Bus company CityLink and insurer Allianz were among the biggest losers as they took a hit to their "customer experience" score in a survey of Irish brands.
CityLink fell the most compared to the previous year’s survey, dropping 79 places to 85th, while Allianz dropped 75 places to come in 132nd in the survey commissioned by the CX Company.
And while they suffered significant drops, they weren’t the worst performers. Energia came in last place followed by KBC, Virgin Media, Prepay Power and AIG for their customer experience.
"The reality is that less than 10 per cent of the 160 brands surveyed this year improved their customer experience score. This contrasts with the situation in the UK where the figures are improving," said Michael Killeen, chairman of the CX Company.
For the fifth year in a row the Irish Credit Union took the top spot, followed by Laya Healthcare and Phonewatch. The biggest upward movers were FBD Insurance, up 85 places to 25th, Harvey Norman, which rose 70 spots to 65th, and Peter Mark, up 65 places to come in seventh.
Aside from the Irish Credit Union, only Boots and An Post have remained in the top 10 over the past five years.
"Many Irish companies, particularly those in the financial sector, could learn a lot from the credit unions, especially their member or customer-centric approach," Mr Killeen said, adding that the Credit Union is the only representative from the financial sector in the top 100.
In terms of individual sectors, the retail and supermarket sector was the strongest performing. The insurance and restaurants sectors have also improved, although food delivery company Deliveroo was the biggest casualty in the sector, falling 50 places.
In the travel sector, route changes and fare increases contributed to the decline of a number of brands, especially bus companies. Aside from CityLink, Aircoach dipped 30 places while Dublin Bus fell 25 places. That fall puts Dublin Bus, alongside Ryanair, outside of the top 150 brands. Aer Lingus, meanwhile remains inside the top 50.
The utilities sector was another laggard, with Electric Ireland, Bord Gáis Energy and Energia all falling between 39 and 55 places. Eir’s "dire customer service" has seen it drop out of the top 150.
"In the first three years of our survey we saw positive results, but we have regressed over the past two years, and many companies need to rediscover their customer experience mojo, particularly as customer expectations continue to rise," said Cathy Summers, one of the report’s authors.
The research was carried out by Amarách Research among a sample of 2,500 consumers.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
About CX Company:
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Published: Wednesday, October 16, 2019
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