisfaction ratings of all food retailers, according to a survey of more than 10,000 consumers.
The latest UK Customer Satisfaction Index shows Aldi scored 84.3 out of 100, based on customer measures including trust, complaint handling and getting things right first time. This was a 2.2 point improvement in the past 12 months. Waitrose’s score dropped by 0.5 points to 84.1 and M&S Food declined 0.6 points to 84.0 over the same period.
“Our customers are at the heart of our business and we are delighted to have been recognised by such a prestigious organisation for the excellent levels of customer service we provide to our shoppers,” said Aldi GB and Ireland CEO Matthew Barnes.
“We know that our customers want a simple shopping experience and high quality products, all backed by great customer service - and that’s what we deliver.”
The supermarkets with the lowest customer service levels were Tesco, Asda and the Co-op. All three have lost market share in the past year.
Food retailers with satisfied customers saw a sales growth of 10.7%, compared with only 1.8% for those with satisfaction falling below the sector average of 81.5, according to the Institute of Customer Service, which produced the report.
The ICS analysis of 42 retailers over the past five years found that in 60% of cases share price followed customer satisfaction either up or down. Both Morrisons’ UKCSI score and share price fell from July 2014 to January 2016 and Ocado’s customer satisfaction score has fallen five points since the beginning of 2015, correlating with a downward trajectory in its share price.
“We have consistently seen evidence that supermarkets with the highest customer satisfaction outperform the sector average for sales and market share,” said Jo Causon, chief executive of the ICS. Although it seems obvious that customers are key to business performance, service strategy can often fall by the wayside in boardroom conversations. The UKCSI report offers a clear imperative to put customer satisfaction first.”