Our new customer service survey here at Which? shows that while some companies are terrible, others are clearly hitting the right notes. Perhaps it’s time to consider a change?
So, we asked Which? members how they rated customer service for the companies they use in their everyday life. The result? A survey of more than 10,000 people rating 75 big UK brands – from your regular supermarket to your energy providers.
Were there any surprises at the top of the table? Not from the Which? camp. First Direct – the telephone and internet bank – came first, scoring a Which? customer service rating of 89%. John Lewis and Waitrose weren’t far behind.
And what companies flop in the customer service stakes? Well, none of the telecoms providers do amazingly well, but rock bottom is AOL Broadband with an awful rating of 44%. TalkTalk is only just above it, along with major banking chain Santander.
Complain – it pays!
It’s not just the good times that helped the top scoring companies – our top four were all rated five stars out of five for dealing with customer problems. It’s as much about how your complaint is dealt with as it is about not having the need to make one at all.
So if a company’s made a mistake, give it a chance. It might beat expectations and sort out your problem brilliantly. You may even get rewarded in return – one of our survey respondents was sent a £5 voucher from Waitrose due to a late delivery (by only 30 minutes!)
Vote with your feet
This year we’ve been encouraging everyone to vote with their feet and take their business elsewhere if they think they’ve been treated badly by a company.
I know that’s easier said than done. While you can just stop going to an awful shop, it’s more hassle to switch your energy company, bank or broadband provider. And if your supermarket is the only one close to you for miles, it’s almost impossible to shop at another.
Still, if great service is important to you it’s worth considering the switch. Within all the sectors we covered (banks, energy suppliers, mobile providers etc.) there was at least one stand-out company, so there’s definitely somewhere to go if you’re fed up with a certain brand.
Have you suffered any customer service woes that might tempt you to switch? Or maybe a company has wowed you by going that extra mile? Let us know in the comments.