Report reveals the best companies in Ireland for customer experience
Daragh Cassidy
Head Writer

The Credit Union tops the annual rankings for the eighth year in a row while energy companies struggle.

Since its first publication back in 2015 the CXi Customer Experience Report has provided an important and detailed insight into how consumers feel about brands in Ireland, and this year is no different.

The report is published annually by the CX Company and the findings are based on a survey conducted in partnership with Amarách Research, where a cross-section of almost 18,000 consumers are asked to give their feedback on over 150 companies spanning 11 business sectors.

This year almost 80% of organisations in the survey improved their overall customer experience scores, meaning there are encouraging signs that focus is being put on listening to customers, identifying issues and improving experiences.

Nevertheless, despite this year's improvements, customer experience scores are still almost 8% below where they were in 2015. 

So, what did this year’s report reveal?

Top 10

Sitting at the top of the leaderboard this year is the Credit Union. Amazingly, it's the brand’s EIGHTH year in a row in pole position, and it's the only brand to have remained in the top 10 since the survey started in 2015.

The key reason according to the report is that staff treat all customers as valued members. When someone joins a Credit Union, they are not joining a financial services provider, rather they join a local social movement providing relevant financial services to people in their local communities. As such, Credit Unions get to know members as if they are members of their own family. 

In second place was McCauley Health and Beauty, which rose six places from last year. McCauley's customer service is at the heart of its business, according to the report, and all customer decisions are based on this approach. McCauley’s has also invested heavily in colleague training to ensure it delivers the highest standard of customer experience. 

In third spot was Phonewatch. The company is Ireland’s 'champion' in delivering 'the perfect balance between tech and human touch customer experience solutions'. It invests significantly in staff training to empower workers to make sure customers always feel the love, many of whom have been with the company for over 30 years since it first launched. 

Marks and Spencer is in fourth place, up a whopping 31 places compared to last year, while Specsavers is at number five. 

Retail, supermarket and financial services providers continue to see their sectors represented in the top 10 this year. Pharmacies have also maintained a very strong presence with four of them in the top 10 alone. They continue to play a key role in keeping people healthy and protected and the services they provided to customers during Covid-19 are well remembered and appreciated it would seem.

Curry's/PCWorld was the brand with the most improved score this year, up 15.2% compared to last year. This allowed it to rise 80 places (from 120 to 40). Woodie's was next most improved, with its score rising 14.1% compared to last year, allowing it to rise 66 places to number 17 in this year's rankings. 

Ryanair was the brand with the most improved score over the past three years, up an impressive 34.2%, but sill only coming in at 133 in this year's report. 

Despite the extra workload resulting from the departures of Ulster Bank and KBC - as well as some glitches - Bank of Ireland, Permanent TSB and EBS all managed to improve their customer experience scores and standings this year. AIB was the exception, dropping a hefty 51 places.

Here’s a closer look at this year's top 10 as well as the respective companies' customer experience scores.

Position Company Score Movement
1 IRISH CREDIT UNION 7.97 No change
3 PHONEWATCH 7.32 +9
4 MARKS & SPENCER 7.31 +31
5 SPECSAVERS 7.29 +10
6 DUNNES 7.27 +19
9 LIFE PHARMACY 7.24 New entry
10 BOOTS 7.23 -1

Bottom 10

Where there are companies killing it when it comes to customer experience and going above and beyond, there are also those who, well, aren’t.

Although the report says it surveyed over 150 businesses, only the top 139 in the report were actually shown.

And at the bottom was Eir. So while the report claims Eir has 'risen' 12 spots since last year (when it finished last in 151st position), it's a dubious claim. 

Just ahead of Eir for the second year running is Facebook.

All this being said, Eir still has a number of good deals available for those looking to upgrade their in-home broadband, along with TV and home phone deals - check them out here!

Also featuring in the bottom ten was the Department of Social Welfare, RTÉ, and FreeNow.

Brands in the energy sector all struggled this year, unsurprising given the energy crisis, with Electric Ireland, Energia, SSE Airtricity and Bord Gais all seeing big falls in their rankings. Confusion over billing and difficulty getting through to call centres were big bugbears among consumers.

However FreeNow was the brand with the biggest customer experience score decrease, down -12.5% compared to last year. This saw it fall by 53 places (from 79 to 139). It was brought down by perceptions of “no shows, long wait times and unfriendly drivers”, according to the research.

Ulster Bank was the brand with the biggest score decrease over the past three years, down -17.9%, perhaps unsurprising seeing as it's exiting the Irish market and forcing hundreds of thousands of people to find a new current account provider.

Are you happy with your service providers?

Are you happy with the customer experience you’ve had with your utilities and banking providers? If not, consider switching providers!

On you can compare available deals for services such as energy, broadband, insurance and banking products. Not only could you start receiving better service, but you could also end up saving hundreds on your annual bills too.

Let’s hear from you

What do you think of the results from the latest Customer Experience Report? Are you surprised with how any of the companies ranked? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below! 

Alternatively, you can get in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.