A new poll conducted by Chain Store Age asked about the best customer service retailers across 160 retail sectors. The survey was based on more than 20,000 customers who have made purchases, used services, or researched data about the company from 2017 to 2020.
The Top 3 made me laugh because… well, look at who they are:
These top three companies are high-end with customers residing in the top income tiers. Besides the irony of Cruise lines in the age of Covid, a department store that recently declared bankruptcy, and a hotel chain when few are traveling, one of the most important customer service behaviors of these examples includes treating customers well.
The other seven retailers noted below in rank order, appeal to a broad demographic, several in the mid-market category:
- Edward Jones
- L. Bean
- National Storage Affiliates
- Embassy Suites
- Beau Coup (Wedding, Baby Shower and other “Significant Event” Party Favors)
While we understand that many businesses in the middle to moderate income space equate cheaper prices with less sales associates and very little customer service, that won’t work in these very competitive retail times.
As an example of doing it right, number 1, Disney, began calling their customers “guests” early on in their corporate culture. The difference between a guest and a customer is clearly shown in the simple definition of the two words:
- A customer is a person or organization that buys goods or services from a store or business.
- A guest is a person who is invited to visit the home of or take part in a function organized by another.
When #2 ranked Neiman shook up its executive suite in 2019, Scott Emmons, who led the company’s “Innovation Lab” wrote as a parting statement: “…we know that retailers are far from delivering what they must to guard against doomsday scenarios for physical stores. After 16 years working for a top luxury retailer, I can say with confidence that traditional players in the US and abroad are not innovating the right way. Processes are broken, execution is too slow, politics stalls decision-making and resources are too scarce.”
Retail is a microcosm of the culture it lives in. One of the first steps in solving a problem is to recognize there is a problem! The wrong way to be a stellar retailer I liken to Trump, who’s following has fallen precipitously in recent weeks. To be successful, retailers must aspire to be good enough for the majority of the population who now demand to be treated well, whether shopping at a Walmart or at a Sur La Tab. These consumers are driving the future of retail, and on a larger scale, the future of the United States! As we begin to thaw from the current months of lockdown and America returns to stores, restaurants, museums, and travel, the CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE will determine the winners and losers at the full spectrum of retail. And while many of our favorite brands may not be left standing, those who continue to sharpen their “experience” skills will come out on top.
Do you agree or do you believe out-of-home shopping is gone forever? Let us know your assessment. We always love to hear your view!