As more and more retailers seek to become “customer-centric,” treating consumers well when they need help will be a key factor to their success. Some retailers are particularly good at customer service, choosing to dedicate time and resources to nurturing their customer relationships, while others still falter in this area.
To uncover which retailers are getting it right, Newsweek looked at which companies provide “America’s Best Customer Service 2020” for the second year in a row. Newsweek partnered with global data-research firm Statista Inc. to uncover and highlight 480 companies in 160 retail categories.
For the purposes of this article, RIS broke out the top scoring retailers across all brick-and-mortar and online categories. The below list excludes all services categories, and the “catering, restaurants and leisure” category.
It’s interesting to note that in RIS’ below look at the Top 10 Retailers from Newsweek’s wider list, only two retailers maintained positions on the list from last year, but they both improved their spot: Publix and Trader Joe’s.
Publix not only remained on the list, the grocery chain actually bumped up a spot from No. 4 last year to No. 3 this year. Publix was founded in 1930 in Winter Haven, FL, and today is the largest employee-owned grocery chain in the U.S. Publix continues to be ranked among the best companies in the grocery industry. It has been one of Fortune magazine's "100 Best Companies To Work For" since the list's inception, this year ranking No. 12, up from No. 47 last year. Fortune also named Publix one of the Best Workplaces for Women, ranking No. 11 up from No. 29 in 2018. Publix, which has clearly been improving its standings in retail’s best this year, may be able to attribute its great customer service to its heavy investment in its employees, providing the training they need to advance in the company.
Meanwhile, Trader Joe’s bumped up from a tie at No. 10 in 2019 to No. 8 this year on RIS’ list. The grocery chain retailer known for extremely vocal and loyal customers also got a top score for customer experience this year in Forrester’s annual “US Customer Experience Index” study. While the retailer undoubtedly has many initiatives to provide great customer service, a Popsugar article reported that Trader Joe's secret to quality customer-service is simply overstaffing. "They totally overstaff so that you don't feel like your stocking duties or your register duties trump interacting with customers — they encourage you to be nice to customers,” a former employee noted. It may sounds simple enough, but having the right number of staff on the floor is a key factor in customer service success.
Ready to find out the remaining eight newcomer retailers that provide the best customer service, according to Newsweek? The following is RIS’s top 10 breakdown.