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Brands Winning at Customer Service, and How to Up Your Game

June 6th 2017

Super-fast turnaround? Knowledgeable staff? Considerate after-sales service? We all know the ingredients that make winning customer service but with so many routes to take, where do you focus resources to make the best of every customer interaction?

These are the brands winning at customer service and tips of what you can do to their replicate their success.      

It’s well known that customer service has a significant impact on customer decision-making.

According to a recent report* 73% of British consumers expect customer service to be more easier and more convenient, almost half (47%) are willing to pay more for better customer service and, of those who switched after receiving poor customer service, 65% won’t go back.

As a key brand differentiator that customers value and are happy to pay more for, ensuring your customer service is on top form is crucial for business success.

Here are organisations, big and small, bringing their A-game to customer service.


The retailer toppled John Lewis to take the top spot in the Institute of Customer Service (ICS) awards for best customer service 2016.

Amazon is the epitome of self-service shopping. Tapping into customers desire to buy where they want, when they want, buyers can place orders on any mobile device, choose from a range of prompt delivery options and track delivery online.

Additionally, Amazon’s shopping experience anticipates what customers want before they do, recommending related products throughout the transaction. As well as personalising the journey, the strategy optimises sales and increases basket value. Win-win.

Customer Service Win #1: Think about how to make your customers’ lives easier at each touchpoint of their purchase journey.


Vehicle manufacturers face many customer service challenges, from needing to deliver a consistent brand experience across a global dealership network, to ensuring staff are knowledgeable about all aspects of car sales, from latest vehicle technologies to post-sales procedures.

Jaguar, which rose to 34th place in ICS’s customer service awards, gauged via research what customers want and adapted its customer service accordingly. High quality workmanship now goes hand in hand with a slick, seamless dealership experience, including friendly, informed staff, efficient hand-over and pick-up services and comfortable facilities.

Customer Service Win#2: Look at your customer service in the round and identify what your customers really want with professional customer research, such as Customer Experience Quality Analysis.

First Direct

Of all finance companies, telephone and online retail bank First Direct, came top for best customer service in the latest ICS awards.

The strength of First Direct’s offering is putting customers in charge of their banking experience. This includes being able to manage bank services online, call any time of the day or night, including weekends, and text message banking. This level of self-service satiates customers’ need to solve support issues without having to contact a company representative direct. 

Customer Service Win #3: Put the customer in charge with self-service website portals and mobile apps.

Smaller Brands Winning at Customer Services

It’s not only well-known brands who have the capacity to master excellent customer service, smaller businesses can make their customer approach equally irresistible.

Online clothing retailer Zulily made headlines when a customer, who called to return two unwanted items, was advised she would be refunded immediately and, rather than return the items, suggested she donate them to charity. Taking to Facebook to praise Zulily’s customer support, the post was shared around the world, received 73,000 likes and was covered by national media. 

A garage in a Melbourne suburb of Australia beat 30,000 other garages to scoop Shell’s Global Award for the best service station in the world. Kingston service station’s success stemmed from always going that extra-mile for fuel-buying customers.

Everyone who visits is asked if they need help with anything else, from checking tyres, to changing a dud bulb.

Customer Service Win #4: Staff that go the extra mile for customers are a priceless asset. Embed this value in your company culture, your training and openly reward team members who put it into practice. 

Ready to create award-winning Customer Service?

TTi Global Research, a leading full-service UK market research agency in Berkshire, own and operate the CEQA customer research system.

Contact us to find out more about CX research

Developed over two decades of conducting customer research programmes for many well-known and emerging brands, CEQA provides companies with complete, accurate insight into what customers want and improvement actions needed to retain customers and increase sales.

To start creating your winning customer service, call our customer experience experts today on 01753 214000 or email your questions to us below.


Source: Accenture Global Consumer Pulse Survey, 2016, Great Britain Results