giffgaff ranked best UK telco for customer satisfaction, industry still the worst overall

giffgaff, telco, MVNO

Telecoms and media remains the lowest-ranked sector for customer satisfaction in the UK, despite improving its performance during the past 12 months.

The industry scored 73.6 out of 100 – up from 72.6 12 months ago – in the UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI), which is compiled by The Institute of Customer Service.

The trade body ranks companies in 13 sectors based on the views of 10,000 consumer experiences.

Telecoms and media was the most improved sector for “right first time” experiences, according to the Institute, although it still scores the lowest overall.

Telcos and media companies also saw their net promoter score fall from minus 0.4 to minus 4.9 during the year, while customer effort fell from 5.2 to 5.4.

The sector is way behind others when it comes to NPS, with the UK average 13.9 and the top performing industry – retail (non-food) – scoring 39.7.

But all sectors except transport saw NPS decline during the past 12 months.

Trust improved in all industries, with telecoms and media rising from 6.9 to 7.1.

giffgaff was the only telco to make it into the top 10, finishing joint ninth alongside retailers Iceland and Marks and Spencer.

The O2-owned business saw its overall score increase by 2.2 points to 84.3.

It rose from 27th in the ranking, which was topped again by Amazon with a score of 87.3.

Tesco Mobile, a joint venture between the supermarket and O2, was the next best placed – it ranked 19th with a score of 83.3 – and the only other telco to make the top 50 companies.

Notably, both giffgaff and Tesco Mobile are MVNOs.

The Institute noted that EE, which this week was fined £2.7 million for overcharging customers, recorded the biggest growth in customer satisfaction of all the telcos.

The BT-owned company saw its score grow from 69.1 to 72.9.

Jo Causon, CEO of The Institute of Customer Service, said: “Generally speaking, it’s been a better year for customer service, with consumers telling us that businesses are improving overall experiences by getting things right first time and dealing with complaints faster and more efficiently.

“However, these factors do not necessarily translate into customer loyalty and recommendation.

“Just being ‘good’ is no longer good enough, and organisations should think about how they can deliver outstanding service at all times.”

She added: “Engagement through digital methods such as email, text, apps and webchat functions have all increased in the last year, and these are the channels through which it’s most difficult for customer service staff to show empathy.

“Organisations therefore need to make sure that their staff are highly engaged and highly skilled, as every customer interaction – regardless of the channel it’s on – counts towards business performance.”

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