Customer Satisfaction is up, but Recommendation is down! What’s going on?

Customer Satisfaction is up, but Recommendation is down! What’s going on?

It’s just over a month or so until the Institute of Customer Service releases it’s next “State of the Nation” update. If you aren’t familiar with the report, it provides a high-level summary of the Institute’s Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI):

  • published every 6 months
  • spans 13 industry sectors
  • with 240+ brands included (at the last count)
  • and provides scores for typical customer KPI metrics, e.g. CSAT, NPS, CES.


While any benchmark is unlikely to provide an organisation with the robust, granular detail they need to make informed business decisions on where to invest and improve Customer Experience, the report does act as an ‘early warning system’ in terms of flagging major service issues.



What made interesting reading was that the report seemed to suggest there were some service issues prevalent among UK companies …

  • CSAT is up marginally … I read the longer-term ‘picture’ as “plateauing”!
  • Similar result for TRUST
  • But NPS down … which seems a little strange, almost counter-intuitive if CSAT is up, i.e. we are very satisfied with you as a provider, but we are now less likely to recommend you than we were previously!?


You can download a copy of the report HERE



As I say, examining the more granular detail can be insightful (though uncertain how robust this next part is?!) and goes some way to explaining these headline results. Apparently …

  1. Customers are having more problems & issues with the companies they use than previously experienced
  2. And these same companies are less likely to resolve at the first time of asking (are customer problems becoming more challenging?)
  3. Which drives customers complaints
  4. And customer satisfaction with quality of complaint handling and speed of complaint resolution leaves a lot to be desired … the complaint experience has been described as “mediocre at best
  5. Indeed, customers cite having to exert too much EFFORT to resolve their issues / problems / complaints.



Without over simplifying, all of this more granular detail probably goes some way to explaining that while CSAT is up, NPS is down …

I mean, would you recommend a company to family members or close friends when you had found them particularly difficult to deal with? Particularly when you tried to resolve an issue?


Of course, the simple answer might just be that we, as consumers, are becoming more demanding of companies generally – and that we are quicker to bring them to task when something doesn’t quite meet our expectations?!

So roll on July and let’s see if these service issues were just ‘blips’ or whether they remain and are becoming more of a trend.