By Jim Tompkins
CEO, Tompkins International

I am following up our list of the top 10 omnichannel retailers with our take on the top 10 retailers in Customer Centricity. This is where Amazon is really setting the bar high and it is critical that you respond as Amazon is continuously establishing higher expectations within consumers.

  1. Amazon - In everything they do they start with the customer and work back.
  2. Nordstrom - From their employee handbook: "Our number one goal is to provide outstanding customer service."
  3. Trader Joe's - Always at or near the top of rankings for customer satisfaction.
  4. Publix - Seek their vendors' assistance in developing Customer Centric merchandising and service.
  5. Chick-fil-A - Exceptional service through attention to detail and customer focus.
  6. Starbucks - From the coffee beans in South America and Asia that end up in your cup and the door handles you grab as you enter and leave their stores: Starbucks is focused on creating the best customer experience.
  7. Apple - Their focus on the customer comes through in the details of the user interfaces of their products through to their retail store experience.
  8. LL Bean - Their Customer Centric tradition is almost 100 years old and today they embrace technology to continue and improve on that tradition.
  9. HEB - Consistently at the top of customer satisfaction surveys for grocers.
  10. Wegmans - Develops an incredible bond with their customers.

I can already hear the comments now: "Jim, what's so new about Customer Centricity?" Well you are right if you think that Customer Centricity has been part of being successful in business for years now. What has changed is that technology and the internet have combined to take customization of the retail experience to levels few retailers have grasped.

In my latest video I discuss how selection, price, convenience, and experience are the elements you need to integrate into your Customer Centric strategy. However, I also explain how being obsessed with Customer Centricity can come at a high price paid by employees, vendors, and other stakeholders in your firm and it is important to strike the right balance. Amazon has received some unwanted press coverage in these areas and we will reserve judgment here. It is worth noting, however, that every other firm on this list recognizes, emphasizes, and develops their employees' roles in delivering truly Customer Centric retail experiences and service. Our video will help you further grasp and understand this concept and allow you to start working on your response to "the Titans".

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Tompkins International Staff
Tompkins International Staff