While L.L.Bean ranked supreme among this year’s Customer Service Champions overall, younger shoppers certainly express a difference of opinion. New analysis of Prosper Insights & Analytics’ 2015 Customer Service Champions reveals that both the Millennial (born 1983 – 1997) and Gen X (1965 – 1982) generations nominated Amazon.com as their top choice for customer service excellence, while Boomers (1946 – 1964) were firmly entrenched in the L.L.Bean camp. However, a review of the three generations’ top picks for customer service providers highlights interesting similarities between these divergent age groups. Continue reading →
It’s an Amazon, Amazon, Amazon, Amazon world, but one retailer continues to top the online giant when it comes to shopper experience.
For the second year in a row, outdoor outfitter L.L.Bean tops the list of Prosper Insights & Analytics’ Customer Service Champions over second place Amazon.com. Customer Service Champions were developed from a write-in vote from more than 6,000 U.S. consumers (18+) in September 2015 and weighted by each retailers’ relative size in annual revenues as well as its fan base, as defined by a retailer’s promoters (per the Net Promoter Score.*) See last year’s winners here and 2013’s top picks here. Following L.L.Bean and Amazon (in rank order) are: Nordstrom,Kohl’s, Lands’ End, REI, Zappos.com, JC Penney, QVC, and Macy’s.
With Macy’s recently reporting a holiday same-store sales decline of 4.7% as well as plans to shutter 40 stores in 2016, one has to wonder if the “Magic of Macy’s” still resonates with consumers. To be fair, the holiday season gave the retail advantage to consumers and was loaded with deep discounts, wild store hours, and, well, Amazon.com. However, competitor JCPenney posted a 3.9% same-store sales gain to the Macy deficit, a reversal of trends we saw during Ron Johnson’s tenure at JCPenney, when Macy’s scooped up JCPenney’s coupon-hungry bargain hunters. So what went wrong at Macy’s over the holidays? A look at consumer insights collected by Prosper Insights & Analytics reveals three key reasons why the hallowed department store went bust during the busiest shopping season of the year: Continue reading →
While consumers overall recently voted L.L.Bean the best in customer service, if you ask a Millennial, he or she will likely disagree. New analysis from Prosper’s Customer Service Champions ranking reveals a vast disparity between two of the most divergent generations, Millennials (born 1983-1997) and Boomers (born 1946-1964), when it comes to the retailers they elevate to customer service excellence.
First, let’s take a look at Millennials’ choices. This generation crowned online giant Amazon.com as their Customer Service Champion, followed by Victoria’s Secret, Best Buy, Nordstrom, and Macy’s. As an online leader and de facto search engine for many, Amazon’s top position among that this tech-savvy generation should come as no surprise. Add to that the Amazon Prime membership program, which is most heavily concentrated in young customers – nearly two out of five members are under the age of 35 – and Amazon’s got a recipe for loyalty among the Millennial generation that few retailers have been able to successfully copy. Continue reading →
Amazon.com, retail disruptor extraordinaire, has just been given the boot. The Bean Boot.
Crowning 2013’s inaugural list of Customer Service Champions, Amazon slipped to second position in 2014, behind L.L.Bean (the former #2). Prosper Insights & Analytics’ 2014 Customer Service Champions were developed from a write-in vote from more than 6,000 U.S. consumers (18+) during the third quarter of 2014 and weighted by each retailers’ relative size in annual revenues as well as its fan base, as defined by a retailer’s promoters (per the Net Promoter Score.*)
This year’s results provide interesting insight into the mindset of consumers. In the last decade, Amazon quickly rose to top of mind among consumers with deep discounts, a wide array of products and services, and free shipping incentives, providing the catalyst for changing the traditional definition of customer service in the digital age. In contrast, century-old L.L.Bean has relied less on the heavy promotions that have marred retailers’ profit margins during the recession and in the years since, instead upholding customer satisfaction through quality products – Guaranteed to Last™ – as well as the no-threshold free shipping incentive that consumers love. With consumers slowly easing back into spending, and retailers searching for solutions to pull back from deep discounting while still remaining competitive, L.L.Bean certainly provides a model for differentiating via satisfaction and quality which resonates with today’s consumers.
As many a marketer will likely attest, too often in today’s retail environment consumers’ final decision in the buyer process comes down one little five letter word: price. Shoppers, armed with their mobile devices, maintain a direct connection to the best deals, promotions, coupons, and offers with just a tap of their fingers, many times giving shoppers an intelligence edge over retailers competing for those buying dollars. In this age of smart consumerism, what’s a retailer to do?