Amazon tops new customer experience league table

18th Nov 2010

A survey among 5,500 UK consumers has by far and away ranked online retailer Amazon as number one in a new Customer Experience League Table.

The survey, by marketing agency Nunwood, places bankers First Direct second, followed by supermarket chain Waitrose and retailers Marks & Spencer and John Lewis.

The poorest performers overall, however, were utilities companies and, in particular, power companies. "The power utilities have replaced estate agents and lawyers as the country’s least favourite companies," the report said. "Perceived as having poor contact centres, poor service and being unhelpful, harassing, rude and unsympathetic, these companies have a long way to go to repair their image."

The top companies, on the other hand, adopted an "holistic approach – offering great products and excellent service are hygiene factors today and do not lead to competitive advantage – when it comes to delivering great customer experiences, these companies get a number of things right across a broad spectrum of activities with ‘wow’ experiences the outcome," the report continued.

This holistic approach was based on six factors. The first was ‘friendliness’, which meant providing "warm, kindly advice you can trust" and treating customers "as a friend you show you care".

Valuing customer time was another important consideration. This involved thinking through the problems experienced by time-poor customers and helping them to achieve their objectives quickly and easily.

Turning a poor experience into a great one was also crucial, with high ranking brands planning for problems and, when they occurred, committing to fixing them and delivering on that commitment.

The fourth characteristic was setting appropriate customer expectations and delivering against consistently against them, while the fifth was demonstrating honesty and integrity in customer interaction. The final requirement, meanwhile, entailed meeting customer needs in a way that felt tailored and personal.

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