Casual Dining Press Release 2016

Pizza Ranch is favorite for pizza and buffet, Maggiano’s for Italian, Bob Evans for breakfast, Texas Roadhouse for steak and Pap

LOUISVILLE, Colo., Nov. 22, 2016 — Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen is America’s favorite general menu casual dining chain, according to a new study by Market Force Information® (Market Force). More than 9,200 consumers were polled for the study, which ranks casual dining restaurant chains in seven categories: general menu, pizza, Italian, breakfast, buffet, steakhouse and seafood. This is the first time that Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen has earned enough votes to be included in the rankings.

The nationwide study also found that in-restaurant tablet use is up, TripAdvisor is the most influential mobile app among casual dining guests, and restaurant-branded apps are suffering from an awareness problem.

Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen Edges out Cracker Barrel

Texas-based Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, which has 160 locations nationwide and is known for its made-from-scratch meals, ranked first among general menu restaurants with a score of 52%. Cracker Barrel, which led in the previous study, ranked second with 50%. BJ’s Brewhouse, O’Charley’s and Cheesecake Factory rounded out the top five. [See Graph 1]. Interestingly, Cheesecake Factory dropped 11 percentage points this time around.

Graph 1 – Favorite General Menu Restaurant Chains

Cheddar’s Wins on Food and Value, Hooters on Friendly Service

Why are Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen’s guests so satisfied and loyal? Market Force asked respondents to rate the top 12 chains by various attributes and found that Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen leads in two key areas – quality food and value – and tied for first in atmosphere and addressing allergens. O’Charley’s has the fastest service, while Cheesecake Factory stood out for its menu variety, and Ruby Tuesday for its healthy options. Hooters led in friendly service and delivering an experience, an increasingly important category in the casual dining sector. [See Graph 2].

Graph 2 – General Menu Restaurants Ranked by Attributes

“Casual dining restaurants face fierce competition from fast casual brands. This research shows that consumers are questioning the value proposition of casual dining because they are not seeing the increase in food quality given the higher price—and a full service seems to matter less. Fast casual can be on par with food quality and offer a lower price-point,” said Cheryl Flink, Market Force’s chief strategy officer. “Still, diners are seeking an experience when they go out for a casual dining meal, so that’s an area that these chains can exploit to pull ahead of this new competition.”

Pizza Chains

In the hotly debated pizza category, Pizza Ranch took the pie with a score of 55%, with California Pizza Kitchen ranking second at 50% and Old Chicago nabbing the third-place spot with 43%. Others on the list included Cici’s, Round Table Pizza, Pizza Hut and Chuck E. Cheese. [See Graph 3].

Graph 3 – Favorite Pizza Restaurant Chains

Pizza Ranch, which offers a buffet-style service, was top rated for its menu variety and friendly service, and ranked in the top three in most other categories. California Pizza Kitchen earned the highest marks for quality food and healthy food options. Cici’s dominated in the value category and ranked first for fast service. Chuck E. Cheese was far and away the favorite for delivering an experience, rather than just a transaction.

Italian Chains

For the third time in a row, Maggiano’s has been named America’s favorite Italian chain, earning a 61% score. Carrabba’s Italian Grill received a 56% to again land in second place, while Olive Garden ranked third and Romano’s Macaroni Grill was fourth. [See Graph 4].

Graph 4 – Favorite Italian Restaurant Chains

Maggiano’s led in most of the categories, receiving first-place scores for every category except fast service, receiving particularly strong marks for value, menu variety, experience and atmosphere, and tying for first alongside Carrabba’s for quality food and friendly service. Carrabba’s also led in fast service and healthy food options.

Breakfast Chains

Bob Evans Restaurants continue to delight diners who are looking to eat breakfast at any time of day. The Ohio-based chain once again ranked first among casual dining breakfast options, and Waffle House and Mimi’s tied for second. Village Inn ranked third, IHOP and Perkins tied for fourth and Denny’s was fifth. [See Graph 5].

Graph 5 – Favorite Breakfast Restaurant Chains

Bob Evans took the top spots for menu variety and healthy food options, but Mimi’s Café won when it came to high-quality food. Waffle House was lauded for having the best value and fastest service. It also tied for delivering an experience, but the experience scores in the breakfast category were overall very low and tightly clustered, with no one brand standing out.

Buffet Chains

Market Force also looked at which buffet chains are leaving guests the most satisfied, and found that Pizza Ranch is a clear leader with 55%. Golden Corral overtook Hometown Buffet to rank second with 40%, and Cici’s Pizza ranked third with 35%. Hometown Buffet and Old Country Buffet rounded out the top five. [See Graph 6].

Graph 7 – Favorite Steakhouse Restaurant Chains

Pizza Ranch was found to have the best food, friendliest service and most inviting atmosphere. Golden Corral ranked No. 1 for menu variety and healthy options, and tied with Hometown Buffet for delivering an experience. Cici’s Pizza was the value leader.

Steakhouse chains

In the battle of the beef, Texas Roadhouse was the winner for the second consecutive time. It earned 58% to surpass second-place Longhorn Steakhouse, which received a 59%. Outback Steakhouse trailed with 48% and was followed by Logan’s Roadhouse and Sizzler. [See Graph 7].

Graph 6 – Favorite Buffet Restaurant Chains

Not surprisingly, Texas Roadhouse was the top scorer in nearly all of the categories that are most important to diners, such as quality food, value, friendly service, atmosphere, experience and variety. Sizzler was lauded for its fast service and array of healthy choices. Longhorn Steakhouse performed wall across the board, landing in the top three of every attribute studied.

Seafood Chains

Market Force received enough viable data to include a seafood category this year, after leaving it out of previous studies. Pappadeaux, which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, led the pack with 62%. Bonefish Grill earned 55%, placing it second, while Joe’s Crab Shack was third with 49%, and Red Lobster was fourth with 47%. [See Graph 8].

Graph 8 – Favorite Seafood Restaurant Chains

Pappadeaux secured the highest scores in key food and service categories, including quality food, menu variety and fast service. Joe’s Crab Shack tied with Pappadeaux for friendly service and experience, and slightly edged it out for value. Bonefish Grill had a strong showing in the food-related areas, ranking first for healthy options and second for quality food and menu variety.

Casual Dining Frequency and New Trials

Market Force also looked how often consumers are patronizing casual dining restaurants, as well as which brands they’re trying for the first time. General menu and breakfast chains are the most frequented types of restaurants – 83% said they’d visited a general menu restaurant in the previous 90 days, and 54% had dined at a breakfast restaurant. Seafood and buffet chains had the highest number of first-time visitors among all restaurant sectors that were studied. [See Graph 9].

Graph 9 – Recent Visits and First-Time Visits

Tech Trends Taking Hold (and Not) in Casual Dining

Casual dining guests are more frequently using tablets in-restaurant, but do they value them? Market Force found that 37% had been provided with a tablet during their recent visit and, of those, 87% had used it. The most popular activities were paying the bill and viewing the menu, while few used them to look up nutritional information and provide feedback. However, guests failed to give tablets high ratings for improving their experience – only one-fifth said they make the experience more enjoyable, allow them to control their experience or reduce wait times. [See Graph 10].

Graph 10 – How Used Casual Restaurant Tablet

The number of people who are downloading restaurant apps remains steady at 41%, and they’re mainly using them mainly to view menus, read reviews and find locations. Yelp is the most downloaded restaurant app, although TripAdvisor and Restaurant.com have gained serious momentum, with adoption rates that grew from 1% to 35% and 25%, respectively, since the previous study.

TripAdvisor is also wielding strong influence over diners’ choices. Nearly half – 48% – said that TripAdvisor ratings impact their restaurant choices, which is higher than Yelp’s 41%. Also, more indicated that they’re likely to leave a positive or negative review on TripAdvisor than they are on Yelp or other restaurant apps. [See Graph 11].

Graph 11 – Influence of Restaurant Mobile Apps

Survey Demographics

The survey was conducted online in October 2016 across the United States. The pool of 9,216 respondents represented a cross-section of the four U.S. census regions, and reflected a broad spectrum of income levels, with 53% reporting household incomes of more than $50,000 a year. Respondents’ ages ranged from 18 to over 65. Approximately 74% were female and 25% were male.

Methodology

For each category, study participants were asked to select which casual dining restaurant they visited most recently from a list of restaurants with at least 100 U.S. locations. Only those restaurant brands that were selected by at least 2% of participants in each category were ranked and analyzed.

Market Force calculates its Composite Loyalty Index by averaging the percentage of guests who said, on a scale of 1-5, that they would recommend the brand, and the percentage of those who said, on a scale of 1-5, that they were satisfied with the brand.

About Market Force Information

Market Force Information® provides location-level measurement solutions that help businesses protect their brand reputation, delight customers and make more money. Solutions include customer experience surveys, mystery shopping and contact center data integrated on one technology and analytics platform. Founded in 2005, Market Force has a growing global presence, with offices in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France and Spain. It serves over 350 clients that operate multi-location businesses, including major retailers, restaurants, grocery and convenience stores, financial institutions and entertainment. More information can be found at www.marketforce.com.

Date: Tuesday, November 22, 2016

3 Areas of Focus When Fighting for Market Share–Casual Dining Industry

US casual dining restaurants enjoyed a steady growth of about 4.3% from 2011 to 2016. However, that growth is expected to slow to about 2% (IBISWorld Reports, 2016 Chain Restaurants report). Why? Because consumers want greater convenience at lower cost—and they also want high quality food. Fast casual brands have stepped into that niche and are taking market share from traditional casual dining brands.

Our newest panel research in the casual dining sector corroborates the premium placed on value. Over 9,000 consumers rated their experiences at various casual dining brands in six different sectors, including their overall satisfaction and loyalty to the brand. In every sector we measured, perception of value was a critical component of overall satisfaction and loyalty. In fact, best scoring brands in each of six sectors (listed below) had very high ratings for both value received and high quality food:

  • General Menu: Cheddar’s Scratch Chicken
  • Breakfast: Bob Evans
  • Pizza: Pizza Ranch
  • Italian: Maggiano’s
  • Steakhouse: Texas Roadhouse
  • Seafood: Pappadeux

Intense competition in this industry will continue for the next five years. Casual dining brands can remain relevant by focusing on three critical areas as they fight for market share:

  1. Menu innovation. Brands must continue to find ways to meet consumer demands for attractive menus and be aware of increasing desires to eat healthy foods. Consider using menu studies to measure impact of menu changes on satisfaction, loyalty and spend.
     
  2. Competent staff: The long-term trend of declining wages as a share of revenue due to the automation of the food preparation process is expected to continue, according to IBISWorld. Casual dining brands will need to continue their investments in staff—especially because part of the value proposition includes full service. If service is not exceptional, consumers will not be willing to pay a price premium. Make sure you measure the effectiveness of your training programs and your ability to engage and retain employees.
     
  3. Technology to deliver convenience: 37% of consumers in our research reported they had seen tablets at a casual dining restaurant and 87% of those used them. Casual dining brands can use tabletop technology to address consumers’ needs for convenience—but they must still process orders efficiently, get them to the table, and perform check backs throughout the meal. The technology itself will not ensure restaurants deliver on standards.

The restaurant business is tough. Brands must manage supply chains, labor, franchising models, and technology. In this mature market, taking share can only be done by delivering on the brand promise and expected value equation—at every location. To learn more about restaurant research and what guests experience at your brand, give us a call at 877.329.9621 or schedule a briefing below. We’d be glad to provide you with a walkthrough!

Schedule a briefing

As Chief Strategy Officer, Cheryl aligns Market Force's strategic direction with our clients' strategic objectives. She oversees the North American client base, Analytics and Insights, Winnipeg Operations and Marketing. She has a Ph.D. in social psychology and broad business experience in both private and public companies.​

Bank News

19 October 2016 — Americans are increasingly turning to their bank’s mobile app to conduct financial tasks, but many still rely on in-person interactions when seeking financial advice or learning about services, according to a new study by Market Force Information, an innovator in customer experience management. More than 9,500 consumers were polled for the retail banking industry study, which also revealed that PNC is consumers’ favorite national bank based on satisfaction.

Date: Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Banking Consumer Study 2016

PNC Bank, Chase and U.S. Bank named top national banks

LOUISVILLE, Colo., Oct. 19, 2016 — Americans are increasingly turning to their bank’s mobile app to conduct financial tasks, but many still rely on in-person interactions when seeking financial advice or learning about services, according to a new study by Market Force Information, an innovator in customer experience management. More than 9,500 consumers were polled for the retail banking industry study, which also revealed that PNC is consumers’ favorite national bank based on satisfaction.

Banking App Downloads Up 5%  

Market Force Information found that 77% of consumers whose bank offers a mobile app have downloaded it, an increase of 5% over 2015, and 12% over 2014. Those in the 18-24-year-old range have the highest adoption rate at 92%, but there are increases across all age groups. In fact, half of those over age 65 use their bank’s app. [See Graph 1]. The most prevalent app activities are checking balances and statements, transferring funds and depositing money into accounts. Very few are using the app to apply for new bank accounts or withdraw emergency cash. 

Graph 1: Mobile App Adoption Rates by Age Group

 “Mobile banking is gaining ground every year as people of all ages are more comfortable making transactions on their smartphones,” said Cheryl Flink, chief strategy officer for Market Force Information. “Does that mean physical banking will eventually be eradicated? Unlikely. A more likely scenario is that, similar to what we’re seeing in other retail industries, physical banks will be reinvented and have more specific, dedicated functions to service their customers in person.”

Digital Wallet – What’s That?

While mobile app use is on a fast track, digital wallet usage is growing at a slower clip. Fifty-seven percent of consumers surveyed do not know what a digital wallet is or how it is used. Only 14% are using digital wallets, a slight 2% increase from 2015, with the highest adoption rate among 25-34 year-olds. PayPal Mobile and Apple Pay are the most widely used digital wallets, and the most common activities are making payments, using “tap-and-pay” for purchases and storing a loyalty card.

Traditional Banks and Credit Unions Still Reign

Even as new technologies take hold, more than half of consumers still bank with traditional retail banks – 59% report doing so today, which represents a 4% drop from 2015. Credit unions, community banks and microfinance banks are steadily rising in popularity, with 30% opting for these financial institutions. Only 3% use an ebank with no physical branch locations. [See Graph 2].

Graph 2: Primary Financial Services Provider

Loyalty runs deep, with 85% of customers reporting that they’ve stayed with the same bank for three years or more. Still, 12% indicated they are considering switching primary banks in the next six months. Most said they’d switch to find lower fees or because they don’t believe their bank is improving their financial wellbeing.

“By and large, consumers rated their primary banks poorly when it comes to looking after their financial wellbeing,” said Flink. “Most retail banks are nailing the simplicity and stability messages, but missing an opportunity to differentiate through a trust message that consumers are anxious to hear.”

Advisor Wields Influence on Customer Satisfaction

Market Force found the in-person touch is still important for banking customers seeking advice or education, and it can bolster loyalty. In the past 90 days, one-fifth of respondents said they went into a branch to speak with an advisor about products and services. Those who did reported 5% higher satisfaction levels than those who didn’t, and they were 8% more likely to recommend their bank to others. [See Graph 3].

Graph 3: Impact of Meeting with Financial Advisor

PNC Bank Top List of Favorite National Banks for First Time

To learn which banks are delivering exceptional experiences, Market Force Information asked participants to rate their satisfaction with their most recent banking experience and their likelihood to refer that national bank to others. The results were averaged to attain a Composite Loyalty Score. PNC Bank ranked No. 1 for the first time, overtaking last-year’s leader Chase, which landed the second-place spot this year. U.S. Bank dropped one ranking from 2015 to third, while Wells Fargo and Bank of America rounded out the top 5. [See Graph 4]. 

Graph 4: National Banks Ranked on Customer Loyalty Index

PNC Bank Wins on Security, Chase on Ease of Doing Business

Study leader PNC Bank ranked first in two of the four areas shown to impact customer satisfaction, including security & reputation and location convenience. Chase nabbed the top spots for ease of doing business and transparency & fairness, a category where U.S. Bank trailed by just 1%. Wells Fargo ranked second for location convenience and ease of doing business. Out of the five banks studied, Bank of America was last in each attribute, a position unchanged from the 2015 study. [See Graph 5].

Graph 5: National Banks Ranked on Key Attributes
Survey Demographics

The survey was conducted in September 2016 across the United States. The pool of 9,615 respondents reflected a broad spectrum of income levels, with 52% reporting household incomes of more than $50,000 a year. Respondents’ ages ranged from 18 to over 65. Approximately 73% were women and 26% were men.

About Market Force Information

Market Force Information® provides location-level measurement solutions that help businesses protect their brand reputation, delight customers and make more money. Solutions include customer experience surveys, mystery shopping and contact center data integrated on one technology and analytics platform. Founded in 2005, Market Force has a growing global presence, with offices in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France and Spain. It serves over 350 clients that operate multi-location businesses, including major retailers, restaurants, grocery and convenience stores, financial institutions and entertainment. More information can be found at www.marketforce.com.

Mobile banking is gaining ground every year as people of all ages are more comfortable making transactions on their smartphones. Does that mean physical banking will eventually be eradicated? Unlikely. A more likely scenario is that, similar to what we’re seeing in other retail industries, physical banks will be reinvented and have more specific, dedicated functions to service their customers in person.

Date: Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Time to reconsider the Financial Services Customer Journey

According to Deloitte nearly three quarters (72%) of consumers still want to use their local branch to access financial services. This emphasizes the importance of the branch experience on customer loyalty—at least for now. However, our most recent competitive benchmark shows over one in ten banking customers are not satisfied with their relationship with their primary bank. This makes brands vulnerable to losing market share. Overall, 12% of all banking customers are considering switching banks in the next 6 months, with individual brands ranging from 10% to 19%. Our study also shows that many financial companies have a long way to go in order to create a positive encounter with most of their touchpoints. Look at the following:

  • 1 in 6 consumers are dissatisfied with their experience interacting with their bank’s call center
  • Nearly 1 in 5 customers had a recent problem; fees were the most common problem, followed by operations issues while inside the branch
  • Of those with a problem, 13% said it was not resolved, resulting in a net loss of 46% in overall satisfaction

The research also shows that the advisory experience clearly impacts customer loyalty. Consumers continue to visit their banks’ physical branches to speak with and advisor—and over two thirds were very satisfied with that interaction. However, although bank advisors execute well on the basics such as explaining products and services, they miss opportunities to build relationships by asking questions to understand consumers’ needs and following through on commitments. Most large scale financial institutions are investigating the customer journey and the impact each touchpoint has on customer satisfaction. They would do well to consider the following:

  1. Driving Satisfaction: To create true loyalty, and not simply complacency, banks need to deliver an excellent experience that makes it easy to do business with the bank and builds a sense of trust with consumers. This means focusing on consumers’ financial well-being with great advisory services and creating transparency regarding fees.
  2. Resolving problems is critical: Besides impacting overall satisfaction, unresolved problems lead to decreased recommendation rates. Very few disappointed consumers tell brands they were disappointed, and that leaves brands open to loss of wallet share and poor ratings in social media.
  3. Banking brands have opportunities to differentiate: Banking customers scored their primary banks low on concern with the customer’s financial well-being, understanding unique needs, and even community investment.

These are big undertakings and require a strong discipline to develop the right strategy when they begin the customer process. Consider the following when you embark on a customer journey strategy:

  • Do advisors ask the right questions to ascertain needs and make solid product recommendations?
  • Does your bank have the right processes in place to listen and respond if customers have issues—and is the response consistent across channels?
  • Are you listening to your customers across all of the relevant online, social, and conventional channels?
  • Are you aggregating and disseminating information in effective ways?
  • Do you have a clear picture of reality in terms of your ability to execute against your standards and training?

Market Force’s banking customer journey maps assess the channels customers use to engage with your bank. We will help you identify customer expectations and frustrations at every touchpoint—and show gaps in the overall omni-channel experience. If effectively designed, your customer journey mapping can create an effortless customer journey—and that will insulate you from customer defections and help you improve the number of products each customer wants to purchase from your bank. That’s a great ROI.

Contact our experts today to schedule a free 30 minute consultation that will help you determine whether it’s time to consider a customer journey strategy for your banking customers.

Request a Call

Charles is a customer experience management expert with over 28 years experience. In that time, he has assisted more than 200 service related companies with their efforts to improve customer experience and loyalty. His education and training includes advanced graduate degrees in Statistics and Market Research Methodology.

Tags: Banking

Carrier News - RCR Wireless News ft. Market Force Information

Chief Strategy Officer, Cheryl Flink, joins Dan Meyer, Editor-in-Chief at RCR Wireless News, to discuss Market Force's 2016 wireless carrier research. 

Market Force surveyed more than 8,600 consumers in May 2016 – with women making up 73% of those surveyed–and they were asked to rate “their satisfaction with their primary wireless carrier and its services, as well as their likelihood to refer that brand to others.” Results were posted in the form of a score on Market Force’s Composite Loyalty Index. Cheryl also highlights additional key findings and why T Mobile and Consumer Cellular are market favorites. 

Hospitality Industry: The Inside Scoop

The hospitality industry is growing. IBISWorld reports: “While the Hotels and Motels industry is highly susceptible to changes in the global economic environment, the industry has experienced robust growth over the five years to 2016. Thanks to increases in travel spending, corporate profit and consumer spending, industry revenue has grown every year since 2011, as the economy improved and domestic and international travel rates increased. As a result, the Hotels and Motels industry has outperformed the broader economy over the past five years, driven by a combination of high demand from leisure and business travelers and international tourists. Over the five years to 2016, IBISWorld expects industry revenue to grow at an annualized rate of 4.2% to reach $169.2 billion, as consumer confidence and spending spike, raising revenue 2.4% in 2016 alone.”

In new research by Market Force, we found that consumer loyalty—and the opportunity to capture growth—depends on each hotel’s delivery in six areas of excellence:

  1. Overall condition of the hotel
  2. Value for money paid
  3. Helpfulness of staff
  4. Ease of check-in
  5. Bedding comfort
  6. Safety of guests and belongings

In the research, guests rated their satisfaction with their most recent hotel stays. 16% said the hotel delivered poorly on all six of these factors—and satisfaction with the stay was a very low 6%. In contrast, 29% said their hotel delivered well on all six factors—and 92% of these were highly satisfied with their stay. These satisfaction ratings led to very high loyalty—with hotel brands varying widely in their scores. (We will publish the brand level results in a press release in September.)

These results highlight the enormous opportunity to capture growth in the hospitality industry. Satisfied customers are loyal to the brand—and that loyalty allows hotels to command a higher RevPAR rate (revenue per available room) as shown in this case study. To help you measure customer satisfaction and impact on REVPar—or simply to evaluate your current customer experience measurement programs—call us at 1-877-329-9621. We’d be glad to discuss ideas for helping you improve your guest loyalty and financial success for every location. 

Schedule a briefing

As Chief Strategy Officer, Cheryl aligns Market Force's strategic direction with our clients' strategic objectives. She oversees the North American client base, Analytics and Insights, Winnipeg Operations and Marketing. She has a Ph.D. in social psychology and broad business experience in both private and public companies.​

eMarketer on What Makes Consumers Shop for Groceries Digitally

19 May 2016 — Nearly a third of US grocery buyers said they would shop for more groceries digitally if the prices were better than they were in-store. But the same April 2016 research also found that almost a quarter of respondents said they would never shop online for groceries digitally.

Date: Thursday, May 19, 2016
The Financial Brand

7 June  2016 — People frequently get frustrated with their banking provider — particularly megabanks. But powerful forces prevent many of them from ever making the switch. What can financial institutions do to overcome inertia and indifference?

Date: Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Market Force study - Wireless Carriers

Giffgaff tops every consumer benchmark, says Market Force Information® study

London, U.K., 17 June 2016 – Disruptive challenger brand Giffgaff has surpassed more established operators to be crowned as the UK’s favourite mobile network, according to independent research from Market Force Information® a leading customer experience management company.

As part of the study, over 4,300 UK consumers rated various aspects of their mobile network provider. Market Force then averaged this data to rate each brand on a Composite Loyalty Index, benchmarking overall satisfaction and likelihood to recommend.

The study also identifies the key characteristics that drive satisfaction, revealing how mobile network providers can impress their current customers, and attract new ones through a step-change in customer experience. Overall, one in four people say they are dissatisfied with their mobile network provider – and nearly one in five are considering changing provider in the next twelve months.

Success of challenger brands sends big names a clear signal

Giffgaff is clearly Britain’s most loved network having opened up a 20 point lead over nearest rival Tesco Mobile. Virgin Mobile, and O2 tied for third place. 

Graph 1: Composite Loyalty Index

Cheryl Flink, Chief Strategy Officer for Market Force Information says: “Our research reveals a disparity between operators with high market share, and operators who satisfy their customers. The challenger brands are doing what they do best and disrupting the market and this means that the more established names can’t rest on their laurels if they don’t want to lose further ground.”

Giffgaff runs rings around competition

Consumers also rated network providers on twelve critical attributes relating to satisfaction – the three most important categories were deemed to be network coverage, flexibility of plans and value for money. In every category people rate Giffgaff as the top provider, while Tesco Mobile and Virgin Mobile also perform strongly across the board. 

Graph 2: Percentage of totally satisfied customers by attribute

Cheryl Flink says: “The Giffgaff brand is built around the customer and offers low prices and no contracts. This is clearly proving a successful strategy. It’s rare to find a business that scores so universally highly and we expect the competition to be sitting up and taking notice.”

Beware the blackspots

Network coverage is seen as the most important factor when choosing a mobile phone provider – however many consumers are left unsatisfied with the service they receive. Subverting expectations, it is the challenger brands that perform best when it comes to satisfaction with network coverage, with Giffgaff and Tesco Mobile again placing first and second. Of those consumers considering switching network, over four in ten quote unsatisfactory network coverage as the reason why.

First port of call: people prefer to buy from Carphone Warehouse

Four-in-ten consumers set up their current mobile phone plan through Carphone Warehouse, either online or on the high street. In fact the majority of mobile phone plans are set up through third parties, demonstrating that consumers have a strong desire to compare network providers before making a purchase. 

Other key findings
  • Dissatisfied consumers are most likely to consider EE (17%) and O2 (15%) as an alternative network provider
  • In the battle of the operating systems, Android holds 44% of the market, Apple 43% and Microsoft Windows Mobile only 5%
  • Three quarters (73%) of consumers are on a contract plan
  • Two-thirds of consumers have been with their current provider for over two years
Survey demographics

The survey was conducted online in May 2016 across the United Kingdom. The pool of 4,342 UK consumers reflects a broad spectrum of income levels, with 22 per cent reporting a household income of more than £50,000 a year. Approximately 69 per cent were women and 31 per cent were men and represented a broad spectrum of age groups. 

Follow Market Force’s LinkedIn page for the latest insights, timely discussions, commentary and industry news.

About Market Force Information

Market Force Information® provides location-level measurement solutions that help businesses protect their brand reputation, delight customers and make more money. Solutions include customer experience surveys, mystery shopping and contact centre data integrated on one technology and analytics platform. Founded in 2005, Market Force has a growing global presence, with offices in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France and Spain. It serves over 350 clients that operate multi-location businesses, including major retailers, restaurants, grocery and convenience stores, financial institutions and entertainment. More information can be found at www.marketforce.com/en-gb.

 

Our research reveals a disparity between operators with high market share, and operators who satisfy their customers. The challenger brands are doing what they do best and disrupting the market and this means that the more established names can’t rest on their laurels if they don’t want to lose further ground.

Date: Friday, June 17, 2016

Pages

Schedule a Briefing

To discuss your needs for improving performance for your multi-location brand, give us a call. We’d be happy to discuss best practices for measuring the customer experience and compliance to brand standards, using analytics to understand what matters most and the ROI for change, and technology solutions that integrate large quantities of data on one single platform. We look forward to a great discussion!

Schedule a Briefing
We've noticed you might not be visiting the appropriate version of our site. Would you like to: