Our sizzling summer has put ice cream giant Ben & Jerry’s at the top of the brand popularity chart, according to the latest statistics from the UK Customer Experience Index (UKCEI).

And supermarket Sainsbury’s is struggling at the bottom with a negative score after fallout from media story.
More than a million tweets sent during July and August have been analysed for the Index using a pioneering methodology by SpectrumInsight and shared through Customer Experience Magazine.

Key positive words such as ‘favourite’ and ‘great response’ and ‘love’ have been tracked, with key negatives such as ‘hate’ and ‘rude staff’ used to rank the brands.

It’s growing use means that Twitter and its succinct 140 characters is swiftly becoming more and more representative of the overall population. The UKCEI offers a way to find out how people are feeling about a particular brand, and to compare brands.

Mark Westaby, Director of SpectrumInsight who analysed the tweets, explained: “Sainsbury’s has hit rock-bottom following an incident that occurred when a check-out person refused to serve a woman who was on her mobile phone. This generated a lot of coverage across all media – online an offline.

“What’s so interesting about the anger directed at Sainsbury’s, however, is that the majority of consumers believe the retailer should have supported their employee and not apologised to the customer who was on the phone.  Another example of how things can back-fire on a company even when they think they’ve done the right thing!”

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “It’s clear that this story touched a nerve as the weight of discussion and comment indicates. Given Ms Clarke was unhappy with our service, we did feel it was appropriate to apologise to her.”

The UK’s hot summer is reflected with a huge number of drinks and ice-cream brands on the list after generating multiple happy tweets.

Top Shop, which was top of the brands after the Christmas sales, has sunk to position 67 with a score of 11.3. As there is no indication that customer service at the shop has changed in the past few months, Mark attributes this to national mood.

“If you think about Top Shop, for instance, I can’t believe customer service has changed that much in just six months but whereas consumers love to get a bargain in the cold, dark months of January the feel-good factor appears to be much lower during a hot summer.

“This has a significant potential impact on customer experience.  For instance, should staff be trained to behave and respond differently to customers at different times of the year?  Or are the staff themselves grumpier when it’s hot and they’d rather be out enjoying the weather than stuck inside a shop handling customer returns?” questions Mark.

Several retails and service industries are battling at the bottom of the Index, including supermarkets, banks and airlines.

Things are looking up for the BBC, which is ranked 26 this time, but the NHS has nose-dived down to -18.9.

“This is a reminder that even the most venerable of establishments, companies or brands can fall very heavily and very quickly,” added Mark.

For further information about the awards please see www.uk-ce-awards.co.uk or
cxm.co.uk or call Press Officer Tracey Pastor on
07952 931844

Notes to Editors

Customer Experience Magazine is an on-line business-to-business magazine aimed at customer experience professionals. It offers current news, innovation and features from the world of customer experience.
Telephone 0207 558 8241 cxm.co.uk

Mark Westaby is Director of SpectrumInsight an international online and social media evaluation and analysis firm that delivers affordable insight to help business build and maintain brands.
Telephone 0207 034 7090 www.spectruminsight.net

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