John Lewis, Harrods, Emirates, Marriott…

When the words ‘excellent customer service’ are used, it conjures such things in the mind as the finest hotels, the best restaurants and a select number of brands that are synonymous with an exemplary attention to detail.

In this new Trip Advisor world, the consumer has the power to publicly name and shame a business and, if many do the latter in number, it can have a catastrophic consequence for its reputation and, ultimately, its revenues.

There’s no hiding from customer reviews these days. Anyone with a smartphone or an iPad is but a click away from the many review sites that display multiple experiences of the UK’s shops, tradespeople, holiday companies, online retailers, banks, cars and so on. Even estate agents.

And estate agents are hardly renowned for a gold-plated approach to looking after those that pledge their cash to them, some £4000 in selling fees on average (OFT 1.6%; Halifax House Price Index).

Research conducted by eMoov.co.uk, the UK’s largest online estate agent, highlights the less than favourable and quite consistent opinions of the home moving public toward the profession. Estate agents still suck.

The data reveals that most of the best known estate agency chains significantly underwhelm their customers. Of 27 major property brands reviewed by users of ReviewCentre.com, the average satisfaction rating that they could muster was a lowly 1.44 out of 5, proof that the industry still has a long, long way to go to shed its poor image.

But what about context? How do estate agents compare with well known consumer brands?

A further 34 companies were analysed by eMoov.co.uk via the ReviewCentre website in order to establish some benchmarks that would serve to illustrate what the numbers really mean.

Stand-out winners include the likes of Harvey Nichols, The Savoy and the Apple store with ratings of up to 4.5 out of 5 (90%). As you might expect.

However notable brands that underperformed perhaps in relation to the robust reputations that they have amongst consumers comprise such stalwarts as John Lewis at just 2.2 out of 5 (a 44% customer satisfaction rating) and Marks and Spencer at 36%.
‘It is still evident that estate agents offer poor service. But with their increasing fees and a more transparent customer review climate they really need to up their game if they are to survive against the new breed of property companies like eMoov.co.uk that charge less and offer more. Our customer service rating is 94%; several fold better than high street agents. Better than London’s leading hotels and Michelin starred restaurants, it seems.

’My long-standing obsession with customer service was predicated around a ‘John Lewis’ philosophy however we have now surpassed that milestone based on what this analysis tells us. I guess I’ll have to consider another brand that I can look up to now’, says Russell Quirk, Founder & CEO of eMoov.co.uk.

Notes:

Research was conducted using the ReviewCentre.com website on 29th June 2014. Review ratings are marked out of 5 stars and therefore represent a ‘x20’ multiple in equating the % customer satisfaction rating.
The largest and most reviewed estate agency chains were evaluated.
The consumer brands listed were chosen on their consumer brand recognition.
eMoov.co.uk has a rating of 4.7/5 (94%)

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