The UK insurance sector is no longer one of the worst three sectors for customer service and experience, according to the third annual customer experience survey from the consultancy, Engine Service Design.

The proportion of people saying insurance is among the worst for customer service dropped from 27% last year to 25% – being the only one of the worst eight sectors to see an improvement.

Insurance dropped from third worst to fifth worst (out of 14), being overtaken by public services and broadband/media.

Openess / honesty

Openness/honesty is the most valued trait in the way a company deals with customers (cited as a top three trait by 50% of people), followed by efficiency (48%) and reliability (44%). Efficiency (+4% points) and reliability (+3% points) saw the biggest jump in importance over the last year.

The report also reveals that customers are increasingly likely to recommend a company based on the quality of service (66% vs. 60% a year ago) than they are on price (30% vs. 35% a year ago).

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Oliver King, co-founder of Engine Service Design, said: “Despite its ongoing challenges, insurance has performed well relative to the other worst offenders but there’s still a long way to go.”

King said that in order to remain competitive and reduce churn insurance companies need to become more customer-centric and get ahead of the rising tide of service expectations.

He said: “Customers are looking for services that create a lasting positive impression and ultimately make their lives easier. Pricing can be copied by competitors but what really wins the day are easy to use services that weave together great functionality, usability to connect emotionally with customers and save them precious time.”

About the survey

The total sample size for the survey was 1,012 adults. It was conducted online during 4-5 July 2016. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults, aged 18+.