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L.L. Bean delivers best customer service, NRF
16
Jan '08
Satisfaction guaranteed is a mantra many companies live by, but customers say that none demonstrate that practice more than specialty retailer L.L. Bean.

According to the third annual NRF Foundation/American Express Customer Service Survey, L.L. Bean delivers the best customer service in all retail formats.

Results were unveiled moments earlier at the Annual Retail Industry Luncheon during the National Retail Federation's Annual Convention & EXPO in New York City. L.L. Bean moved up from third place in 2006 to secure the number one spot this year.

The survey of 8,800 consumers and conducted by BIGresearch, found internet-only retailers landing top spots on the list, with Zappos.com coming in second, Amazon.com third, Overstock.com fourth and Newegg.com tenth.

Other retailers who excel in customer service have both websites and physical stores or catalogs, with multichannel retailers Blair (5), Lands' End (6), Coldwater Creek (7), Nordstrom (8) and Lane Bryant (9) rounding out the top 10.

“Good customer service starts and ends with how the customer feels about their experience with a retailer,” said NRF Foundation Vice President Kathy Mance.

“Retailers are especially challenged because of the multiple touch points that exist between the customer and their brand, but these companies have shown that great customer service does exist.”

In terms of customer service, shoppers say they expect the most from restaurants and specialty stores – which both rated 4.4 out of 5.0. Customers also have high expectations of department stores (4.1), drug stores (4.0), grocery (3.9), internet retailers (3.8) and membership warehouse clubs (3.7). Shoppers say they expect the least from discounters with a ranking of 3.4.

“Consumers who have a positive experience naturally spend more time and money in a store or shopping online,” said Glenda McNeal, senior vice-president, Retail and Emerging Industries, American Express Merchant Services.

“Excellent service is of the greatest importance as retailers work to retain and build upon their customer base.”

National Retail Federation

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