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Smug satisfaction for car and clothing brands

Cars, clothing and pharmacies are top of the customer satisfaction charts with utilities and banks hovering at the bottom, according to Roy Morgan.

The Customer Satisfaction Awards cover Kiwi brands across 24 sectors and are based on Roy Morgan Single Source, which surveys over 12,000 New Zealanders annually. Michele Levine, chief executive of Roy Morgan Research, says customer satisfaction is absolutely vital to every New Zealand business, particularly in the new age of social media, where any negative customer interaction can literally be broadcast to thousands people virtually instantly.

“Our clients have recently helped us realise that our customer satisfaction data is far more robust and meaningful than most of the awards that we see constantly promoted in the media. Unlike all the others, ours are the result of a single question; the same question across numerous categories, which asks consumers to rate products and services they have used on a five-point scale.”

Cars, clothing and pharmacies all rated around 90 percent. And she says this is simply because consumers feel good about things like cars and clothing, and pharmacies always rate highly on the most-trusted list, whereas consumers only really ever think about their power, gas or phone when there’s a problem or when they receive a bill.

Not surprisingly, all the regular whipping boys were down at the bottom of the overall customer satisfaction list, with gas, electricity, airlines, telcos and banks getting between 72 and 80 percent satisfaction rates. Although, considering the regular bank bashing that goes on she doesn’t think the banks are doing too badly, with the majority of customers satisfied at what they’re getting.

Interestingly, there was no sign of Powershop on the list, despite the fact it has done exceedingly well by making power more of an FMCG product and ramping up the levels of customer service. But this may be because it is too small, or because it’s a wholly-owned subsidiary of Meridian, which is tracked by the study.

Colmar Brunton launched a Customer Service Award last year with Fair Go, but Levine says this study produces different results from the considered opinions of “a few people in a product testing laboratory, the readers of a particular magazine or the opinions of users who are asked to rate products in just one isolated category”. And the broad-brush approach means it can continue to track the customer satisfaction rates through the year with the monthly awards.

She says it’s much easier to upsell to satisfied customers than dissatisfied customers and it’s now very important to deal with the small number of dissatisfied customers, preferably before they have a chance to voice their opinion but, in the case of Qantas after its fleet was grounded, to try and make amends for when things inevitably go wrong as quickly as possible.

2011 annual award winners (check out all the finalists here):

  • Financial Institution of the Year: SBS Bank
  • Major Bank of the Year: Kiwibank
  • Domestic Airline of the Year: Air New Zealand
  • International Airline of the Year: Singapore Airlines
  • Hotel of the Year: Novotel
  • Retail Coffee Shop of the Year: Muffin Break
  • Clothing Store of the Year: Postie
  • Department Store of the Year: Kirkcaldie & Stains
  • Furniture/Electrical Store of the year: Harvey Norman
  • Hardware Store of the Year: Bunnings
  • Liquor Store of the Year: Liquorland
  • Music/Book Store of the Year: JB Hi Fi
  • Pharmacy of the Year: Unichem
  • Quick Service Restaurant of the year: Subway
  • Shoe Store of the Year: Hannahs
  • Sports Store of the Year: Hunting & Fishing
  • Supermarket of the Year: Pak ‘n Save
  • Home Phone Provider of the Year: Vodafone
  • Internet Service Provider of the Year: Paradise
  • Mobile Handset of the Year: Apple iPhone
  • Mobile Service Provider of the Year: 2degrees
  • Electricity Provider of the Year: Energy OnLine
  • Gas Provider of the Year: Genesis Energy
  • Check out Roy Morgan’s Satisfied and Dissatisfied Customer Profiles here. And check out how they came up with the results here.

    This story originally appeared on StopPress.


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