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So what brands are Irish customers having the best experience with?

There are some surprises to be found in the results of the second annual Irish Customer Experience Survey. But fans of Irish Water might want to avert their eyes.

shutterstock_420917386 Source: Shutterstock/ldutko

IRELAND’S CREDIT UNIONS have topped the poll in a survey of what brands Irish customers have had good experiences with for the second year running.

The credit union is top of the tree, with cosmetics chain Lush in second place and An Post in third.

The results are detailed in the report from Amárach Research, commissioned by Customer Experience Insights (CXi).

The top 10 brands per Irish customers are:

  1. Irish Credit Union
  2. Lush
  3. An Post
  4. Sam McCauley Pharmacies
  5. Citylink
  6. Peter Mark
  7. Boots
  8. Aldi
  9. Marks & Spencers Retail
  10. Penneys

21/7/2014. Credit Unions Filming Source: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

Gerard O’Neill of Amárach says the survey results show that Irish consumers are “beginning to loosen the purse strings again, but in a more selective fashion than previously”.

The biggest mover in the survey was Peter Mark which moved up 47 places to number six.
If a company has the ability to do lots of small things brilliantly for customers, it will be successful.

CXi’s Michael Killeen meanwhile says that credit unions’ ongoing success is a result of them “putting customers at the heart of everything they do”.

“All 339 credit unions share the same ethos,” he said.

Lush is a new entrant on the list while many brands, including Peter Mark as mentioned above, have made significant leaps from 2015′s rankings.

Citylink travel has jumped 27 places to number five in the rankings, O’Brien’s Off Licence is up 28 spaces to 19, and Arnotts is up 34 places to 22.

Lush cosmetics in London Source: PA

Biggest drop

Meanwhile, brands that lost out to a significant extent include taxi app Hailo (down 33 places to 43), Axa Insurance (down 25 to 142), and Irish Ferries (down 45 spots to 60).

The biggest loser of all in the survey is Luas, which has dropped a massive 105 places to rank 127th on the list, after a series of strikes during the summer which saw customers left without service on 12 separate days.

Dublin Bus, which is currently facing its own ordeal of industrial action, doesn’t make the top 100 brands.

Dublin city stock Never rains but it pours - more bad news for Luas Source: Niall Carson

There’s better news for airlines Ryanair and Aer Lingus however. Ryanair, after a concerted effort to improve its customer experience, is up 24 places to 77, while Aer Lingus drops seven places to a nevertheless relatively respectable ranking of 28.

Insurance

Insurance companies, never far from the news in recent times due to the ongoing controversy surrounding car insurance premiums, have taken a bit of a hammering in the survey, with the insurance sector the worst performer of all ten categories considered.

All ten car insurance companies surveyed failed to make the top 100 brands (Axa being the biggest losers, dropping 25 places to rank 142), with the biggest drop being seen in the ‘empathy’ pillar used to gauge customer satisfaction.

Other pillars used include ‘personalisation’, ‘integrity’, and ‘expectations’.

FRANCE AXA SALES Axa is just one of many insurance companies that has taken a hammering Source: AP/Press Association Images

The worst?

And the company that fared worst in the entire survey? You might be able to guess this one.

Irish Water, take a bow. Perhaps its ranking will improve next year now that water charges have been suspended. Or perhaps not.

Irish water meter stock Less than popular - Irish Water Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

It wasn’t all doom and gloom for the utilities – Airtricity and Electric Ireland are the most improved brands, with the latter jumping ten spots to break into the top 100 at number 95.

The survey’s results were compiled using 72,000 Irish customer evaluations of 170 brands. You can view the report in full here.

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