Ryanair, MyTaxi take big hits on customer experience index

The top 10 is dominated by retail brands

Ryanair, MyTaxi take big hits on customer experience index

Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary discusses the recent flight cancellations at Ryanair HQ in Dublin | Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Ryanair and MyTaxi have taken big hits in a new Irish brand index based on customer experience.

Credit Unions have emerged as the winners for the third year in a row in the annual survey by Amárach Research on behalf of the CX Company.

Ryanair has dropped down 38 places and is also out of the top 100.

MyTaxi is also one of the biggest fallers, tumbling 94 places to 137 and also out of the top 100.

Both companies have struggled lately, with Ryanair cancelling thousands of flights and MyTaxi adding a €2 fee to fares.

The top 10 is dominated by retail brands, as Lush Cosmetics and An Post retain 2nd and 3rd position for the second year in a row.

Source: Amárach Research

A spokesperson for the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU) said the organisation was humbled by the result.

"This is a hugely positive endorsement by the general public of the services we offer to members.

"Credit unions are different from other financial institutions, not just because we are not-for-profit, but because decisions are made at a local level and tailored to the individual needs of members."

Michael Killeen, chairman of the CX Company, described the consistent success of the top three brands as remarkable.

"Customer experience isn't something you can switch on and off like a special offer. It's a constant.

"It shouldn't come as a surprise that these three brands are also Ireland's most trusted brands. In that context, reports that An Post plans to close hundreds of branches will be of great concern to consumers."

File photo

Travel

On MyTaxi, Mr Killeen says: "They didn't get the drivers on board with the new app and now with the introduction of new charges and reports of declining service levels they may well struggle to get passengers on board as well."

"Ryanair is down 38 places and also out of the top 100. Customers just didn't believe its explanation of the way seats are pre-allocated. The flight cancellation story is a much more serious affair and will surely see the airline slide further" he added.

Elsewhere in travel, industrial action on trains and buses left many consumers stranded and undermined trust in brands such as Irish Rail, Bus Eireann and Dublin Bus.

Dissatisfaction with airport delays saw the Dublin Airport Authority fall 55 places to 109.

While Aer Lingus maintained its top 30 position, and Luas has repaired its reputation somewhat - climbing 38 places and back into the top 100.

File photo

Retail

Retail, with 52 companies in the top 100 and four in the top five, was the top performing sector this year.

Irish retailer Powercity was the biggest riser,moving up over 50 places to number 50 in the table.

Amárach says one of the main drivers was the rise of digital brands such as Amazon, which jumped to number four.

It was followed by a host of others including Parcel Motel, Netflix, Argos, YouTube.com, Google and Adverts.ie.

One exception here was Facebook, whose score was pushed down 15 places to 124.

Telecoms

The report found that telecoms had the lowest consumer tolerance level over any other sector.

It says this is partially due to its "absolute complexity" and the customer journey involved.

"This sector is guilty of having a fixation with acquisition and ignoring the needs of current customers and in many cases holding them to ransom with inflexible contracts", Mr Kileen says.

One exception is Tesco Mobile - the only brand from this sector in the top 100. It jumped 16 places to 31.

File photo

Utilities and supermarkets

While Utilities continue to be the lowest performing sector they are making some headway.

Electric Ireland is leading the way at number 73, down from 95th position last year.

But new entrants - such as PrePayPower, Energia and Pinergy - are starting to make gains.

Energia jumped from 107th in 2016 to 88th on this year's list.

In the supermarket sector, all of the main players dropped positions with the exception of SuperValu.

Cathy Summers, head of insights and planning at the CX Company, says: "The situation is more serious for restaurants with very few of them moving in the right direction this year.

"The sector has suffered greatly over the years due to a lack of investment and constant turnover of staff."

"Both sectors need to put their employees first if they are to meet challenges from online and indeed from smaller more community friendly offerings.

"Both might do well to look at IKEA's CX strategy which is based on 'treating every customer as a guest'."

The highest performing supermarket brand on the list in Marks & Spencer, which has dropped from 10th place to 12th.

Lidl is in 14th place, followed by Aldi, Supervalu, Tesco, Centra and Dunnes.

You can download the full report here