Nando’s customers have tweeted the restaurant chain to the top of the leaderboard in the second UK Customer Experience Index (UKCEI).

While unhappy customers have left the NHS licking its wounds at the bottom.

More than 300,000 tweets sent during March and April have been analysed for the Index using a pioneering methodology by SpectrumInsight and revealed first through Customer Experience Magazine.

Twitter and its succinct 140 characters is increasingly being used by customers from a cross section of social backgrounds and ages. Key positive words such as ‘favourite’ and ‘great response’ and ‘love’ have been tracked, with key negatives such as ‘hate’ and ‘rude staff’.

Its growing use means that Twitter is swiftly becoming more and more representative of the overall population and the UKCEI offers a way to find out how people are feeling about a particular brand, and to compare brands.

Although Nando’s came out top in the latest Index they are certainly not perfect in terms of customer experience, with some negative comments captured as well as positive.

“Thought you might like this, two of your favourite things Mila Kunis and Nando’s”

“Nandos every Friday I’m there mate for me dinner. Quality food great service”

“Was not impressed by@NandosUK staff in the Trinity Byre in Leeds unfriendly and overall rude”

“Want my phone back now  hate this stupid blackberry”

A Nando’s spokesperson commented: “Twitter, Facebook and other social media channels are a great platform to help and engage more effectively with our customers and fans. Our approach to doing things a bit differently has worked well so far, but as with many other brands, we’re still learning.”

The brands featured in the latest analysis differ from those in the January/February index, which put Top Shop at the peak, largely due to the New Year sales.

Top Shop is still top of the shops and ahead of Nando’s if you look at the overall score from January to April, so it will be interesting to see how the brands score as we roll out the results over the coming months.

Negative stories in the media can have an impact on tweets; The rail companies received lots of bad press in January that caused grumpy customers to tweet and affected their rankings.

Mark Westaby, Director of SpectrumInsight, believes that movement within the Index reflects ‘national mood’ , and challenges traditional customer satisfaction research.

“These latest results feature more general brand types that people visit or use on a daily basis. I think the results show the national mood, and not just how customers feel about the brand,” he explained.

Westaby says that results of customer satisfactions research are seasonal and things such as Christmas, summer holidays and the weather all affect customer choices and perceived experience.

The UKCEI shows that current news does get customers’ fingers twitching and typing, along with a good or bad customer experience.

National news of the NHS reforms and the Mid Staffs report generated some strong negative comments that shifted the health care provider from a middling position in February to the bottom of the heap in the latest Index.

Apple also plummeted in the Index from a customer experience score of 94 in February to just 19 in April. According to the tweets this is linked to the news in April that profits are likely to fall for the first time in a decade combined with frustration that the company is not coming up with any new gadgets.

New brands to appear this time include the BBC, British Airways, BT and Sony.

“The interpretation is that the BBC is getting over the Jimmy Saville issue and is ultimately still a highly regarded organization. There appears to be an underlying fondness for the BBC,” explained Westaby.

“The NHS interpretation is worrying as the population – politics aside – is now saying there are big problems,” he added.


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