John Lewis, darling of the British high street, responsible for the nation’s tears every December, is no longer the best British Company for customer service. That’s according to the semi-annual UK Customer Service Index that surveyed over 10,700 shoppers in January.
Every six months, they ask people of all different ages and backgrounds to rate customer service in every sector thinkable – from banks and public services, to tourism and transport. They’re sticklers for professionalism and quality, with a taste for swift service and helpful complaint handling. But you may find the results of the non-food retailer category particularly surprising.
Why? John Lewis topped the chart for years, but this time around their winning streak ended a drop out of the top three into its lowest position in seven years. Sixth! Don’t panic. They’re not suddenly mistreating customers.
No. They’ve scored higher than 80 in every Index since 2013. Perhaps you’ve experienced their consistently excellent customer service first hand? Non-food retailers are generally stepping up their game. Competition is tougher here than in any other sector.
For the first time since the index began in 2009, an American company trumped our own in the non-food retailer category. Amazon is the new Top Dog of customer service. Time will tell if their first physical bookshop in Ohio is up to scratch too!
Their straightforward, quick and personal customer service bumped them up one place from last year to the top of the list. Their score of 86.6 was enough to win them the customer-voted crown. But does an e-commerce site have an unfair advantage over physical businesses? Perhaps John Lewis need to work that bit harder to impress the customers in front of them?
The index sees Energy provider Utility Warehouse crowned runner up, followed by HSBC-owned online bank First Direct and Specsavers, then luxury foodies Waitrose rounding out the top five.
What does all of this mean? Well, let’s be honest, it’s unlikely to change your shopping experience out on the streets and it’s unlikely you’ll choose to spend elsewhere if you’re happy. But any encouragement to improve customer service can only be a good for us! Companies try to outdo each other in competition.