For the third year in a row, Roy Morgan handed out awards to 24 Kiwi businesses that showed the highest levels of customer satisfaction, when measured against its annual survey of over 12,000 New Zealanders.
And judging by the fact that the event's master of ceremonies Howard Seccombe (Roy Morgan Research's international client services director) only handed out seven awards to first-time winners, it seems that previous winners are continuing to keep smiles on their customers' faces.
"Kiwibank, Air New Zealand, 2degrees, Suzuki, Apple iPhone, Energy Online and sports store Hunting & Fishing each achieved the hat-trick by winning their respective categories for the third consecutive year," said Seccombe when reflecting on the distribution of the awards over the course of the evening.
And making their first trips onto the stage at the event were TSB Bank, Bond & Bond, Hammer Hardware, Burger Fuel, PaperPlus, TrustPower Kinect and Ballantynes.
The remaining winners – comprised by Amcal, Hallensteins, Starbucks, The Mill Liquorsave, Hannahs, Pak ‘n Save, TelstraClear/Vodafone, Hilton, Nova Energy – each added to either a 2012 or 2011 win as they collected their second awards in the three-year history of the awards show.
Interestingly, every Customer Satisfaction Award winner at this year's event had an online presence in some form or other, indicating a growing awareness that brands not only have to keep their consumers appeased in real life but also in online channels.
According to Roy Morgan's research, New Zealanders spent over $5.87 billion online in 2013, up from the $5.6 billion spent in 2012. This increase online spend also coincided with a growth in customer trust, as statistics showed 38 percent of New Zealanders now feel comfortable sharing credit card details over the internet (up five percent from a year ago).
The most significant jump in year-on-year numbers came in Roy Morgan's research related to the percentage of Kiwis that only shop on New Zealand's online stores. In 2012, only 27 percent of those surveyed claimed an exclusive allegiance to New Zealand-owned stores, but a year later this number had swelled to 52 percent.
In spite of the apparent growth recorded by Roy Morgan, this hasn't been reflected in online retail spend figures that were released by BNZ and Marketview earlier this year. BNZ's market analysis of year-on-year online retail spend during the month of December between 2009 and 2013 found that international online retailers were pulling in more cash than their Kiwi counterparts.
List of 2013 winners at the Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction Awards:
Car Manufacturer of the Year: Suzuki
Financial Institution of the Year: TSB Bank
Major Bank of the Year: Kiwibank
Quick Service Restaurant of the Year: Burger Fuel
Chemist/Pharmacy of the Year: Amcal
Clothing Store of the Year: Hallensteins
Coffee Shop of the Year: Starbucks
Department Store of the Year: Ballantynes
Furniture / Electrical Store of the Year: Bond & Bond
Hardware Store of the Year: Hammer Hardware
Liquor Store of the Year: The Mill Liquorsave
Music/Book Store of the Year: Paper Plus
Shoe Store of the Year: Hannahs
Sports Store of the Year: Hunting & Fishing
Supermarket of the Year: Pak ‘n Save
Handset Provider of the Year: Apple iPhone
Home Phone Provider of the Year: TrustPowerKinect
Home Internet Service Provider of the Year: TelstraClear/Vodafone
Mobile Phone Service Provider of the Year: 2degrees
Domestic Airline of the Year: Air New Zealand Link
Hotel And Resort of the Year: Hilton
International Airline of the Year: Emirates
Electricity of the Year: Energy Online
Gas of the Year: Nova Energy