Every year, Newsweek releases a list of the top companies providing the best customer service. This thorough ranking highlights excellence across industries and incorporates both ecommerce and brick-and-mortar retailers, helping set service expectations for both consumers and businesses by celebrating those who excel at it.
Some of the support centers recognized in 2023 use Gladly to provide superior support to all their shoppers. Here’s how Newsweek formulates their list of the brands with the best customer service, which key metrics of success they measured, and how Gladly played a role in maximizing four of those brands’ service capabilities.
Newsweek’s Customer Service Ranking Methodology
Newsweek gathered more than 200,000 total customer evaluations on retail and service providers across 166 categories, including ecommerce, brick-and-mortar, and other retail brands. Responses were collected online from more than 30,000 U.S. customers who’d either made a purchase, used a service, or gathered information about a product or service in the last three years from any brand.
The publication had consumers rank these brands based on their quality of communication, professional competence, range of services, customer focus, and overall service accessibility. In addition, they had users ranked how likely they would be to recommend that brand to another person. Between these measurements, Newsweek developed their final list consisting of the top three to five brands across 16 categories and three company sizes.
4 Winners That Maximized Customer Service Using Gladly
Ranking: #2 Premium Apparel, 8.62/10
The clothing retailer has expertly combined its expansive brick-and-mortar locations with a large online presence, using Gladly to serve customers seamlessly regardless of channel.
The common gap observed between in-person and digital experiences is a drop in personal touch, but Gladly is built with radical personalization in mind. Tools like customer details give agents the ability to connect with shoppers on their terms and use their information as if they were having a friendly chat face to face. This allows Ralph Lauren to bring that strong brick-and-mortar experience to the web.
Ranking: #2 Purses/Bags, 8.96/10
This luxury handbag brand is known for more than its upscale accessories. Tory Burch also shines with strong customer service rankings, having used Gladly to score consistently high CSAT ratings and become far more efficient in their day-to-day work.
Using Gladly, the most important improvement Tory Burch made was boosting concurrency rates. Our omnichannel customer experience and conversation-driven approach drops ticketing in favor of a system that allows for personalized service through multiple accessible communication channels. As a result, Tory Burch’s service has gotten faster while still allowing agents to connect with shoppers.
Ranking: #5 Perfume and Cosmetics, 8.74/10
In the competitive cosmetics market, Ulta leveraged its personalized approach and the Gladly platform to turn its support center into a major revenue generator. Like Ralph Lauren, they embraced a radically personal approach to their digital presence to match the hospitality of their brick-and-mortar stores.
The benefits were more than just happy customers, translating to new revenue streams through their support center. Through a more engaging customer experience, Ulta Beauty doubled its online conversion rate for customers trying to check out and ensured higher revenues overall.
Ranking: #1 Eyewear Retailer (Online), 8.93/10
This optical brand has always ranked favorably on Newsweek’s list, having appeared five years in a row. Zenni uses our customer service platform to deliver its top-tier customer experience, making it a staple among shoppers who value their relationship with the brand and bring repeat business.
Gladly Interview With Zenni Optical
We spoke with Brian Kershon, Director of Global Customer Service at Zenni Optical, to learn more about what makes this optical brand such a favorite with customers, and how Gladly helps them succeed.
After five years on Newsweek’s list, what would you say is your secret to great customer service?
It starts at the top with our founders, Tibor Laczay and Julia Zhen. They started this amazing journey with a commitment and passion for the customer, and that’s what drives all of us. When the company first started, one of Julia’s many roles was taking support calls. It speaks to the importance and value our founders put on customer service and how our customers take center stage in everything we do.
At Zenni, everyone shares that sentiment. You see it across the entire company in every department — making the customer the focal point in our company’s decision-making processes.
What differentiates Zenni’s customer service from your competitors’?
We’re focused on providing low effort, high results options that resonate with our customers. If our customers want to go the self-service route, we want to give them the very best self-service.
See how our self-service feature can empower your customers
If they want to talk to an agent, we want them to speak with the most knowledgeable, engaging agent to build up the relationship and confidence our customers place in Zenni. We try to cater our support to every individual out there because we know not all people are the same; different people have different preferences.
How do you ensure your customer service heroes go above and beyond for every customer?
What we’ve done a really good job of at Zenni is building brand identity with our agents, so our agents act as advocates for the brand. They have a deep passion and love for the product, which they use themselves.
When customers reach out to our service team, that’s our chance to be the hero. Whether our customers have a straightforward question, or maybe they’re really stuck with trying to understand the difference between lens options, that’s our chance for our agents to really step up and be that hero. Our team takes it very personally, because they have such an affinity for Zenni, and they want their work to reflect that admiration they have while also trying to reinforce that feeling with our customers.
How has Zenni been using Gladly?
We moved over to Gladly in October 2021, and it really has made a huge difference for our agent experience. In terms of just being able to have a more holistic view of the customer profile, the conversation history, and being able to see it in one timeline, this allows our agents to have a greater perspective and understanding of who our customer is, versus other ticket-based tools that we’ve used in the past where you’re chasing down an incomplete story.
What Gladly has been able to do is really help us improve in some critical KPIs. It’s been exciting to see our average handle time go down while customer satisfaction has gone up.
We’ve been able to leverage Answers to not only improve our internal knowledge, but to improve efficiency. We’re also seeing efficiency gains by utilizing proactive voice and are eager to begin using proactive email and SMS.
How do you make sure your Support Heroes are happy to work for Zenni?
Happy agents generally equate to happy customers, so we prioritize taking care of our team in numerous ways. Giving them the resources and support to enhance their skills and grow in their career is one of those ways we show our appreciation and commitment to our team. I never want our people to feel stagnant. I like to challenge our team, to get them to see all the different possibilities in front of them. We’ve invested in building out our Customer Service Learning and
Development team to ensure our agents are set up for success not only in their day-to-day functions, but should they show interest in other work streams within our department. It’s also important that we carve time out within their schedules so they can feel connected to the larger business and understand how all the parts work together to create this transformative company.
Is Your Support Software Helping or Hurting Your Customer Service?
Support systems are the backbones of exceptional ecommerce brands and their customer experiences. To get the most out of your customer service, and to reach heights like these four top-tier examples, find a platform that embraces radical personalization like Gladly.
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