At the start of the year, BrandIndex looked at how Santander’s scores had nose-dived in the UK during 2010 taking it from competing with HSBC as the best perceived of the big banks to competing with RBS as the worst perceived.
We saw that this decline was customer led (the biggest hit had been on Recommendation scores) and from TellYouGov data we could see that people were spontaneously tweeting, e-mailing etc every day to let us know how poor the bank’s customer service was.
We said that improvements were needed to reverse this decline and, approaching the mid-point of 2011, it is a good time to take a look at how they’ve done.
Since the start of the year Santander’s Recommendation scores have varied in a range between -6 and -13 (currently standing at -11) with the overall Index (a combined score from six different perception measures) even steadier, never going higher than -5 or lower than -8 (it is currently -8).
So there is some good news in one respect; the slow but steady decline certainly seems to have been halted but there is, as yet, no sign of a rebound.
With a Recommendation score 17 points below HSBC and an Index score 14 points below there is a long way to go before they get back to where they were 15 months ago in the spring of 2010.
Poor service comments still dominate on TellYouGov – 86 of the last 100 comments have been negative – and while that remains the case, Santander is likely to continue to be perceived as one of the worst rather than one of the best banks.
The Index Score:
Every day, 2000 BrandIndex respondents rate brands either positively or negatively across 7 measures to provide a unique set of measures (Quality, Value, Reputation, Impression, Advocacy, Satisfaction and Buzz) on brand perception. For each one, the proportion giving a negative answer is taken away from positive to give a single score that can range from -100 to +100. All but Buzz (a measure of how positive or negative the “noise” around a brand is) are combined to form an Index score – a comprehensive measure representing a brand’s health.