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Customer Satisfaction Benchmark Survey – How Did Your Sector Do?

October 17th 2017

Here are the latest customer insights for the three-month period from June to August 2017.

Automotive Sales Sector Scores High for Customer Effort

Based on a scale of 0 to 100 to show whether customers were likely to re-purchase from their car sales provider, the sector scored 68 during the three months until August, indicating that individuals were fairly satisfied with the service received from their car dealer.

Customer effort across sectors from Trend SurveyHowever, the sector scored the highest for customer effort of all the business areas surveyed. The car sales sector scored 75 out of 100 for customer effort, suggesting customers had to work hard to reach their desired outcome. By contrast, the online retail sector had the lowest customer effort score (44/100).

‘High effort’ is a less desirable quality you want customers to associate with your buying experience. Today’s customers want to make purchases quickly and effortlessly, even when it comes to significant purchases like a used or new car.

Several factors increase customer effort in the car buying process. As well as dedicating time to researching car models and questions to ask sales staff, visiting dealerships, arranging test drives, negotiating price and completing paperwork, all require customer effort. Combined with a commission-based purchase system, customers are often wary of having their needs met by car dealers, fuelling their research efforts further. Instilling transparency and efficiency as core brand values and making customers’ online and showroom experience as effortless and friction-free as possible would help reduce customer effort.

Utilities Sector - High Effort Customer Interactions Reduce Customer Satisfaction 

The utilities sector performed well for customer satisfaction during the three months until August, scoring 72 out of 100 for overall satisfaction.

Customer service scores across sectors from Trend SurveyHowever, the sector performed less well on customer service interactions compared to other sectors. Utilities Customer Service scored 69 out of 100, compared to 83 in the online retail sector. While Customer Interactions relating to utility bill payment scored 61 out of 100, compared to 95 in the online retail sector and 78 in the telecoms sector, indicating that UK energy and water companies’ effort to enhance customer service is a continuing issue.  

Customer Interaction scores from our Utilities Sector Spotlight report present a similar picture. Scores show that customer satisfaction decreased when more effort was required. For example, when utility customers needed to resolve a problem or deal with mis-billing. On the other hand, low effort interactions, such as changing Direct Debit details and monitoring usage – all activities usually performed online – achieved higher customer satisfaction scores.       

Online Retail Achieves High Customer Satisfaction, Loyalty and Recommendation Scores

Customer repurchase intention from Trend SurveyRetail companies excel in the online world. Having made customer interactions as simple and intuitive as possible by offering smooth self-service, personalised product recommendations and same-day delivery options, it’s little surprise the sector scored 44 out of 100 for customer effort, 85 out of 100 for recommending an online retailer to a friend and 89 out of 100 for re-purchase probability.
It’s important to point out that satisfaction scores are likely buoyed by customers dealing with sector-leading customer service giants, such as Amazon and John Lewis, who set the gold service standard for other online retailers.

Additional statistics for the three months until August show that Distribution, Airlines, and Mobile Phone sectors scored the lowest for overall customer satisfaction, while Retail, Banking, and Hotel and Leisure had higher satisfaction scores.

Glyn Luckett, Commercial Director at TTi Global research, says: “Our general findings show that where customer effort was low, customer satisfaction tended to be higher. This was certainly the case for the online retail and banking sectors where customer-friendly, easy-to-use online functionality is a priority.

“Lagging behind the curve was hotel and leisure, where effort was low, but satisfaction not as high as other sector providers. Telecoms, Utilities and Mobile Phone providers required more customer effort, and satisfaction was poor."

"These sectors seem ripe for offering more self-service and multi-channel offerings, as where customer effort increases – for example, where a customer needs to call to a company representative or go in store, satisfaction decreases. In which case, these sectors may benefit from improving their customer service processes and front-line staff training to create a more effortless customer experience.”

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For further information about our research, or to commission your own sector or company-specific survey, contact Glyn Luckett at TTi Global Research:

About the TTi Global Research Customer Satisfaction Trends Survey

TTi Global Research is a leading UK-based market research agency who champion great service through understanding service provision, customer needs and drivers of customer loyalty. Our customer satisfaction benchmarking survey supports this understanding through gauging different sectors’ performance.

The survey was conducted across 1,050 UK-based participants across a variety of sectors between 1 June and 31 August 2017. Respondents were asked to provide customer satisfaction and customer effort ratings, as well as answer questions about their loyalty and recommendation intentions relating to interactions with different service providers. These include Retail, Online Retail, Banking, Airlines, Automotive, Insurance, Distribution, Telecoms, Utilities, and Hospitality sectors.