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Banks bookend loyalty scores

News, 08 May 2015

LONDON: Banking, insurance and financial services generate some of the best – and worst – loyalty scores among UK consumers, according to a new ranking.

The annual UK Net Promoter Customer Loyalty Benchmark Reports, produced by Satmetrix, ranked more than 60 brands across ten sectors, including financial services, insurance, TV, mobile and internet service providers (ISP).

Some 11,000 customers were surveyed on factors such as ease of use, access to support, company reputation, treating customers fairly and value for money.

First Direct, a phone and internet-based retail bank owned by HSBC, emerged as the runaway leader with a score of +73, a clear 30 points ahead of Nationwide, the building society, in second place.

Freeview, the free-to-air digital terrestrial television service, was tied with Tesco Mobile, a network operator, in fourth place, both with a score of +38.

Close behind in fifth was Plusnet (+37), the ISP, followed by insurance business LV and financial services group Hargreaves Lansdown (both on +34).

Santander credit cards (+28), Tesco Bank credit cards (+28) and Santander banking (+27) rounded out the top ten, which was dominated by financial services, perhaps surprisingly given the reputation of the sector in the UK.

One of the reasons for such a negative reputation was to be found at the other end of the spectrum, where the Royal Bank of Scotland registered a score of -19. The bank recently reported a loss of £446m in the first quarter as it made an £856m provision for "litigation and conduct charges" linked to the rigging of its foreign exchange dealings.

Karen Walker, customer services director at First Direct, told Marketing Week that a major factor in its success was being open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which resulted in a high level of customer retention.

"It is about having a loyal base of customers rather than using incentives to drive what is probably the wrong behaviour," she said.

"We listen to our customers and treat them as individuals. We talk to them on the telephone, get to know them and build a rapport."

Data sourced from Contact Centre News, Marketing Week, Guardian; additional content by Warc staff