Which Companies Have the Best and Worst Customer Service?

It’s a sad fact of our everyday lives that when we call the customer service department of a company, we prepare ourselves for the worst. Decades of shoddy, inattentive customer service experiences and countless hours wasted on the line trying to get your questions have taught up to expect the worst.

However, it’s not true that every company offers bad customer service. In fact, despite the fact that 74% of Brits think that the standard of customer service is ‘poor’, there are companies posting incredible satisfaction rates from their customers.

Of course, by the same token, there are some companies which need to take a long hard look in the mirror about the standard of customer service they provide.

So, before you reach for the contact number directory, which companies make up the best and worst in regards to customer service? Let’s take a look.

The Best

  • First Direct – Banks aren’t famous for providing great customer service (the next highest on the list appears at #19), but First Direct have always set themselves up as a different type of bank. With no physical locations and resources poured into solid online banking and incredibly customer service support, they’ve risen to the top of the customer service scores with an impressive 87%. Their parent bank, HSBC, could do with learning a few lessons from the upstart bank, because they’re sitting down at #30.
  • Lush – Lush have become something of a phenomenon in the UK since their launch in 1995. Gentle growth gave way to massive expansion as the handmade cosmetics company has grown ever larger. With that growth, however, they haven’t sacrificed what made them so unique in the first place – great customer service. As such, they sit in at #2 on this list with 86% satisfaction from customers.
  • John Lewis, Lakeland & Waitrose – Unified by a specifically high-end focus, John Lewis, Lakeland and Waitrose are tied for third place in regards to customer service. John Lewis’ two year returns policy, Waitrose’s attention to quality and Lakeland’s comprehensive customer service options mean that these three are tied on the leader board at 3rd place, with 83%.
  • Specsavers – You’d be forgiven for thinking that opticians might not need the best customer service, but Specsavers don’t seem to agree. Extremely helpful in store staff and excellent returns policies mean that Specsavers enter the leader board at #4 with 83% satisfaction.
  • Waterstones – Keeping customers coming back and buying physical books in an age of quick digital downloads is a tough ask, but Waterstones are going about it the right way. By filling their shops with enthusiastic book readers and friendly faces, Waterstones have created a customer service environment where customers feel comfortable asking questions and getting recommendations. All of which has meant that Waterstones boat an 81% customer service score.

Rounding out the top 10 we have Green Flag motor recovery, Amazon, American Express, Game & Lloyds Pharmacy. Only 1% separates the services as each posted extremely strong customer service scores, indicating attentive, helpful and quick customer service departments.

The Worst

  • Npower – Energy suppliers are, almost universally, hated by their customers. The ‘big six’ have huge sums of cash and countless customers, but their customer service is, more often than not, truly dreadful. It’s only right therefore that Npower top the list of the worst customer service in the UK. A woeful 57% customer service score places it right at the bottom of the heap.
  • Scottish Power – Another member of the big six energy companies, it’s no surprise to see Scottish Power sit just behind Npower in regards to bad customer service. Just 58% of customers thought that Scottish Power offered acceptable levels of customer service, but with new energy companies launching with a focus on customers service, Scottish Power ought to up their game.
  • Ryanair – Budget airlines will argue that they have to cut costs somewhere, but Ryanair’s customer service record suggests that their scrimping and saving has resulted in a very poor experience for their guests. 2015 had Ryanair in at #5, indicating worsening performance over the last year. It’s a worry for the company, and should be rectified at the earliest possible opportunity if they’re keen to survive these tough financial times. Just 59% of customers were satisfied.
  • TalkTalk – Embarrassing public failures like the 2015 hack and, more recently, another hack on their system have ensured that TalkTalk’s reputation for customer service satisfaction has taken a huge knock. However, they have improved 1% from last year and now sit in 4th place with a poor 63% rating.
  • EE, BT and SSE – EE are the biggest mobile network in the UK by a long distance, and were recently swallowed up by BT. Both companies share fifth place with energy giant SSE with just 64% customer service ratings.

The top 10 is rounded out by 99p Stores, TK Maxx, Co-Op Food, JD Sports and Primark