The leisure and entertainment industry has been rated best while utility companies are worst in terms of keeping UK customers satisfied, according to a survey by database marketing firm GI Insight. But the interesting fact is the correlation between customer satisfaction and these companies' use of targeted communications.
The survey found that those organisations achieving high levels of customer satisfaction are also the ones that have implemented relevant and targeted customer communications. While many studies have previously suggested that there is a connection between relevant communications and customer satisfaction, GI's latest study has confirmed the theory - in the UK at least.
Correct use of personal data
The survey investigated satisfaction levels across a variety of sectors, and respondents were asked how successful each of their suppliers had been at using the personal data they held to deliver personalised, targeted and relevant marketing and communications.
GI observed a very close correlation between marketing communications relevance and customer satisfaction across all 10 sectors studied (those being utilities, banks, credit card, ISPs, mortgage finance, mobile phone, travel agents, general insurance, supermarkets, and leisure & entertainment).
Most and least successful
Leisure & entertainment came top for relevance and customer satisfaction, although this was undoubtedly helped by the natural grouping of products into different areas of interest. Supermarkets also scored highly, which is thought to be the result of their rigorous data-driven marketing discipline, investment in experienced people as much as systems, and intelligent overall use of data collected through loyalty card schemes. All of these factors combined to provide highly relevant offers for loyal shoppers at just the right time.
However, despite heavy investments in CRM systems over the last decade, retail banking was ranked second from last for customer satisfaction and marketing communications relevance, suggesting that the sector needs to conduct a rigorous review of its methods and marketing ROI. But utilities scored the lowest, although they do not yet have a sufficient breadth of product range with which they could justify the costs of personalisation. However, the rising rate of customer switching in the UK suggests that investment in this area should rise in order to cut back on churn.
According to Andy Wood, managing director for GI Insight, "The link between personalised communication and satisfied customers is important from several aspects. First, satisfied customers provide a warm and responsive community for carefully targeted offers. And second, whether or not they buy more from the company, satisfied customers are less likely to defect to a competitor."