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L.L.Bean Scores Second Place in Customer Service, According to NRF Foundation/American Express Survey

New York, January 17, 2012 – Consumers have spoken: Amazon.com has the best customer service among US retailers, according to a survey of thousands of shoppers. In a survey of 9,374 shoppers, Amazon.com took top honors in the seventh annual NRF Foundation/American Express Customers' Choice survey, conducted by BIGinsight®. L.L.Bean placed second. The results were announced today at the Annual Retail Industry Luncheon during the National Retail Federation's 101st Annual Convention and EXPO in New York City. The top 10 winners were honored at the luncheon.

Barring a few who switched spots, the top 10 retailers remain the same as last year. Continuing to rank high with savvy online shoppers, Amazon.com came in at number one, up from second place last year. L.L.Bean (#2), Zappos.com (#3), Overstock.com (#4), QVC (#5), Kohl's (#6), Lands' End (#7), JCPenney (#8), Newegg (#9) and Nordstrom (#10) round out the remainder of the list. Consumers were asked which retailer they thought delivers the best customer service overall

"Today's consumer has high expectations when it comes to their shopping experience, whether in-store or online," said NRF Foundation Executive Director Kathy Mance. "The top retailers on this list found effective ways to win over shoppers not only with low prices, but also stellar customer service and value-added features such as unique mobile applications, free shipping and unforgettable in-store experiences."

"American Express warmly congratulates this year's Customers' Choice winners," said Shane Berry, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the National Client Group at American Express. "Considering the increasingly complex marketplace - and the digital transformation our own company is undertaking - we appreciate the challenges these retailers face and applaud them for delivering outstanding and innovative service to their customers wherever they choose to shop."

The top 10 retailers for customer service are:

  • 1.) Amazon.com
  • 2.) L.L.Bean
  • 3.) Zappos.com
  • 4.) Overstock.com
  • 5.) QVC
  • 6.) Kohl's
  • 7.) Lands' End
  • 8.) JCPenney
  • 9.) Newegg
  • 10.) Nordstrom

Contact Kathy Grannis, grannisk@nrf.com, for a complete list of winners.

About the Survey

The NRF Foundation/American Express 2011 Customer Service survey was designed to gauge consumer attitudes toward retailers' customer service and to provide a listing of the top customer service retailers. The survey, which polled 9,374 consumers, was conducted by consumer marketing intelligence firm BIGresearch in September 2011. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.0 percent. Consumers answered the open ended question, "Thinking of all the different retail formats (store, catalog, internet, or home shopping), which retailer delivers the best customer service?" In order to develop a fair comparison, regardless of a retailer's size or geographic coverage, the consumer survey responses were compared to each retailer's 2010 revenues to develop the overall rankings. The survey data and the process for selecting the winners were reviewed by Professor Martin P. Block, Ph.D., of Northwestern University.

BIGinsight consumer intelligence provides analysis of behavior in areas of products and services, retail, financial services, automotive and media. The Consumer Intentions and Actions® Survey (CIA®) of 8,000+ respondents is conducted monthly and the Simultaneous Media Usage® Survey (SIMM®) of 15,000+ respondents is conducted semi-annually.

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Merchant Services is the merchant network of American Express, which acquires and maintains relationships with millions of merchants around the globe, which welcome American Express-branded Cards.

The NRF Foundation is the research and education arm of the National Retail Federation. A nonprofit foundation created in 1981, the Foundation conducts industry research, develops education and workforce development programs, professional certification programs and promotes retailing as a career destination. The NRF Foundation benefits retailers, their associates and business partners and allies, and consumers in many ways. Research provides the basis for education about the industry and its importance to the economy, and provides industry and government leaders with an analysis of public policy decisions on consumers, retailers, and the economy. The Foundation's education and career development efforts, including NRF University wired, encourage professional development and excellence in performance of retailing for associates and executives at all levels.

Contact Information

For more information on L.L.Bean news items or to arrange an interview with one of our experts (topics range from outdoors to business), contact L.L.Bean Public Affairs at publicaffairs@llbean.com or 207-552-6072.