Most organisations have the sound bites when it comes to customer service and have good intentions as relayed in their mission statement, which often aspire to providing a market leading level of service, but in reality very few businesses actually achieve this. Customer service is not rocket science nor is it an exact science, but in essence it is a about understanding your customers and satisfying their needs. A happy customer will participate in repeat transactions and promote your business to their friends and family through positive word of mouth, an unhappy customer may never return and might advise others to follow suit.

 

As a result of the economic downturn consumers are demanding even more when buying a product or service, some businesses will rest on its laurels and others will evolve to offer a mix that meets the exceeded needs of the customers in terms of service, price, quality and range. The importance of customer service as a differentiator will be vital to the success of many UK businesses, and those companies that evolve their service offering to continually search for new ways to improve its policies and procedures, with the customer as the central factor will have a better chance of long term prosperity.

Recently Which? carried out the biggest survey of its kind, in a poll consisting of 100 of the UK’s top shops which drew on the experience of 14,000 shoppers.  The survey was aimed at identifying customer satisfaction with the retailer offering, focusing on, price, quality, range, service and the store look and feel.  The top of the poll was dominated by specialist stores, Lakeland, Richer Sounds, Apple and Lush, with John Lewis department stores in at a respectable 5th place.   At the opposite end of the 100 strong store survey came two major PLC’s in Currys Digital Dsg International (LON:DSGI) and Wh Smith Plc (LON:SMWH) . [1]

So far this year I have personally had two customer service experiences which are worth noting for opposing reasons.  Having been extremely pleased following my first experience purchasing a holiday with Tui Travel Plc (LON:TT.) last year I became a repeat customer this year, and must say that the pre, during and post level of service provided was exceptional in all aspects of the delivery.  Having a level of service delivered in this manner…

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