Customer Leadership Index 2021

Sharesies tops Kantar Customer Leadership Index

Sharesies has topped the annual Kantar Customer Leadership Index, New Zealand’s leading ranking of the best brands for customer experience, released today by data, insights and consulting company Kantar.

Mitre 10 and Bunnings Warehouse came in second and third, while Air New Zealand and Spotify rounded out the top five.

To create the index, Kantar surveyed over 2,000 New Zealanders about their opinions of more than 50 of New Zealand’s top brands in financial services, online shopping, retail and grocery, media and entertainment, travel, telecommunications and energy.

This is the third year the Kantar Customer Leadership index has been calculated.  It covers all aspects of the customer experience including service delivery, customer centricity, brand clarity and offer excellence.

Sharesies achieved a top five position across 19 of the 22 measured aspects of customer experience, reflecting strong service delivery against a clear brand promise and particularly standing out as offering a modern point of difference to other financial services providers.

Sharesies has been a successful disruptor, simplifying and demystifying the process of investing in the stock market, says Kantar New Zealand’s Head of Customer Experience, Jonathan Pickup.

“Sharesies’ result shows they’ve been able to successfully challenge previous preconceptions about the complexity of investing in shares or the disposable income needed to start a portfolio.  And consumer feedback shows they’ve delivered in a simple, clear and consistent way.”


The big box retailers have been successful at delivering positive customer experiences

While 2021 has been a challenging year for offline retail brands, Kantar’s Customer Leadership Index research indicates larger retailers have been successful in delivering positive customer experiences through difficult times.

DIY retailers Mitre 10 and Bunnings Warehouse took out second and third place in 2021, with both brands scoring strongly on customer centricity and offer excellence.  This reflects their ability to continue to deliver an effective service to consumers, even during periods where stores in some regions have been forced to close due to the pandemic.

Noel Leeming also makes it into this year’s top 10 brands, driven by strong improvements in the way they communicate with customers and their speed of service, despite the challenging landscape.

Overall, the offline retail category has performed relatively strongly on their customer focus, responsiveness and delivering value for money.

Mr Pickup says, “Retailers who found a way to continue to deliver service with a personal touch through the pandemic have seen a strengthening of consumer perceptions, which will stand them in good stead reputationally when the threat of lockdowns ease and normal service can resume.”


Strong New Zealand brands continue to perform well

The latest Kantar Customer Leadership Index results also show consistently strong performance for some of New Zealand’s most well known brands.  Despite a challenging year for the travel and insurance industries, Air New Zealand and AA Insurance remain in the top 10 for 2021.  AA Insurance, which took out top spot in 2020, now sit in sixth place but continue to perform strongly, with their drop down the rankings more reflective of the strong performance of the brands in the top six.

As in 2020, high street banks continue to perform strongly, with both ASB and BNZ making the top 10.  Banks are particularly well regarded this year for their delivery of online services that are easy to use and their responsiveness in dealing with issues.


Young New Zealanders are the most positive about their brand interactions

Kantar’s Customer Leadership Index research shows younger New Zealanders are more positive than their older counterparts when it comes to evaluating their interactions with brands.  This pattern was also evident in previous iterations of the research, but the gap between 18-29 year olds and those aged 50+ is widening over time.  This can be linked to more variability in views on how easy consumers of different ages find it to interact and deal with brands – a particular challenge that organisations have faced during the uncertainty of the last two years.

“The results suggest there is still an opportunity for brands to more effectively support some older consumers to make better use of digital channels” says Mr Pickup.  “Equally, one of the key challenges for brands during the Covid pandemic has been getting the balance right between delivering simple, effective digital service while also recognising when a more human approach is necessary. This year, we’ve seen the top 10 brands stand apart from the rest for their improvement on aspects such as service speed and providing online or digital services that are easy to use, but there’s still clear room for improvement in this area.”


The top 10 ranked brands:

1. Sharesies77
2. Mitre 1074
3. Bunnings Warehouse73
4. Air New Zealand71
5. Spotify70
6. AA Insurance70
7. Noel Leeming68
8. ASB68
9. BNZ67
10. Tower Insurance66


You can watch the Customer Leadership Index 2021 on-demand webinar here and download the report here.

Group Account Director
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Sharesies has topped the annual Kantar Customer Leadership Index, New Zealand’s leading ranking of the best brands for customer experience.

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