News

Waterstone's beats WHS in consumer poll

Waterstone's has emerged as an early front-runner in a consumer vote on the standard of customer service it provides.
 
The bookseller came top of an online survey assessing its level of customer service in comparison to 94 other large stores in Britain, as of Monday [24th January]. However, rival retailer W H Smith was ranked 88 in the chart in comparison.
 
Visitors to the website of television retail advisor Mary Portas, known for BBC2 show "Mary Queen of Shops" and more lately Channel 4's "Secret Shopper", were invited to give stores grades out of five for their level of friendly and efficient service in a bid to determine the UK's "best and worst" stores.
 
Waterstone's also trumped big-name retailers such Waitrose and John Lewis for its high standards of customer service, which were placed second and fifth in the chart respectively as of Monday [24th January]. The HMV Group-owned bookseller even beat its sister store HMV in the hierarchy, with the latter ranking at number 46.
 
A Waterstone's spokesperson said the company was pleased about achieving first place, and found the consumer feedback useful. "It's great to see so many people saying such fantastic things about Waterstone's and especially our booksellers. It is a great tribute to the hard work and great service that our people provide day in day out, and
great that customers are taking the time to report on it to the 'Queen of Shops'."

A W H Smith spokesperson said: "We are proud of the service offered by our 15,000 colleagues in store - serving an average of 12 million customers a week. We regularly monitor our performance through a robust and independent customer satisfaction monitor and score well on ratings for the service offered by our staff.

"That said, we take all feedback regarding customer service very seriously and are disappointed that some customers registering on Mary Portas' site have been dissatisfied."

 

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Perhaps they should remove all the 5-star reviews from people who say they are booksellers or work/worked for Waterstone's before they claim any great win out of this...

Perhaps they should remove all the 5-star reviews from people who say they work/have worked in ANY shop on the poll. But then that would be fair to Waterstone's staff, and The Bookseller's readers don't condone that...

Either way it shows how massively out of touch with the average shopper those ridiculous 'Mystery Shoppers' are

It's cool that the staff are still doing an amazing job and being polite/not punching all the customers who come into Waterstone's shops asking when their branch will be closing and the staff thrown out on the streets....

Waterstone's staff? Moi?

the staff may be friendly, but the bland and uninteresting stock does little to encourage the customer to buy. where has the vibrancy of the early stores gone; it is no longer a treat to visit such a place that values stacks of mass-market stuff over quality.

This poll proves that we at Waterstone's 'smash it' like no other!

I'm totally amazed that Waterstone's staff have not yet kicked a customer in the face in the frequent interaction along the lines of

:Customer: I see you are closing down?
:Bookseller: Yes unfortunately we are.
:Customer face lights up: Ohh are you having a sale then?

Gits.

Neither the current nor the previous management have recognised the amazing booksellers they have. Many of the temps they employ each Xmas are an insult to the permanent staff. Some bimbo girl with an inane grin and her skirt-tucked-into-knickers style dress roamed our shopfloor; some, when asked by a customers about Hamburg think it's something to do with food (no joke). Recently there has been a drive to prevent staff from being behind the tills. Managers chase booksellers out onto the shop floor where they have to cruise around like sharks waiting for a meal. Customers are not stupid. Their 6th sense tells them that they're going to be pounced on. With noone behind the till it looks as though the shopfloor is not manned. Does management see this? No. They sit at head office thinking up their psychobabble about which questions they can force us to use which are suppose to force the customer to answer with:- yes. No doubt headoffice paid the guy who dreamt that up more than £6 per hour. I bet he couldn't sell a book for n.... but expects us booksellers to save his job. Mary Portas wasn't just lucky to hit on a good bookseller. There are so many who work with a huge love of knowledge AND an understanding of how a bookshop can be good AND profitable. Wstone is the only bookshop left on the High Streets - they could easily afford to go up-market instead of trying to compete with the supermarkets and the celeb biogs merchants. People will always want to hold a book in their hand and even if they buy books on the net, as I also do, with some books you need to spend time before you decide to buy it. Bookshop will and can change, but they can co-exist with the net, as the song said - people need people - since the beginning of the written word.

What would you know about it? You're only a bookseller whose been dealing with customers. Customers LOVE having complete strangers come up to them and ask if they're looking for anything, as they're far too shy to dare to approach the till. They also relish the opportunity to buy a book they didn't want for a 70% discount. And I'm sure you know that most book buyers are interested in celebrities, which is why it makes sense to devote such a large amount of space to them. You need to change your attitudes. ;)

Perhaps they should remove all the 5-star reviews from people who say they are booksellers or work/worked for Waterstone's before they claim any great win out of this...

Perhaps they should remove all the 5-star reviews from people who say they work/have worked in ANY shop on the poll. But then that would be fair to Waterstone's staff, and The Bookseller's readers don't condone that...

Either way it shows how massively out of touch with the average shopper those ridiculous 'Mystery Shoppers' are

It's cool that the staff are still doing an amazing job and being polite/not punching all the customers who come into Waterstone's shops asking when their branch will be closing and the staff thrown out on the streets....

Waterstone's staff? Moi?

I'm totally amazed that Waterstone's staff have not yet kicked a customer in the face in the frequent interaction along the lines of

:Customer: I see you are closing down?
:Bookseller: Yes unfortunately we are.
:Customer face lights up: Ohh are you having a sale then?

Gits.

the staff may be friendly, but the bland and uninteresting stock does little to encourage the customer to buy. where has the vibrancy of the early stores gone; it is no longer a treat to visit such a place that values stacks of mass-market stuff over quality.

This poll proves that we at Waterstone's 'smash it' like no other!

Neither the current nor the previous management have recognised the amazing booksellers they have. Many of the temps they employ each Xmas are an insult to the permanent staff. Some bimbo girl with an inane grin and her skirt-tucked-into-knickers style dress roamed our shopfloor; some, when asked by a customers about Hamburg think it's something to do with food (no joke). Recently there has been a drive to prevent staff from being behind the tills. Managers chase booksellers out onto the shop floor where they have to cruise around like sharks waiting for a meal. Customers are not stupid. Their 6th sense tells them that they're going to be pounced on. With noone behind the till it looks as though the shopfloor is not manned. Does management see this? No. They sit at head office thinking up their psychobabble about which questions they can force us to use which are suppose to force the customer to answer with:- yes. No doubt headoffice paid the guy who dreamt that up more than £6 per hour. I bet he couldn't sell a book for n.... but expects us booksellers to save his job. Mary Portas wasn't just lucky to hit on a good bookseller. There are so many who work with a huge love of knowledge AND an understanding of how a bookshop can be good AND profitable. Wstone is the only bookshop left on the High Streets - they could easily afford to go up-market instead of trying to compete with the supermarkets and the celeb biogs merchants. People will always want to hold a book in their hand and even if they buy books on the net, as I also do, with some books you need to spend time before you decide to buy it. Bookshop will and can change, but they can co-exist with the net, as the song said - people need people - since the beginning of the written word.

What would you know about it? You're only a bookseller whose been dealing with customers. Customers LOVE having complete strangers come up to them and ask if they're looking for anything, as they're far too shy to dare to approach the till. They also relish the opportunity to buy a book they didn't want for a 70% discount. And I'm sure you know that most book buyers are interested in celebrities, which is why it makes sense to devote such a large amount of space to them. You need to change your attitudes. ;)