First Direct tops customer experience table

First Direct tops customer experience table

Research published today by KPMG Nunwood shows that customer experience in the UK has improved for the first time in three years.

The firm surveyed 10,000 consumers about the experience UK companies provide, and saw Leeds-based First Direct top the table, having also held the position in 2014.

Poole-headquartered Lush dropped to third this year, while John Lewis, based in London, climbed to second place.

The grocery sector led the way in terms of customer experience. In the ongoing battle of the supermarkets M&S Food performed best, ranking seventh in the overall brand analysis, followed by Waitrose in 12th and Ocado in 13th.

Brands in the travel and hotel sector saw some of the biggest improvements in customer experience; American Airlines was the most improved brand this year, climbing 156 places.  Emirates topped the league table in the travel and hotel sector, ranking fourth in the overall brand analysis.  

Nearly a quarter of the top-100 brands were from the financial sector. Following First Direct’s success, Nationwide Building Society also claimed a top-10 position, coming in joint ninth with Apple Store this year.

Further illustrating the improved picture for the UK, this year’s analysis reveals that the UK is catching up with the US when it comes to customer experience. While the UK remains behind the US, the UK’s CEE score of 7.33 was just shy of the US’s 7.42 this year.

David Conway, director at KPMG Nunwood, said: "Customer experience success is always a work in progress and there is scarcely a company in the world that is not concerned about the quality of customer experience they deliver. For the grocery sector, the ongoing price war has resulted in customer service being the new differentiator.  

"Memorable customer experience is vital in order to achieve brand advocacy and loyalty.  While most businesses seek to improve customer experience, a company must go beyond simply meeting expectations and exceed them in order to leave a lasting impression.

"Innovation and rising customer expectations continue to carve out a new customer experience landscape ahead. Whilst this year highlights an improved picture for the UK, the battle of the brands will undoubtedly continue."