Credit unions ‘top for customer service as banks lag’

Credit unions ‘top for customer service as banks lag’

Credit unions have again come top as the Irish firms who look after their customers the best, a number of retailers have also excelled, but the banks continue to lag, according to an annual survey of consumers and shoppers.

The CXi Report also found that restaurants have improved significantly the ways they look after their customers — with more outlets securing a top-100 finish than in previous years — but the public sector firms mostly underperformed.

The “customer excellence” report by CXi is carried out by Amárach Research and involved asking 2,500 Irish consumers about their customer experiences. Laya Healthcare, PhoneWatch, retailers Oxendales and Specsavers performed strongly in the past year, as did Arnotts, Peter Mark, Boots, and Lush Cosmetics, and An Post.

But the credit unions retained their No 1 slot for customer experience after helping “every employee to continue to deliver a consistent and remarkable experience” for the consumer, according to the survey.

In contrast, the main banks failed to make a top-100 place.

“Unfortunately, the credit union is the only representative from the financial sector in the top 100,” said chairman Michael Killeen at the CX Company.

While the banks have all shown an appetite for big advertising campaigns, there’s a clear disconnect in their customer promise.

“To be fair, this is something we have seen across all sectors this year. Basically, companies are selling one vision to an ideal customer while delivering something completely different to real customers,” he said.

By sector, retailers — which includes PhoneWatch and Peter Mark — improved their performances, with the survey saying that electrical retailers PowerCity, DID Electrical, and Harvey Norman had improved by providing positive experiences for shoppers both in their stores and online. But the supermarkets failed to secure a top-15 finish.

“German discounters Aldi and Lidl appear to have become victims of their own success to a degree as they struggle with supply chain and capacity issues,” according to the survey.

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