Consumers have confirmed what marketing and PR specialists have long suspected: customer service plays an important part in their decision of which brand to use.
In fact, according to consumer watchdog Which?, eight of ten Britons factor in the level of customer service they will receive before they opt for a brand.
Less well-known to marketers, however, is the brands that such workers themselves should choose if they want to work at the best brands and, if they want to improve them, the worst.
Again, the watchdog has come to the rescue. In its survey of more than 3,000 UK consumers, the cosmetics firm Lush emerged as the best brand, closely followed by Lakeland, the shopping chain.
Third best brand is First Direct, marginally ahead of retailer John Lewis, which trumped the RAC, the motoring organisation, in fifth place, found the survey which asked respondents about six aspects of customer service.
In contrast, but based on the same criteria including staff knowledge, ability to deal with a customer’s issue and likelihood to make a customer feel valued, are Ryanair, Npower and TalkTalk.
The low-cost carrier emerged as the worst, lowest scoring brand (having achieved only two stars across all six categories); the utilities supplier was the second worst, and the broadband group was the third worst.
Richard Lloyd, a director at Which?, reflected: “'With nearly nine in 10 consumers saying they would leave a brand that treated them poorly, it's clear that the quality of customer service can either make or break even the biggest names.
times of economic hardship, companies simply can't afford to compete on brand
awareness or price alone if they want to be sure of retaining their customers.”