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Are You Being Served? Supermarket Customer Service Reviewed By... You

19/03/2015 16:10 GMT | Updated 18/05/2015 10:59 BST

Unlike many consumer reports which tend to focus on price and other elements, a new report written by customers, for customers has named Morrisons top supermarket for customer service.

The research, conducted by Wordsmith Digital for Engage Business Media examined each of the UK's major supermarkets and rated them on their ability to serve customers across multiple customer service channels - in-store, web and social media.

In-store, staff were asked one of their floor staff if a product from their bakery was safe for someone with a nut allergy, with staff being rated on attentiveness, friendliness, helpfulness and knowledge - once on the shop floor and again at the checkout. In addition to this, the report examined their effectiveness in customer service through their website and on social media (Twitter and Facebook), scoring retailers for each element of customer service & rating their responses and staff on friendliness, helpfulness and knowledge.

The Winners and Losers

Morrisons scored highly for both website and social media interaction, and came out best overall in the poll. Waitrose, meanwhile, showed an intelligent and efficient use of social media to answer customer enquiries and won the "best in social media" title. In store, Sainsbury's were the clear winners, with staff proving more courteous, friendly, helpful and more knowledgeable than those of any of the other brands. At the very bottom of the pile was Asda, with the report citing a confusing website, a disinterested & unhelpful workforce and a failure to reply on social media.

The report also cites that every supermarket could make improvements in certain areas - but in no area more so than at the tills. This lends weight to recent research, which suggests that 36% of consumers believe that the grocery sector as a whole needs to improve customer interaction in store.

The winners from the report in full:

  • Best in social media: WAITROSE

While Morrisons and Waitrose both scored the same in the social media test, it's Waitrose that wins the crown. Morrisons makes it incredibly obvious that there is a customer service team waiting to handle your query, and is stronger on Twitter than any brand, but their Facebook community just doesn't quite reach the excellent levels of prompt and efficient service displayed by Waitrose. Their intelligent use of customer data to answer queries using social media is unrivalled.

  • Best on the web: MORRISONS

As in all other areas of their customer service, Morrisons wants you to contact them. It is immediately apparent from their website and other channels that, in their digital strategy, customer service is front and centre. They make it easier than any of their competitors, with more points of contact and channels for service than any of the other supermarkets.

  • Best in store: SAINSBURY'S

The only one of the supermarkets to score the full ten points, the Sainsbury's staff in the store visited were more courteous, friendly, helpful and more knowledgeable than those of any of the other brands. While this particular area of our report could be subjective depending on both the store and the staff member approached, in the tests set Sainsbury's were the clear and obvious winners.

  • Best overall: MORRISONS

Morrisons scored highly in each of the tests thrown at them. Their website is more helpful than the others, their social media was only let down by a lower engagement rate on Facebook than those of other brands. In store too, they were very strong - leaving Morrisons the clear and overall winner for customer service across all channels.

The results are a stark contrast to other consumer reports which regularly place ASDA as the "best" supermarket - however, these reports are almost always based around price rather than customer service. While it may regularly come out the cheapest on price comparison websites and consumer reports, they clearly have a long way to go when it comes to servicing the needs of their customers efficiently.

Price may be important to many customers, but having an enquiry dealt with quickly and efficiently is a better guarantee of repeat business and customer loyalty than good value alone.