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

Three Tips for Collecting Customer Experience Data on Mobile Apps

These days, virtually every company has developed a mobile app—and consumers have responded well. In Market Force’s industry panel research, we ask consumers to tell us about how they use mobile apps—and which apps they’ve downloaded and how they use them. Consumers check gas prices, comparison shop for groceries and check to make sure merchandise is available.

So how can multi-location brands use apps to collect customer experience data? How can they get information about the operations in their stores? Market Force has just released its new Eyes:OnTM mobile app. We focused on three design principles that B2B clients and consumers wanted in a usable and useful design:

  1. Incorporate geo-fencing. Use location data to pinpoint information about the exact store being evaluated. This minimizes effort to enter data that’s easily available—and that makes it more likely that data will be a) completed and b) accurate.
  2. Allow visuals to be attached. The old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” is still true. Make sure your app allows interviewers, auditors and consumers to attach a photo or a video. Sometimes voice recordings can be really useful. For example, when Market Force conducts customer intercepts, short audio files can be attached to the interview report.
  3. Be mindful of interface design. A single question on a page, grouping questions together in intuitive categories, using sliders for rating scales—all of the human factors design principles apply when creating a mobile app.

At Market Force, shoppers use Eyes:On to conduct mystery shops. Our clients’ internal auditors use the app to collect data and transmit that data either to their internal reporting platforms or to our KnowledgeForceTM platform. Consumers use the app to give us opinions about their experiences. All of these use cases help multi-location businesses keep their “eyes on” operations in their stores and the customer experiences they offer. And that leads to more money in their pockets. 

To discuss applications about our new Eyes:On mobile app, give us a call! 

Schedule a briefing

 

Ben Dards is the Chief Technology Officer at Market Force Information and has been developing technology in the rapidly expanding customer experience management space for over 15 years. His experience working with over 250 clients in the space has informed development of reporting and visualisation platforms, an online app for collecting data, and unique tools empowering operators take action on data. 

Our Wireless Carriers: What We Love and Hate

Smartphones. Ubiquitous, necessary, entertaining, and the way we connect to our world. Behind those smartphones are our wireless carriers who provide the infrastructure that allow us to make calls, download data, watch videos, play games, and read the news. So what kind of customer experience do the wireless carriers provide—and what do we love and hate about them?

Market Force has just released the results of its CX competitive benchmarks for wireless carriers in both the US and the UK. In addition to identify category winners the research pointed to some key themes:

What We Hate:
  1. Contracts. Consumers gave much higher ratings to non-contract providers (vs. full service) across the board. In the US, seven brands scored higher than any of the four full service providers, led by Consumer Cellular. Non-contract providers are disrupting full service providers—as evidenced by T-Mobile’s dramatic changes to no longer require contracts.
  2. Dropped calls and poor connection quality. In the US, 12% of consumers (17% in the UK) planned to switch providers in the next 12 months—with value being the top driver. And what do consumers say is a source of poor value? Dropped calls, poor quality connections, and slow data transfer rates—all related to connectivity. 
What We Love:
  1. Great sales associates. Great sales associates create great customer experiences. They ask about what we really need and make pertinent recommendations. In the US, 40% of consumers (33% in the UK) buy what the sales associate recommends.
  2. Self service. We need and want a good website with the right information and content. It’s much better to do it yourself online than haggle with reaching the contact center, online chat, or going to the store. In the UK, a great website predicted both customer satisfaction and value ratings.  

With the big four carriers there are limited options for consumers. Many of us are opting for non-contract providers who focus on network quality, great sales associates, and a self-service model. Find out more about what makes us choose one carrier over another by scheduling a briefing. We’d be glad to walk you through the research.

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.

Tags: retail
Asda ‘UK’s favourite place to fill up’ | Market Force

Asda beat Sainsbury’s into second place, with Morrisons third and Tesco fourth – but with the highest customer loyalty nonetheless. Market Force Information questioned 3,900 UK drivers on their experiences at filling stations and averaged the data to rate each brand on a relative scale. Key to the supermarkets’ popularity was price, says the study, with a 63% price satisfaction rating for Asda compared to a meagre 15% for BP. Some 78% of drivers said is was important.

Date: Thursday, May 12, 2016
UK drivers prefer to fill up at Asda, says a new survey | Market Force

Asda beat Sainsbury’s into second place by a whisker, with Morrisons third-favourite and Tesco a more distant fourth – but with the highest customer loyalty nonetheless. Research by Market Force Information questioned 3,900 UK drivers on their experiences at petrol station forecourts and averaged the data to rate each brand on a relative scale.

Date: Thursday, May 12, 2016

Kwik Trip, Quik Trip, and Wawa Offer Great Customer Experiences

In 2016, IBIS World predicts the US convenience store and gas station market will generate over $324 billion in sales, with slow growth of 4.1% over the next 5 years. The softened economy, cars that use fuel more efficiently, and steep drops in crude oil prices all conspire to slow down growth in this industry. This makes it all the more important that petro convenience retailers couple competitive fuel prices with superior c-store merchandise and great customer experiences.  

So how do brands fare in this competitive milieu? In our annual US customer experience research, over 10,000 consumers rated their last fueling experience. One clear finding emerged: Regional players with corporately owned stores beat the majors hands down. These regional players maintained a better image, had better service, and offered fresh food. In the composite loyalty index, shown below, you can see the top players who scored well on both customer satisfaction and likelihood of recommending the brand. Kwik Trip, Quik Trip and Wawa were clear standouts.

Why did these brands fare so well? They:

  • Have excellent ratings for the overall appearance of their sites. They attend carefully to the brand image focusing on a consistent presentation.
  • Attend to some of the details at the fueling area, like making sure squeegees and towels are in place.
  • Have reasonably competitive prices—but not the best prices.
  • Offer fresh, hot food that receives high marks from consumers for quality.
  • Receive high marks for merchandising strategies in their convenience stores with excellent cashier service.

We’ll be releasing more about our research in this space, with results for the UK posted next week. In the meantime, check out our case study profiling how one of the big nationals manages their brand image, or SCHEDULE A BRIEFING to arrange a presentation with the full research results. 

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.

Five tips for measuring grocery guest experience

The competitive grocery space has experienced so many changes in just the last 12 months. Big players like Safeway and Albertson’s have merged. The Whole Foods value proposition has been challenged by consumers who want great food at lower prices. Regional players like Publix have captured market share. And then there’s the big squeeze from mass merchandisers like Walmart and convenience stores like QuickTrip.

In this dynamic and competitive landscape, keeping the focus on your customers and delivering to your brand standards can be challenging. So to help you do that, let me offer five tips for measuring customer experience in the grocery industry. These tips come from our most recent grocery research and some of our customers in this space, like Aldi

  • Pay close attention to the checkout experience. Cashier courtesy, bagging, and efficiency of line management really matter to grocery consumers. We’ve found that consumers are forgiving if they feel lines are being managed well, tills are open, and cashiers continue to be courteous even in the face of long lines.
  • Let the specialty departments be the face of your brand. In our panel research and client programs we’ve validated over and over the importance of service in the specialty departments. Product knowledge and suggestions are very important to delivering a great experience and can help you differentiate.
  • Solve problems. When customers have a problem, your staff need to be empowered to solve those problems, either on the floor, at the service counter, at the till, or in the contact center. Make sure you’ve trained staff on common issues and how to solve them, and the helpful and professional attitude that must be maintained.
  • Be squeaky clean. You know this, but let me emphasize the impact your store’s appearance has on your customers. A bright shiny floor and squeaky clean bathroom tells customers that you’re handling their food properly—and when they’re buying fresh produce, meat and seafood, that really matters.
  • Make sure your customers receive consistent messaging online and in-store. Whatever you say online needs to be honored in the store. Coupon redemption, loyalty card points, special product promotions—whatever consumers read online or in the store must match. If they don’t, you’ll confuse or anger your customers and hurt your brand. Consider using customer journey mapping to help you understand the customer’s omnichannel experience. 

I hope you enjoyed these five tips for managing the grocery customer’s experience and your own brand reputation. Good luck!

Jay Little is a Director of Strategic Relations at Market Force Information and has over 10 years’ experience working with some of the biggest brands in the UK. He oversees the team of Key Account Managers who will help your business understand the key drivers & insights that will drive the biggest ROI, either in loyalty or financial return.

Grocery | Market Research | Market Force

Waitrose takes top spot, with ALDI in second place according to a Market Force Information Study

London, 11 April 2016 – An in-depth industry study from Market Force Information®, the customer experience management company, reveals the UK’s best loved supermarket chain. Waitrose tops the poll for the second year in a row, followed by ALDI and Marks & Spencer.

More than 6,648 UK consumers rated how satisfied they were with their last experience at a supermarket and how likely they would be to recommend it to others. This data was averaged to rate each brand on a Composite Loyalty Index which benchmarks overall satisfaction and likelihood to recommend.

The study also identified the key qualities that drive satisfaction, revealing the ways in which supermarkets can win and retain customers without resorting to price wars. Overall, one in ten people were dissatisfied with their last grocery shopping experience.

Check them out: Waitrose retains top spot

While Waitrose remains the nation’s favourite, ALDI has leapfrogged Marks & Spencer into second place with Sainsbury’s and Morrisons claiming the fourth and fifth spots respectively. According to the research, Tesco is the only supermarket to improve on its 2015 score, increasing by two percentage points. 

Graph 1: Composite Loyalty Index

Cheryl Flink, Chief Strategy Officer for Market Force Information, says: “Clearly premium brands are winning the war for customer’s hearts, but ALDI’s entry into the top two shows how discounter chains are stealing market share from conventional supermarkets by delivering extremely well on value.”

Nearly a supermarket sweep: Waitrose top in all but one category

Shoppers rated supermarkets on six satisfaction drivers, including cashier courtesy and item availability. Waitrose leads the way in nearly all customer metrics, with ALDI taking the top spot in the checkout speed category. Competition is very stiff across the board, with five brands competing for 2nd and 3rd place across the six satisfaction drivers.

Satisfaction with “availability of items” and “service provided in speciality departments” received the lowest average ratings, offering a clear indication of opportunities for supermarkets to differentiate and improve. 

 

Graph 2: Percentage of totally satisfied customers by attribute

Cheryl Flink comments: “In a notoriously tight sector characterised by ferocious price wars, our research shows that it is also possible to win market share by offering a better experience and by zeroing in on the exact factors that matter to customers.”

Let's get technic-aisle: Consumer attitudes to digital services

The Market Force Information study also explored customer attitudes to, and use of, various technologies employed by supermarkets. With Waitrose recently announcing the launch of its first cashless store, technology is set to play an even bigger role in the grocery sector over the coming year.

Key findings include:

  • Online ordering continues to have a lacklustre performance:
    • Under a quarter of consumers have used “Click and Collect”, and half of those had only done so once, with over a quarter left dissatisfied with the experience.
    • Two thirds (67%) of respondents have had groceries delivered, but a significant 21% were left unsatisfied
  • Grocery app usage has fallen since 2015, and 68% of people say they have never used one.
  • However, consumers that do use apps use them primarily for cost saving features by comparing prices and obtaining vouchers. People who do use apps are much more likely to have used a retailer’s app than a third party.
Survey demographics

The survey was conducted online in February 2016 across the United Kingdom. The pool of 6,648 UK consumers reflects a broad spectrum of age groups and income levels, with 20 per cent reporting a household income of more than £50,000 a year. Approximately 71 per cent were women and 29 per cent were men.

Follow Market Force’s Grocery Insights 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.

In a notoriously tight sector characterised by ferocious price wars, our research shows that it is also possible to win market share by offering a better experience and by zeroing in on the exact factors that matter to customers.

Date: Monday, April 11, 2016
Media Coverage | Market Force

The nation has spoken and our favourite fast food restaurant is *drum roll please* Five Guys. Which is, well, surprising given they’re pretty new to the scene. While last year’s winner Nando’s scored well on speed, value for money and atmosphere, Five Guys won on food quality, overall cleanliness and staff friendliness. The in-depth study, which also asked asked Brits to name their favourite high street café chain, was carried out by Market Force Information. They asked 4,565 customers to rate their last experience at each of the fast food restaurants and cafés, marking them out of five across areas such as speed of service, food quality and value for money.

Date: Wednesday, March 23, 2016

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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
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