Find out which supermarket chains give the best customer service and why?

We recently carried out a poll on Twitter asking people where they had received the best customer service and the results were surprising.

We were interested to see if employee reviews on Glassdoor correlated with the results of the customer service poll. There seemed to be a winning combination…

Winning formula – good pay + Good work-life balance = Happy employees giving the best service possible.

#1 Tesco 35%

Top positive reviews – good pay and good work/life balance.

  • Good pay was their top positive review, followed by the fact that they offer flexible working which gives employees a good work/life balance.
  • Many reviews which spoke about the flexible working noted how understanding Tesco are of employee’s outside work commitments.
  • They explained how the employer always treats them with respect and provides flexible schedules to work around their needs and accommodate them in the best way possible.

Their top negative review was long hours.

#2 John Lewis 26%

Top positive reviews – staff discounts and good work environment.

  • Staff discount was their top positive review, which is similar to Tesco’s money related top review. Discounts mentioned were 25% staff discount at high street restaurants, cinemas, and concerts.
  • The good work environment, again similar to Tesco with the second top review being related to the relaxed and accommodating environment.
  • In addition, having several breaks throughout the day, being treated with respect, having nice lunch areas for staff, flexible hours, and working with genuinely nice and honest people.

Their top negative review was long hours.

#3 Marks and Spencer’s 24%

Top positive reviews – staff discounts and good pay.

  • Their most mentioned positive review was with regards to staff discounts, again similar to Tesco and John Lewis in terms of providing monetary value. Employees liked the fact they received a 20% staff discount card. The second top review was good pay.
  • Given that M&S came in third place for their customer service, it could be to do with the fact that employees lacked a great work environment.
  • It seems staff are happier and give better service when they have good pay or discounts, AND a great work environment or work-life balance. Simply having good pay plus discounts is not quite enough to ensure your employees are the happiest and engaged they can be.

Their top negative review was long hours.

#4 Sainsbury’s 15%

Top positive reviews – good pay and staff discounts.

  • Sainsbury’s came in last with just 15% of votes. Their most mentioned positive review was with regards to good pay, followed by staff discounts. Again similar to Tesco, John Lewis, and M&S in terms of providing monetary value.
  • Employees enjoyed the 10% staff discount which they were given. Sainsbury’s also lacked the winning formula of good pay or discounts, AND a great work environment or work-life balance.

Their top negative review was about poor team leaders.

Why did Sainsbury’s score so much lower than M&S? 

If you look above, each supermarket had a top negative review of long hours. However, Sainsbury’s differed from all of these with the fact that their top negative review was poor team leaders. Employees mentioned them being lazy, rude, never listened to employees thoughts or opinions, and they didn’t give enough training and had poor communication skills. This could be a vital reason as to why Sainsbury’s scored so poorly in the customer service poll because employee engagement, motivation, and happiness are all directly linked to staff management. If staff are demotivated because of their managers they are going to be demotivated with their customers. Gallup found that a staggering 70% of an employee’s motivation is influenced by their manager.

What does all this mean?

Give your staff great pay or discounts AND an outstanding work environment which accommodates to employees needs and you will have happy employees that give great customer service.

Giving just one of the benefits on their own is not enough to result in the best performance. Always be aware of poor management as this is one of the leading causes for disengaged employees. Follow these rules and you’ll be on your way to giving the best customer service!

Written by Hayley Lloyd

Published 30th July 2018