First Direct tops customer satisfaction rankings as Amazon falls to fifth place

Online bank First Direct has taken over from Amazon as the UK’s top organisation for customer satisfaction, according to a survey.

John Lewis and M&S Bank ranked second and third in the biannual UK Customer Satisfaction Index published by the Institute of Customer Service.

Amazon, which recently took Microsoft’s spot as the most valuable US firm, fell to joint fifth position.

The UK Customer Satisfaction Index published by The Institute of Customer Service,
The UK Customer Satisfaction Index published by The Institute of Customer Service,

While First Direct topped the ranking with a customer satisfaction score of 86.7 out of 100, the 10,000 consumers polled named M&S Bank as the best performer for “emotional connection”, a measure of the extent to which an organisation achieves trust and reassurance in customers.

Nationwide Building Society was the third of the banks or building societies to make the overall top 10 after providers were compelled to publish their customer ratings by the Competition and Markets Authority.

John Lewis and M&S Bank achieved scores of 86.5 and 86.3 respectively, followed by Next, which recently reported sales growth of 1.5% for the last two months of 2018, on 85.8.

Iceland was the top supermarket for customer satisfaction with a score of 83.2, followed closely by Aldi.

However, customer satisfaction was at its lowest since July 2016 – the third consecutive half-year drop, according to the survey.

Joanna Causon, chief executive of the Institute of Customer Service, said: “In today’s complex world, it is vital organisations get the basics rights first: efficiency of service, complaint handling and the actual customer experience.

“On top of this, consumers are placing growing importance on trust, transparency, emotional connection and ethical behaviour. Our research shows there’s a compelling argument for meeting both of these types of customer priorities for a profitable business return.”

Ms Causon added: “The uncertainty we’re currently navigating as businesses, consumers and citizens has, for the moment, no clear end. Brands can overcome this difficult time by understanding what is genuinely important to today’s consumer and acting on this.”

The top 10 rated organisations in January 2019 are:

1. First Direct
2. John Lewis
3. M&S Bank
4. Next
6. Nationwide Building Society
7. Netflix
8. Argos
9. Nationwide Insurance
10. LV=