Grant Thornton’s 2017/18 Customer Loyalty and Experience Index (CLIX) gives businesses insight into how their customers think they are performing in the market against a range of measures including loyalty, experience, digital engagement and sentiment.

According to research from Grant Thornton, the financial services sector saw a significant upturn in customer perception in 2017/18.

The Grant Thornton Customer Loyalty and Experience Index (CLIX) 2017/18 reveals that the way financial service firms engage their customers has improved markedly in 2017/18 compared to top performing brands in other sectors. There were three retail banks and two investment management brands in the top 15 CLIX brands.

The index shows customer feedback on 103 UK / global brands in financial services, telecommunications, media and retail and is based on over 21,000 customer responses. Value for money, customer interaction, data protection and brand perception all continue to drive and shape the overall loyalty and experience scores. The top performing retail bank, First Direct, was rated in the top two brands for all the key performance indicators vying with John Lewis for the top spot.

Best in class

Financial services companies have improved to a point of class-leading comparability in both experience provided and the loyalty this generated. The CLIX loyalty and experience map below shows the current 2017/18 standings. Whereas, those brands, usually outside of financial services such John Lewis and Amazon, which traditionally led the way, seem to have reached a glass ceiling.

Grant Thornton CLIX loyalty and experience map

Source: Grant Thornton Customer Loyalty and Experience Index (CLIX) 2017/18

Financial services reaches digital maturity 

Several financial service brands saw significant improvements in customer sentiment as their digital- enabled propositions matured, they leveraged customer data analytics capability and presented the market and customers with a clear, differentiated brand image. St James's Place saw a net improvement of 25% on the experience and loyalty scores provided by its customers as their digital engagement approach gained greater acceptance and maturity with their customers.

Bridging the age divide

There is a marked polarisation of views based on the age-demographic of respondents, with the under 35s only scoring 77% of brands positively, compared to 96% of over 35s. This is particularly relevant to the financial services sector given the long-term focus on inter-generational wealth adopted by the main financial service players today who are looking to ensure young generations remain with their brand when they inherit from their parents.

For more information about our findings or if there are particular insights that you would like to explore within the detailed data set, please contact Paul Willis (paul.a.willis@uk.gt.com).