Customer experience, or the customer’s perceptions and feelings caused by interactions with a business’s staff, products or procedures, is vital to a successful business. A good customer experience makes that individual more likely to use your business’s services again, and has a large impact on brand loyalty and repeat customer rate.
But what makes a good customer experience? Well, we thought we’d take a look at some of the high street retail giants to find out! We compiled a list of the UK’s favourite high street retailers and trawled through the reviews from the last 12 months on Trustpilot for each to find out how good – or bad – their customer experience is, right from the customers’ keyboards. We have searched the Trustpilot page of each high street retailer to find the number of times specific compliments or complaints have been made, such as good or bad delivery service, to find how well each retailer is doing on key elements of the customer experience.
Take a look at how well each retailer has done and, if you’re looking to improve your businesses’ customer experience, now’s your chance to take notes!
High Street Retailers With The Best Customer Experience
A good customer experience strategy can have an incredible effect on a business. With higher customer satisfaction rates and increased revenues recorded by companies who prioritise customer experience, it certainly should be a priority on many other companies’ lists.
And some of our favourite high street retailers certainly seem to have gotten it right. Here are the ten high street retailers with the best customer experience, according to TripAdvisor reviews.
Lakeland, a chain of kitchenware stores, takes the crown of Britain’s high street retailers with the best customer experience. Past customers have left 8412 reviews in the last month and 7711 of these are positive, culminating in an overall Trustpilot rating of 4.6 stars out of 5. 6.3% of reviews in the last 12 months have praised Lakeland for their good customer service, 24.6% for their delivery and 4.6% for friendly staff. Plus, 12.5% of reviews have complimented Lakeland’s range of items. This high street retailer pays for extra features on Trustpilot, which include insights into customers and their reviews, plus the opportunity to invite more customer reviews. Lakeland uses this feature to ask for all types of reviews, and regularly responds to the negative reviews in less than 24 hours – a sign of quality customer service!
New Look are one of the UK’s favourite high street fashion stores, and this could be down to their pleasant customer experience! With 4.3/5 and an overall review of excellent on Trustpilot, New Look has received a total of 1686 reviews in the last twelve months, and 1467 of these were positive. 11.7% of past customers have praised New Look on their good delivery service, with a further 32.4% mentioning great customer service and 10.8% mentioning a good choice of items in store. Like Lakeland, New Look also pays for extra features and responds to the majority of their negative comments (77% at the time of writing) in less than two days.
One of the UK’s most popular bookstores comes in rather high on our list of high street retailers with good customer experience. Overall, WHSmith has received 8035 reviews over the last year, and 6832 of these have been positive. With a total score of 4.3, 21.4% of these reviews have praised WHSmith for good delivery service, 5.7% for a wide choice of items, and 1.6% mention good dealings with their customer service team. Conversely, however, 2.1% of reviews have complained about bad delivery service and 2.2% mention bad customer service, implying that individual experiences with some WHSmith service teams can vary. But WHSmith regularly responds to negative reviews in less than 24 hours, and ensures that all issues raised are discussed further.
Superdry is well known for its distinctive clothes, but perhaps its popularity comes down to its customer experience too. Satisfied customers have left 15,930 reviews in the last 12 months, which is the majority of the 19,672 reviews that they have received over the past year. With 22.5% of reviews praising their fantastic delivery service and 22.3% complimenting their customer service, Superdry has an overall rating of 4.2. A further 4.2% of happy people have mentioned friendly staff, and 8% were satisfied with their range of items. Although some have mentioned that the packaging of deliveries could be better, Superdry tries to respond to negative reviews within a week and, so far, has replied to 34% of negative reviews.
This variety store chain prides itself on selling a variety of items at an affordable price, and, although they’ve only received 301 reviews in the last year, 178 customers seem to be very pleased. 14.9% of Home Bargains’ reviews have praised their customer service team, 8.6% dealt with friendly staff and 8% are satisfied with the delivery service. However, surprisingly, 15.9% reviewers have complained about the customer service and 7% remain unhappy with delivery service. Home Bargains doesn’t encourage reviews and also doesn’t reply to them, which means that these customers have left reviews of their own volition, hence the lower number compared to the other high street retailers. However, for such a small number of reviews, the high overall score of 4.2 despite the mixed reviews is certainly surprising! Although they ask for all types of reviews and pay for extra features, Home Bargains doesn’t reply to any, meaning negative experiences remain unfixed.
Argos is a well-known British retail company, and many of us rely on them when purchasing a multitude of things, apparently partly due to their good customer experience. Of the 13,209 reviews that have been left on their Trustpilot over the last 12 months, 9946 ring positive, while 3263 are negative. 15.9% of customers on Trustpilot appreciate the delivery service, while 29.5% have praised their customer service and 8% dealt with friendly staff. Conversely, although 3.2% of reviewers mentioned a good choice of items, 2.8% claim the opposite and were faced with a limited stock range. Plus, 12% of reviews claim their dealings with Argos’s customer service team were more negative. However, Argos asks for negative and positive reviews and has replied to 99% of their negative reviews in less than 12 hours, so they are working to be better.
Wilko is a retail chain company that sells a wide variety of products, which is one thing that 9.8% of customers have praised them on. The 11,856 positive reviews out of a total of 15,240 left on Wilko’s page in the last year has resulted in an overall score of 4/5 for this high street retailer. As well as their large variety, 22.6% of their reviews have mentioned Wilko’s good delivery service and 2.1% have praised friendly teams of staff. However, 2.6% have recorded a good experience with Wilko’s customer service, while 3.6% weren’t happy with their customer service experience. Despite some of their mixed reviews and their paying for extra features on Trustpilot, Wilko has not replied to any of their negative reviews, meaning that they have not worked to fix the issues raised.
Waterstones is another popular high street bookstore that has made it to our list, but they have received a far smaller number of reviews than other high street retailers in our list, with a respectable 980 reviews left on their page in the last 12 months. However, 760 of these have been positive, implying that Waterstones is prioritising their customer experience. 33% of their reviews compliment the retailers efficient customer service team, 6.1% mention good experiences with Waterstones’ delivery service and 6.3% have praised the shops’ staff. Contrarily, 7.3% of reviews left on Waterstones’ page mention bad customer service, and it seems that many of these relate to Waterstones’ online service. Although Waterstones do not pay for extra features or ask for reviews on Trustpilot, they have made the effort to reply to 63% of their negative reviews.
John Lewis falls close to the bottom of our high street retailers with the best customer experience list with a respectable score of 3.9 out of 5 overall. The department store has received 17,177 reviews over the last 12 months, and 13,260 of these were positively inclined. The biggest point of compliment for reviewers of John Lewis is their delivery service, which has been praised in 16.1% pf reviews. Plus, 9.2% were also satisfied with John Lewis’ friendly, approachable staff and 5.6% had a positive experience with their customer service team. However, conversely, 8.2% of reviewers were not happy with John Lewis’ customer service. Additionally, 0.9% of past customers have marked John Lewis as expensive. John Lewis asks for reviews and has responded to 92% of their negative ones in less than 2 days.
Bringing up the rear of our list of high street retailers with the best customer experience is Curry’s, who have received an overall rating of 3.7. Past customers have left 42,423 reviews in the last 12 months, and a hefty 30,362 of these were positive. 13.1% of them have praised Curry’s delivery service and 11.5% have commented on their friendly staff, while a further 5.5% of them were satisfied with the choice of items available. However, another 5.9% were not happy with Curry’s stock range, and 9% condemned their customer service. Despite their mixed reviews, Curry’s regularly responds to negative reviews in less than 24 hours, and has replied to 99% of their bad reviews.
High Street Retailers With The Best Customer Experience: In Summary
A common factor of these high street retailers with the best customer experience is that the majority of them all make the effort to reply to some or all of their negative reviews. Responding to negative reviews shows customers that you care about their experiences and gives you the opportunity to right any wrongs. Hence, regularly responding to reviews is essential for a good customer experience. Additionally, many of these retailers who reply to their reviews have also invested in extra features on Trustpilot. Trustpilot’s extra features include the opportunity for businesses to invite more customer reviews, make use of Trustbox widgets on business sites and access detailed analysis and marketing assets for the businesses review page. These extra features mean businesses can learn more about their customers and get the right insights to improve. Finally, many of these high street retailers prioritise the experience of their customers by offering a wide range of items and ensuring that their customer and delivery services are well equipped to handle everyday tasks and any issues that may crop up. Running a proactive customer service team and pairing your business with a reliable delivery service are the most successful ways of ensuring the best customer experience for your retail business, and these factors should be your top priority.
High Street Retailers With The Worst Customer Experience
On the other hand, some businesses just aren’t getting their customer experience strategy right. With multiple recurring complaints including bad delivery & customer services and unpleasant employees, the results of neglecting a customer experience strategy are certainly visible on the Trustpilot pages of these high street retailers. Here are the ten high street retailers with the worst customer experience approaches according to their customer reviews.
The high street retailer with the worst customer experience according to Trustpilot reviews is Matalan, with an overall score of 1.3 out of 5. Of the 1338 reviews left in the last year on Matalan’s page, 1242 of them were negative. The worst point of complaint seems to be bad customer service, which 43.6% of reviewers have complained about, and a limited choice of items, which has been mentioned in 39.5% of reviews. However, they have also been knocked in 27.6% of complaints for a bad delivery service and 10% mention rude staff. Despite their admittedly terrible overall score, Matalan makes an effort to reply to negative reviews in less than 24 hours, and has responded to 81% of them.
Asda follows closely behind in our list of retailers with the worst customer experience, gaining an overall score of 1.4. Customers have left 2305 reviews in the last year, and 2109 of these were negative. The worst offender with Asda is the delivery service, which 27.5% of people have complained about, followed closely by a bad customer service, which has been mentioned in 27.2% of reviews. Plus, 21.3% of people have complained about Asda’s limited choice of items in stock. Asda has not replied to any of their negative reviews and does not invest in any extra features from Trustpilot, implying that they have not made themselves aware of their customers’ complaints.
The reviews of Morrisons’ customers has resulted in an overall score of 1.5 for this popular high street retailer. As Morrisons has several profiles available on Trustpilot, we have chosen to review the claimed profile for their in-store customer experience. As a result, we have discovered that many stores and their cafes are unclean and understaffed. Of the 574 reviews left for Morrisons in-store over the last 12 months, 517 of these were negative. 35.2% of their reviews have condemned Morrisons customer service, 25.4% have complained about rude staff, and 10.8% are unsatisfied with the stores delivery service. Like Asda, Morrisons has yet to reply to any of their negative reviews and do not pay for extra features on Trustpilot to gain marketing insights into their reviews.
As one of the most popular supermarkets, Tesco being high on the high street retailers with the worst customer experience will likely come as quite a shock. However, Tesco is the first of several supermarkets on this list that have on overall rating of only 1.7 on Trustpilot. 1645 of the 2080 reviews in the last 12 months have been negative, and the worst offender is their bad customer service procedures, which have been condemned in 15.4% of reviews. 15.2% of past customers have also complained about a bad delivery service, and 12.6% about rude in-store staff. Plus, only 1 reviewer has said that Tesco’s stock range was affordable, whereas 1.9% have deemed their prices too expensive. Tesco has not yet replied to any negative reviews.
Although Sainsbury’s pays for extra features on Trustpilot, they still have an overall score of 1.7 out of 5. Out of the 1850 reviews past customers have left in the last year, only 305 of these were positive, leaving 1545 negative reviews. The most complaints are about the stores customer service, which has been mentioned in 22.3% of reviews, and their delivery service, which has been complained about in 16.2% of reviews. Another common complaint from another 16.2% of reviews is the limited stock of items in Sainsburys. The majority of reviews on Trustpilot come from customers who have shopped in store, although there are several complaints about their online service too. Like most businesses on our list of retailers with the worst customer experience, Sainsbury’s has never replied to their negative reviews and doesn’t pay for any extra features of Trustpilot.
Many may praise Aldi for its affordable items (and some have on Trustpilot), but that doesn’t equal a good customer experience. With an overall score of 1.7, 969 of the 1148 reviews left on Aldi’s Trustpilot page over the last year have been negative. 28.7% of them have cited bad customer service, 19.1% have discussed a limited range of items and 14.5% were dissatisfied with the companies delivery service. While shopping in-store, some customers have also dealt with rude, unobliging staff, which has been brought up in 10.5% of the reviews from the last 12 months. Aldi does not make an effort to ask for or reply to reviews, although people are more than happy to leave them at their own discretion.
A high street retailer that many of us rely on, the Co-Op has a score of just 1.7 out of 5 according to 357 Trustpilot reviews left in the last year. From 9.2% of reviews mentioning expensive items to 11.2% talking about ill-stocked shops, customers have the most complaints about bad customer service when it comes to Co-Op. 33% of previous customers have mentioned this retailers customer service in a negative light over the last year. However, they also don’t seem to be performing when it comes to their in-store service either, as 18.5% reviews have complained about rude staff, as well as rude staff. The Co-Op has yet to reply to any negative reviews, and they do not pay for any of the extra features that Trustpilot offers.
Another retailer commonly associated with their affordable items, Lidl doesn’t seem to be providing the best customer experience, with an overall score of 1.7 and 813 reviews left in the last 12 months. 675 of their total reviews over the past year have been negative, with 15.9% commenting on a bad customer service and 20.8% telling of encounters with unfriendly staff. Many reviewers of Lidl are also unhappy with their stock range, as 13.3% of them have mentioned that this retailer has a limited choice of items. Plus, no reviews mention good experiences with Lidl’s delivery service. Despite their low score and the complaints reviewers have left, Lidl has never replied to any of their reviews.
Marks & Spencer
With a surprising 1.8 rating, Marks & Spencer has slipped into our list of retailers with the worst customer experience. This popular high street retailer has received 1976 reviews over the last year, and a surprising 1593 of these have been negative. 24.4% have complained about a customer service team that can’t solve issues, while 14.7% have complained about a slow and unreliable delivery service. Additionally, 17.1% people have mentioned Marks & Spencer having a limited choice of items. Marks & Spencer’s does not encourage customers to leave reviews and has never replied to any negative ones.
Closing our list of high street retailers with the worst customer experience is TK Maxx, who have received 633 reviews over the last 12 months. 491 of these have been negative, but TK Maxx has made the effort to reply to 98% of these bad reviews in less than 24 hours. Despite the companies responsiveness, 28.1% of customers have complained about TK Maxx’s customer service and 18.3% about the limited stock range in store. 11% of reviewers have also talked about rude staff and 10% discussed the bad delivery service. Although TK Maxx does reply to their negative reviews, their ranking on our list of high street retailers with the worst customer experience just goes to show that simply replying is not enough, and taking action off the back of customer reviews is vital.
High Street Retailers With The Worst Customer Experience: In Summary
If you want to avoid dissatisfied customers, you can certainly learn what not to do from these retail businesses. The top complaint for the majority of these retailers with bad customer experience is their customer service, so ensuring you have a competent customer service team on hand that are easily reachable by all your customers is vital. Unreliable delivery services is another common point raised in many negative reviews for many of these retail companies. So, you should pick the courier you use carefully to make sure your retail business has the best delivery service it can provide. Finally, another repeated factor that many reviewers have mentioned for these high street retailers is their limited choice of items in stock, particularly Matalan and Asda. It’s important to offer a wide range to please all your customers and encourage them to shop with you again, so you should keep this in mind for your retail business.
How To Improve Customer Experience In Your Retail Business
Now we have more insight into what customers are looking for (and what they’re not looking for) when it comes to a business to shop with. Providing the best customer experience that you can is vital to the continuous popularity and success of your retail business, leading to increased revenue, customer loyalty and satisfaction rates across the board. Prioritise your customers, and they’ll keep on coming back.
From the research we completed into finding the high street retailers with the best customer experience, we’ve compiled a list of tried-and-true ways for retail businesses out there to improve their customer experience strategy, ranked by what we’ve learnt from looking at the customer experience of popular high street retailers. Take the lead of some of your favourite retailers with some of these top tips on improving the customer experience strategy of your retail business:
1. Pay Attention To Your Customers
Review sites like Trustpilot exist to allow customers to share their experiences with companies, and these reviews can drastically influence a potential customer's decision. However, it can also be a fantastic tool for retail businesses too. Paying attention to your customers and the issues they bring to light through review sites and other channels is vital for improving your customer service strategy. Don’t leave your customers unsatisfied – pay attention to the issues they raise about your business and pledge to fix them. This way, future customers will not experience the same problem, and you may even be able to retain customers who have left negative reviews by fixing the issues they faced. Many of the high street retailers we have reviewed that have the best customer experience, including Superdry, Lakeland and New Look, all pay for extra features on Trustpilot, which allow a business to gain useful insights into their customers on the review site, giving you further points of attention to take notice of.
2. Respond To Customer Reviews
We mentioned how several companies with good customer experiences, such as Lakeland and John Lewis, ask for all kinds of reviews and regularly respond to them. This is an incredibly good practice for all businesses to get into, as responding to all degrees of reviews helps to strengthen your online reputation and shows that you are listening to your customers. Responding to negative reviews in a way that acknowledges the person’s negative experience and invites them to engage in further discussion about the issue shows that you are willing to help other customer’s should they have an issue and that you are working to making your business better. Of course, responding to positive reviews with thanks is the cherry on top for your customer service reputation.
3. Run A Proactive Customer Service Team
Whether you’re an online retail business of one or part of a retail company as large as the ones we’ve reviewed, customer service is vital to the ongoing satisfaction of your customers and the increase of retail sales, and the number of negative reviews that have mentioned customer service certainly shows this! If you are able to provide top-quality customer service, people will want to work or shop with your business, even if they have to pay a little more. For example, 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a better experience - that’s a hefty percentage of potential customers! So, if your customer service is better than that of your competitors, by optimising your staff schedule to demand, you’ll have a top-notch marketing tool that will put you above the rest
4. Provide Plenty of Support Channels
Bad customer service has been a popular complaint about the retailers that we have looked at, but making your business readily available with useful advice and solutions is the perfect way to combat your business running into this issue. Having one or two channels that make you readily available to your customers is great, but having multiple is even better. As we live in a digital age, providing a quick and accessible way for tech-savvy customers to reach you, such as through a chatbot or Facebook messenger, will allow you to satisfy their needs quickly and easily. However, not all people are able to access these platforms, so offering additional support channels, like a phone number or email address, will ensure that you can meet all customers where they are and make your business more accessible to all your customers.
5. Be Available For Contact
Being easily contactable is vital for retail businesses. Whether this be via an email address that you regularly check or through a phone number, having at least one channel for customers to be able to reach you and your business should they need to is a necessity. Unfortunately, some retailers (and other businesses too) neglect to update their contact details, or don’t have any at all. If a customer is unable to reach your customer service should something go wrong, they are highly unlikely to return and will certainly spread the word about their bad experience. So, ensure that you or your customer service team are readily available to guarantee a smooth customer experience.
If you’re looking to create a better customer experience, you need look no further than these big businesses. As you can see from our research, those who are doing it well always encourage customers to leave reviews, no matter whether they’re negative or positive, to boost their overall score in the long run and help them ensure any customer complaints can be sorted hastily. Additionally, successful stores regularly respond to their negative reviews, whereas retailers that don’t have a good rating overall tend not to. Finally, one of the biggest conclusions from this data is that retailers who we have marked as having a bad customer experience based on Trustpilot reviews get the most bad reviews about their customer service.
So, take some inspiration from those who are doing it well and apply your new knowledge to your own business to ensure your customers will be leaving you positive reviews in the future.