What difference does excellent customer service make for business? The bi-annual UK Customer Satisfaction Index has just been published by the Institute of Customer Service and for the third consecutive year, Amazon tops the list.
First Direct, John Lewis, Jet2Holidays.com, Next, Subway and Aldi were all in the top ten. The bottom performers were New Look, TSB, Skoda UK and Iceland. Eight of the twenty ‘most improved’ organisations were utilities companies which is a much anticipated and welcome change.
Shopper Anonymous provides comments on the importance of excellent customer service and how it can be a significant differentiator:
According to the UKCSI July report, 28% of consumers favoured excellent customer service, even if it meant paying more, compared with 15% who were motivated by the cheapest deal.
It would appear that the statistics back up the premise that excellent customer service is worth paying for. This is good news – no news to us at Shopper Anonymous of course, as most of our customer relationships are built on that very premise.
Core ingredients of excellent customer service – employee competence, attitudes and behaviour – have become even more significant differentiators,” said Ms Causon of the ICS.
“Mass marketing or a ‘one size fits all’ customer experience is delivering diminishing returns and diluting valuable customer relationships.”
So if the larger companies with huge buying power like Amazon continue to deliver excellence in customer service and a speedy delivery service, does this trigger a warning bell for smaller retailers? And how much are we prepared to pay for excellent customer service?
Survival techniques for the smaller retailers are many and varied.
The online grocery market is expected to nearly double in value to £17.2bn over the next 4 years, according to food and grocery research body IGD, while supermarket sales will fall by nearly 3% to £69.6bn. Businesses with an online presence only such as Amazon and Ocado are expected to benefit the most from this growth in home delivered groceries whilst the current market leader Tesco, which controls about 40% of the online grocery market, could lose out.
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