This blog has noted before the relationship between the size and scope of a company and the quality of its customer service. While some top businesses earn their reputation through responsive phone and website customer support, it seems to be more often the case that a large business will neglect the importance of ensuring user satisfaction. A recent article from Yahoo! Finance detailed the nine worst-ranked retailers for customer service, according to the American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). A study for 2012 found that the average industry specimen scored around 76 out of 100 (internet retailers ranked significantly higher at 82). The entities mentioned on the list were all big names, with the worst score going to the corporate super giant Walmart.
Other well-established companies on the list include Gap Inc., Walgreens, Sears Holdings Corp. and Netflix Inc. The latter is particularly notable, as Netflix has historically done well in the area of service, getting the highest marks in 2009. The article suggests that this change could be due to the movie distribution company's notorious attempt to divorce its DVD and streaming services in 2011.
Netflix placed at number two on the list with a score of 75, while Walmart earned a 71. Its position at the bottom is one it has held consistently since 2007. Walmart has also ranked low both as a supermarket and especially as an online retailer, in which capacity it was vastly outstripped by Amazon.
It is the quality of care and availability to consumers that distinguishes such major players, and is most likely part of the reason e-stores have placed higher. Many avenues exist for companies of all sizes to pursue improvements in their customer satisfaction. Non-intrusive use of an efficient phone answering service could serve to raise the profile of any company, even a business that is based entirely online.