You can’t always get what you want…
(Well, not unless you’re the customer, that is.)
Every year, there’s a survey carried out to see which business tops the charts from a customer service perspective.
Granted, there’s probably a drug dealer hiding away in his mansion who’s delivering what his end-users want or need.
And I’m sure there’s a street worker somewhere on a corner or hidden away in a den of iniquity that’s definitely making customers happy.
Unfortunately, they don’t willingly come forward and announce that their business exists.
And, funnily enough, consumers don’t usually jump up and down and admit they’ve been patronising these services.
Therefore, the survey tends just to focus on high street businesses. Well, at least those that are still in existence.
John Lewis has always been a firm favourite. They share profits with staff who, because they’re not slaving for minimum wage, are more than willing to attend to the customer’s every whim.
And they even have one store where you can effectively ‘try before you buy’, along with a tip top returns policy.
It’s fair to say, they offer a prime example of how to deliver an emotive end-user experience and keep customers returning time and time again.
However, believe it or not, John Lewis were pipped at the post.
By whom, doesn’t take much second guessing, even though they’re not on the high street.
Yes, that’s right. Jeff Bezos and his Amazon empire have taken the top spot as the best company when it comes to customer satisfaction.
Regardless of the fact that, in doing so, they are turning our high streets into ghost towns.
It seems as though consumers don’t give a fig that their local shops are dying a death, with businesses closing their doors and locals losing their jobs.
I, for one, like a good rummage through a book store looking for a bit of escapism.
Or a clothing store. Especially the sale rail!
But it appears as though I am amongst the minority.
Because Amazon are taking over the world.
No longer do a lot of people have a meaningful job that puts bread and butter on the family table.
That clearly doesn’t matter though.
Not as long the Amazon box packers get their minimum wage and don’t have to deal with disgruntled shoppers and their honest (if sometimes abusive) customer feedback.
And no one seems to care the Bezos’ coffers are so full that he could probably afford to buy a few small countries.
Heck, he could probably pay off Britain’s debts and fund the NHS for a lengthy period of time and still have money left over.
In the past, consumers loved to receive personal service from their affable, local shop keeper…?
But not anymore.
‘I’d rather stare into my computer screen, thanks’, says today’s punter.
It’s obviously bad enough having to have a brief conversation with the pizza delivery guy.
No, it just appears that the public are satisfied to spend all their hard-earned money (assuming they haven’t lost their job) with a company that doesn’t seem to pay their share of taxes.
Ok, so they paid a lot of tax last year but not as much as they booked in revenue! And they halved their payments to HMRC, even though it’s UK income doubled. What’s more, in 2017, HMRC gave them a whopping £1.3m tax credit!
Yep, Amazon is clearly very good an exploiting flaws in tax laws.
But, I’ll say it again… the British public are apparently happy with that fact.
The head of John Lewis said a few years ago that tax avoidance would put a lot of British companies out of business.
And we only need to look at our empty high streets, that sport little other than charity shops, boarded up windows and ‘for let’ signs, to know that it’s becoming a reality.
It’s like pulling the plug on a sink full of water.
And all the high street shops, managers and staff have gone down the plughole because they didn’t have access to the powers that could minimise their obligations when it came to taxes.
Which means there is less money for upkeep on our country’s roads. And a lack of funds for public services and the NHS.
Think outside the box
So, it’s time for consumers to think outside the box a little.
They need to stop complaining about the lack of shops on the high street.
Only, in the next breath, to turn on the computer and buy something they don’t need, just because it will save them a couple of quid.
Thus topping up the coffers of Bezos and not anyone else.
Yes, I’ll admit, Amazon get things right.
They deliver an emotive end user experience and have a 24/7 customer feedback management system in place.
What’s more, they also clearly monitor the end-user experience that they deliver. They must do, since their customer loyalty is high.
But if people took the time to step outside their front door, they might just be pleasantly surprised.
The businesses that are still surviving are doing so because they are doing something right.
Let’s give them chance them prove it.
And if you’re a business out there wanting some insight into staying one step ahead and being more Amazonian from a customer loyalty perspective, get in touch with us here at The Monachie Project!