Brandwatch released its annual customer services index last month.
For the index, the leading 40 brands were selected from the shortlist of 92 by the extent to which customer service content about these companies was visible on the social web in the UK from February 1 to May 31 2012.
Each brand was awarded a score based on manually analysed sentiment and visibility of customer services content. The visibility was measured as a proportion of the brands online posts to ascertain dedication to the issue rather than company size.
For the second year running, John Lewis came top, and with a significant lead. Only three brands analysed were the subject of more positive discussion about customer service-oriented issues than negative. These were John Lewis, Waitrose and B&Q.
So what did John Lewis do to bag first place it and how are other brands falling behind?
It is fair to say that industry sector does affect the customer service perception online. Brands in the retail sector were clearly more highly regarded by social media users. The three lowest scoring brands were telecoms providers.
That said, John Lewis is doing key things right and deservedly earns its place at the top of the retail tree.
John Lewis' response time on Twitter was 32% quicker than other brands, with an average Twitter response time of 3hrs 23minutes. This figure was skewed slightly by a handful threads with significant delays in getting back to tweeters; the median time was a mere 16 minutes.
John Lewis was by far the most prolific tweeter in the four months, posting nearly 50% more than B&Q, the next most regular contributor in the evaluation period.
John Lewis responded to more than a third of posts on Facebook, although Groupon was by some distance the brand most dedicated to Facebook, posting more than twice a day on average an￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼d responding to 88% of all posts from users.
The sentiment of posts surrounding John Lewis was considerably higher than any other brandin the survey with 64% of mentions being positive – 47 percentage points above the average. This was helped by their grateful responses to loyal customers praising the brand as well as responding to customer complaints.