[Sponsored Report] Customer satisfaction hit record high in 2016

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[Sponsored Report] Customer satisfaction hit record high in 2016

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Samsung Securities topped the industry for a fourth straight year on the National Customer Satisfaction Index. [Korea Productivity Center]

The average score of companies on the Korea Productivity Center’s National Customer Satisfaction Index last year was 74.7, the highest since the index was created in 1998. The survey measured customer satisfaction on products and services provided by 314 companies in 73 industries.

The top 10 spots were dominated by hotels like the Shilla, Lotte and Westin Chosun. The hotel industry had the highest average score, 82, followed by duty-free shops with 80. The gap between the highest score, 82, and the lowest, 68, narrowed by three points from the previous year. Although the average score for hotels fell by two points, they remained at the top for a fifth straight year. Private universities had the lowest average score, 68.

Among 14 economic categories, the scores of nine increased. The scores of 39 industries, more than half of those surveyed, also rose compared to a year earlier. The improved performance is a result of companies adjusting to a rapidly changing market environment that includes higher customer expectations and competition, according to the analysis.

Of note were securities companies, which averaged 75, two points higher than the previous year. Low interest rates had a positive effect on the industry. Companies successfully responded to political and economic uncertainties like the U.S. presidential election and China’s slow-growing economy by introducing various investment strategies and products.

Samsung Securities topped the industry for a fourth straight year, scoring 76 last year. Mirae Asset Daewoo missed first place by just one point. Samsung expanded its global asset management portfolio and utilized financial technology, or fintech, in its asset management services. Since 2001, the company has been running a cyber training institute to educate its executives and staff.

The average score of consignment stock trading was 75, up one point from the year before. The stock market was volatile throughout last year due to events in the United States and China. In the third quarter of 2016, average trading value decreased by 6.1 percent from the second quarter, cutting into trading firms’ income. Customer evaluation of the companies’ services, though, improved as the government loosened economic policies and companies strengthened their mobile trading and commission systems.

Samsung Securities streamlined its mobile trading system “mPOP” by combining various apps like mPOP, mPOP asset management and overseas stock into an app called “New mPOP” that was well received by customers.

Rival Mirae Asset Daewoo provides trading and information services through its “Smart Neo” app. It allows customers to design their own home screen with status updates on interest rates and assets.

In the passenger vehicle category, Hyundai Motor took first place for an 11th straight year with a score of 75. Kia Motors tied Hyundai in first place, a feat it has achieved since 2006. Kia catered to customer demand with products like the improved Carnival and cutting-edge Sportage. In recent years, the company has been closing in on Hyundai in domestic passenger vehicle sales. Last year, the sales gap reached 50,000, showing Kia’s high potential.

In the credit card category, Samsung Card and BC Card both took the top spot with a score of 75. BC Card has been in first place since 2008 and Samsung Card since 2014. KB Kookmin Card, Hyundai Card and Shinhan Card each received 74 points, tying for runner-up.

Despite high competition, BC Card successfully satisfied customers by providing discounts and interest-free installments on holidays. Samsung Card enticed customers with its Samsung Card LINK and Samsung Pay service, which analyzes individual consumption patterns and recommends services accordingly.

The Korea Productivity Center predicts 2017 will be another year of low economic growth. Customers will continue to be sensitive to price and urge companies to develop products and services that meet new demands.

The center also expects the boundary between online and offline services to quickly disappear. As Internet of Things, or IoT technology, continues to grow, financial services based on IT will expand this year.
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