Korean companies have achieved a higher level of customer satisfaction despite the lingering impact of the COVID-19 pandemic that placed a prolonged drag on economic activity and daily lives in 2022, according to an annual survey by the Korea Productivity Center.
The KPC’s National Customer Satisfaction Index, or NCSI, for 2022 logged 78.4 points, up 0.3 point from 2021 and the highest since the survey began in 1998.
The survey was conducted on 91,556 customers in Seoul, Busan, Daegu, Daejeon and Gwangju who used the products and services from 335 companies and colleges in 82 different business sectors.
The KPC is an affiliated agency of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, established in 1957 to promote Korean industries’ productivity enhancement.
Ranking the highest score of 85 was Severance Hospital in Seoul, one of the largest and oldest hospitals in the country. Up from last year’s score of 84, Severance again kept its spot in the lead. Following Severance, four runner-ups were all hospitals, reflecting their crucial role in tackling the public health crisis.
The four were Samsung Medical Center, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, Asan Medical Center and Korea University Anam Hospital.
Industries that showed the most improvement in customer satisfaction included businesses in electricity, gas, steam and water supplies, along with management of business facilities, business support services and rental services. Also, businesses in the accommodation and food sectors showed gains in NCSI.
As for business support and rental services, unstaffed guard and security services showed a gradual improvement, up one point to reach 79, according to the data. The center said the physical security market is growing in size, also expanding into unstaffed stores and home security markets by offering joint discounts with telecommunication companies.
Business sectors that showed decline or remained unchanged in customer satisfaction were the construction industry, durable goods manufacturing industry, and businesses in public administration, defense and social security.
Confidence in housing quality assessments from construction companies slid due to the collapse of an apartment building under construction in Gwangju last year, the survey said.
A promotional image for Samsung Fire and Marine Insurance services (Samsung Fire and Marine Insurance)
Samsung Fire and Marine Insurance ranked first in the damage insurance sector in recognition of its digital transformation and customized services for innovation.
Its digital platform Direct Chac, launched in 2021, provides services that cater to individual needs, such as mileage driving insurance and living-related insurance.
The insurer's other platform, AnyFit, has been expanded to include services such as health risk analysis and chronic illness management among others.
It has made its services more easily accessible to meet the increasing demand for remote or non-face-to-face services.
Its mobile website provides remote services that users can access from home. It is the first in the industry to introduce an electronic signature platform in tandem with a smart link-based contract maintenance system.
As a result, the Samsung insurance subsidiary was recognized for having the highest number of insurance agents recognized by the General Insurance Association of Korea in 2022, with 823 employees receiving the Blue Ribbon honor. The Blue Ribbon certificate system evaluates recipients based on their contract retention rate, years of service, overall performance and more.
Samsung C&T subsidiary brand Raemian Apartments holds an event. (Samsung C&T)
Samsung C&T won first place in the apartment sector and fifth in overall rankings, according to the NCSI.
The builder owns Raemian, the top brand for apartments in the country. The brand, which places its residents at the center of its “Life Companion” philosophy, has ranked first in the sector for 25 consecutive years.
The NCSI, in its report, highlighted Raemian Hestia, the first apartment management and activity service for residents of the brand. It offers a unique customer service experience to tenants of Raemian apartments with well-trained staff and programs.
Raemian Hestia is distinguishable due to its innovative approach. It offers convenient services and enriching activities for residents under four categories -- Let’s Play, Let’s Stay, Let’s Learn, Let’s Together -- to revitalize and reconnect.
For swift and direct communication between apartment managers and residents, it also offers a call center, a dedicated website, mobile app and new resident lounge.
To achieve higher customer satisfaction, Samsung C&T created a new multifaceted system. This included a digital resource for tenants to view their homes with their smartphones, as well as a mobile app where they can check the progress of their requests in real time.
A lineup of Heritage shoes manufactured by Kumkang Shoe (Kumkang Shoe)
In the men's formal shoes sector, Kumkang Shoe took the lead. Its overall ranking was 107th out of the total 335 institutions surveyed.
Since its foundation in 1954, it has continued its management philosophy that "only shoes perfect for Koreans can meet consumer satisfaction."
They have stood as the top in the men's formal shoes sector for 19 straight years. Their handmade shoe brand, "Heritage Regal," was noted for its high quality and reasonable prices. Heritage has been gaining steady popularity among shoppers for its trendiness and cost-effectiveness.
Differentiating itself from other manufacturers, Kumkang directly produces and manages more than 95 percent of its products in Korea, with all major raw materials being produced at its own domestic factories.
It uses a 3D simulation to design shoes most suitable for Koreans' feet, with 1,500 foot models on file. In addition, a skilled craftsman adds the finishing touches to the product.
Lotte Duty Free store (Lotte Duty Free)
Lotte Duty Free has topped the tax-free sector, and also claims the fifth spot in the overall chart.
Following a store opening in downtown Sydney last May, they launched the Da Nang downtown store, Vietnam's largest duty-free store in November. Operating 13 stores overseas in six countries, the company is solidifying its status as a global duty-free store.
To respond to high exchange rates, the company has given out an exchange rate compensation offer as a promotional event, the first such in the industry.
The subsidiary of Lotte Corp. said it plans to run a seasonal event, “Jumping New Year,” in January and February, where customers can get package prizes and gifts. Customers participating can also get up to 4 million won ($3,200) in LDF Pay cash points.
Sustainability is another key component in Lotte Duty Free’s services. As part of its corporate social responsibility efforts, various community projects have been conducted under the slogan “LDF Impact” since 2020.
Under the three themes of community coexistence, environment and women, the company has supported small-business owners, introduced solar power generation facilities and organized community events for multicultural women.
"LDF Star Loves," a project for fostering young startups, has been held for four years as Lotte Duty Free aims to create local jobs and revitalize the economy, with a total of 30 companies participating so far.
By Korea Herald (email@example.com)