SINGAPORE - Providing outstanding customer service can really make a difference, whether you are a bricks-and-mortar business or an e-commerce one, noted research firm Statista.
From March 8 to April 14, The Straits Times and Germany-based firm Statista are looking for organisations that provide the best customer service in Singapore.
The survey invites consumers to share their views on the best customer service providers here.
Covering categories ranging from bricks-and-mortar clothing retailers to restaurants, to beauty and wellness services, as well as online services and digital products, the list of eligible companies was the result of extensive research by Statista regarding all sectors that are touch points for customer service.
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.
For each category, the most relevant brands were included - according to factors such as reputation, the number of stores they have here, and the ability to make orders within Singapore.
"During the pandemic, the retail industry has taken a major hit, especially bricks-and-mortar stores... so in order to get back to business, customer service has proven to be a decisive factor," said Ms Jana Meusel, senior analyst at Statista.
Statista noted that customer service can be provided in several ways, whether it is via a consumer contacting a hotline, searching for a company's website online, or having contact with a staff member at a store.
"According to Statista's Global Consumer Survey 2021, almost one-third of customers in Singapore say they gladly pay for services that make their life more convenient... poor customer service is a relevant driver for consumers to stop doing business, whereas good service sells," said Ms Meusel.
Services with personal contact are preferred by around 30 per cent of consumers here, she added.
"This shows that personal contact is still an important factor, even given the digitally driven pandemic age," she said.
The rise of e-commerce platforms has only further increased the importance of customer service.
Said Ms Meusel: "With the shift to e-commerce, customer service will gain importance as a differentiating factor in the growing crowd of providers. Providing outstanding customer service can really make a difference, for both bricks-and-mortar and e-commerce."
The Straits Times' Singapore editor Zakir Hussain said: "Customer service is one area our readers contact us about, to complain about poor service, but also to commend outstanding service. This survey helps recognise companies that offer outstanding service, which could give businesses an edge amid a more challenging post-Covid-19 landscape."
This is the first edition of the survey and the results will be published in The Straits Times later this year.
Those who wish to participate in the survey can visit this website by April 14.