Why the US can still teach the UK about customer service excellence

Why the US can still teach the UK about customer service excellence
Liz Morrell is a freelance business journalist and content creator with more than 20 years writing experience, including 15 in retail and associated sectors. She is a regular contributor to MarketingTech but also covers a number of other industries in her freelance capacity. Contact her via LinkedIn or at liz@techforge.pub.


The UK has a long way to go to catch up the US on customer service if a new study is to be believed. Nunwood’s 2015 US Customer Experience Excellence report is based on 7,500 individual responses from US consumers covering 225 brands and shows that the US surpasses the UK in a number of areas when it comes to customer service excellence.

When comparing the two the study claims that US brands are 5% better on average than the UK with the UK currently at least five years behind its US counterparts. When assessing brands’ performance the study claims that six of the top 10 brands in the US are better than the customer service leader in the UK – First Direct – with Americans also ten times more likely to be dealing with an ‘outstanding’ company than their UK counterparts

Nunwood claims that the US’ legendary service culture – which had seen a decline in the previous two decades – is now back with force with the recession having encouraged US brands to return to their core roots.

The study also suggests that US CEOs are more likely to treat their customers more seriously – with the US more likely to bring their customers into their boardroom, interact with them on a daily basis and run businesses that live and breathe customer service.

The US top ten customer experience brands list for 2015 is led by USAA, followed by Publix, Amazon, Chick-fil-A and Disney in the top five. Edward Jones, Krispy Kreme, Wegmans, Costco Wholesale and Southwest Airlines made up the rest of the list.

Tim Knight, senior partner at Nunwood, said there were lessons to be learnt from the US. “Whilst there are many examples of great UK brands, excellent customer experiences occur more frequently and more consistently in in the USA. The way American CEOs run their businesses, their digital investments and business models provide rich sources of learning for UK brands with similar ambitions,” he said.

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