Search for Singapore’s best customer service providers returns

This year’s categories will also include pet suppliers and grooming services. ST FILE PHOTO

SINGAPORE – In a post-pandemic environment where bricks-and-mortar stores are recovering, and the omni-channel shopping experience continues to gain traction, the search is back for the Republic’s best customer service providers.

From now to March 26, The Straits Times and Germany-based firm Statista are looking to identify organisations that provide such exemplary service at

The Singapore’s Best Customer Service 2023/2024 survey spans 95 categories across bricks-and-mortar retailers for clothing, food, home goods, beauty and wellness services, online services and digital products.

This year’s categories will also include pet suppliers and grooming services.

The survey invites consumers to share their views on the best customer service providers here.

To qualify for evaluation as part of the survey, companies must have had customers who bought products, utilised their services or researched information on them within the last three years.

“As our survey focuses on the consumer’s perspective, we will be curious to see how customer service is evaluated this year as compared with last year, when we were still in the midst of the pandemic,” said Statista analyst Camille Lebon.

Citing Asian market research company Rakuten Insight and Statista, Ms Lebon added that as at November 2022, 70 per cent of people in Singapore planned to do their holiday shopping both online and in bricks-and-mortar shops, while 25 per cent intended to buy only online.

Only 6 per cent aimed to visit only physical stores.

“Therefore, we expect omni-channel strategies to continue to expand this year, and that bricks and mortar will recover slowly,” she said.

Ms Maggie Au, course chair for the diploma in marketing at Temasek Polytechnic’s School of Business, noted that with many brands offering omni-channel retail formats, customers will expect a similar level of service and convenience across the different formats.

“For instance, customers would expect a delivery service to be offered when they purchase in-store, in the same way that delivery service is a standard service when they shop online,” she said.

She added that it would be important for brands to continually assess the customer service offered on their various platforms to ensure consistency, and meet or even exceed expectations.

Ms Lebon noted that customer service in the post-pandemic era is shaped by a shift towards more digital solutions, driven by artificial intelligence, including chatbots such as ChatGPT.

“But at the same time, especially after the period of social isolation during the pandemic, the need for personal and individual service on-site stays relevant,” she said.

Ms Au said: “Retailers have to put more emphasis on training retail staff on product knowledge; soft skills on interacting with customers and providing recommendations; offering alternative services using technology; as well as auxiliary services like free delivery services to meet customers’ changing needs.”

The 2022 survey saw home-grown audio company TC Acoustic taking the top spot, beating out more than 1,600 companies. It had an almost perfect score of 9.99.

“Serving happiness has been our ethos for the last decade, and having our customers confirm that by giving us their vote of confidence (in 2022), we doubled down on our efforts this year,” said TC Acoustic chief executive Christian Honegger.

To retain its position, the company has stepped up training and streamlined customer service-related processes.

“Our staff have also been entrusted with a budget and empowered to use it not just to make urgent decisions to fulfil customers’ requests but also to go the extra mile,” said Mr Honegger.

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