In the UK, the brands that consumers are most loyal to include First Direct, Tesco Mobile, Santander and Freeview, with credit card provider MBNA also rising rapidly through the ranks, according to the latest UK Net Promoter Benchmarks report from Satmetrix. This article is copyright 2015 The Best Customer Guide.

The benchmark report ranked more than 60 brands across nine UK sectors, including financial services, insurance, television, mobile and internet providers, identifying which companies consumers do business with. Factors determining brands' Net Promoter Score (NPS) include customer views on ease of use, access to support, company reputation, treating customers fairly and value for money, to name just a few.

"The Net Promoter leaders are more likely to enjoy high customer retention, lower customer acquisition costs, and ultimately benefit from more sustainable growth," explained Brendan Rocks, head of data science for Satmetrix. "Many of the companies at the bottom of the rankings have huge potential to improve, and Satmetrix's research brings to light the areas of the customer experience where they lag competitors."

The country's top ten Net Promoter Scores (across all sectors) were as follows:

  1. First Direct (+73)
  2. Nationwide Building Society (+43)
  3. Freeview, tied with Tesco Mobile (+38)
  4. Plusnet (+37)
  5. LV, tied with Hargreaves Lansdown (+34)
  6. Santander credit cards, tied with Tesco Bank credit card (+28)
  7. Santander banking (+27)

Among the report's other key findings:

  • Royal Bank of Scotland had the lowest loyalty score of all the companies analysed at -19.
  • Consumer banking has the biggest gulf between best and worst performers; First Direct scored +73 versus Royal Bank of Scotland with -19.
  • Tesco is winning back customers' loyalty with extra services; Tesco Mobile had the highest mobile industry NPS at +38 and the consumer credit card from Tesco Bank (+23) was beaten only by Santander (+28).
  • EE and Vodafone were both bottom of the table for mobile and internet services. EE scored -7 for mobile and -17 for internet, with Vodafone respectively scoring -1 and -18. Given the shifting market and the increased bundling of services in the mobile and media industry they face tough competition.
  • When it comes to credit cards, providing a customer experience focused on community and reward is paying off for MBNA whose NPS score of +4 was enough to place them amongst high-street competitors including Lloyds, Barclaycard and Virgin Money.
  • Freeview is ahead of digital TV competition with a Net Promoter Score of +38, some 25 points ahead of subscription services including Sky, Virgin Media, BT, and finally Talk Talk - which had the only negative score (-11) in the top five.

The Satmetrix Net Promoter Benchmarks are based on survey responses from more than 11,000 UK consumers who rated their experience with the primary brands they use. The Net Promoter Score, or NPSR, for each brand is based on customers' likelihood to recommend the company's product or service in the sector being rated. NPS is calculated as the percentage of customers who are promoters, rating the company 9 or 10 on a 0-10 point scale, minus the percentage who are detractors, rating 6 or lower. Consumers also rated each brand on various aspects of customer experience, including product or service features, customer service and overall value, enabling Satmetrix to identify the key drivers of loyalty and recommendation.