Best and worst cities in the UK for customer service – 365 RETAIL


A new study, conducted by racing experts, Featured CV, analyzed 784,444 Google Maps customer reviews to reveal the best and worst UK cities for customer service, highlighting the frequency of positive and negative comments left by customers in each city. The complete list of phrases and words analyzed can be found in the methodology.

The analysis reviewed a variety of industries including B&Bs, barbershops, bars, cafes, gyms, hairdressers, restaurants, plumbers, shops and supermarkets to reveal how many times positive and negative phrases were used.

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The full results and conclusions of the study can be found here:

Retail business at its best in Wells and York

Looking solely at retail businesses, the data revealed that the city with the best reviews for retail customer service was Wells in Somerset, with 9.3% of reviews posting positive comments about their customer service. The study also found that York was in second place, with 8.4% of city reviews containing positive customer comments.

Top 10 cities with positive customer feedback in retail:

  1. Wells (9.3%)
  2. York (8.4%)
  3. Truro (8.2%)
  4. Ripon (8.2%)
  5. Eli (7.3%)
  6. Chichester (7.2%)
  7. Winchester (6.9%)
  8. Salisbury (6.7%)
  9. Manchester (6.5%)
  10. chester (6.5%)

When it came to underperforming cities in their retail customer service, Leicester led the way with 3.25% of their retail business reviews containing multiple negative customer comments.

Top 10 cities with negative customer feedback in retail:

  1. Leicester (3.25%)
  2. Westminster (2.91%)
  3. Southampton (2.90%)
  4. Bradford (2.86%)
  5. Birmingham (2.85%)
  6. Manchester (2.53%)
  7. Oxford (2.53%)
  8. Bristol (2.34%)
  9. Nottingham (2.30%)
  10. Cambridge (2.27%)

Cities that offer the worst customer service in the UK

Looking at the overall data, which takes into account retail businesses and many others, regarding the number of reviews left by city, the analysis found that the City of Westminster has the highest proportion of customer service reviews where 2.42% of businesses the reviews contained negative customer comments, followed by London (2.41%) and Birmingham (2.3%).

Overall, the percentages of negative comments in each city were found to be much lower than the percentages of reviews containing positive comments, indicating that Britons are more likely to leave positive comments online than criticize.

Range City County Percentage of reviews containing negative comments
1 westminster London 2.42%
two London Greater london 2.41%
3 birmingham West Midlands 2.30%
4 leicester leicestershire 2.25%
5 bradford West Yorkshire 2.20%
6 cambridge cambridgeshire 2.14%
7 Manchester Greater Manchester 2.08%
8 oxford oxfordshire 2.05%
9 Nottingham Nottinghamshire 2.01%
10 Salford Greater Manchester 2.00%

Cities that provide the best customer service in the UK

The study found that Wells in Somerset had the highest percentage of positive customer comments, relative to the city’s overall total, with 26.9% of comments mentioning any of the positive customer service phrases analyzed in the study. Ripon in North Yorkshire was found to be the second best town (20.7%) of its reviews with positive comments, followed by West Sussex’s historic town of Chichester (19.9%).

UK cities generally had a higher percentage of positive comments than negative ones, however, the majority of reviews were left with no comments, where users only left a star rating.

You can see the top ten cities ranked by percentage of positive city reviews below:

Range City County Percentage of reviews containing positive comments
1 wells Somersault 20.89%
two Ripon north yorkshire 20.73%
3 chichester West Sussex 19.90%
4 York north yorkshire 19.19%
5 truró Cornwall 18.54%
6 lichfield Staffordshire 18.50%
7 Plymouth Devon 18.24%
8 Salisbury wiltshire 18.24%
9 Norwich norfolk 17.72%
10 Bathtub Somersault 17.67%

Cities where customers used more positive and negative descriptors:

In addition to this data, StandOut CV researchers were also able to discover where in the UK customers used the most different terms. Brummies used ‘disappointed’ to review their local businesses more than anyone, while those from York commented on how ‘lovely’ their service had been.

phrase/word City where customers use this phrase the most
Upset birmingham
Polite bradford
good value Cardiff
Great value Cardiff
terrible service coventry
Bad service Greater london
Highly recommended Greater london
Speed ​​(took years) Greater london
bad value leeds
the best job leeds
Cowboy Manchester
far beyond newcastle
Pleasantly surprised oxford
Excellent service Sheffield
great service Sheffield
Speed ​​(Only took) Southampton
Unpleasant westminster
do not recommend westminster
Rude westminster
bad value Winchester
Handsome York

Hospitality companies:

StandOut CV’s analysis of Google data found that Ripon in North Yorkshire had the highest percentage of reviews containing positive phrases within the hotel industry (25%), followed by Wells (23.3%) and York (23.3%). two %).

Top 10 cities with positive customer feedback on hospitality:

  1. Ripon (25%)
  2. Wells (23.3%)
  3. York (23.2%)
  4. Plymouth (22.8%)
  5. Salisbury (22.7%)
  6. Chichester (22.7%)
  7. Truro (22.0%)
  8. Lincoln (21.9%)
  9. Chester (21.6%)
  10. Bathroom (21.3%)

When it comes to worst hospitality reviews, the analysis found that Greater London has the highest percentage of negative reviews (3%), followed by Birmingham (2.6%) and Westminster (2.5%).

Top 10 cities with negative customer feedback on hospitality:

  1. Greater London (3%)
  2. Birmingham (2.6%)
  3. Westminster (2.5%)
  4. Coventry (2.5%)
  5. Leeds (2.5%)
  6. Bradford (2.4%)
  7. Salford (2.4%)
  8. Manchester (2.4%)
  9. Brighton (2.3%)
  10. Lichfield (2.3%)

Hairdressers and barbers:

Chichester, West Sussex was found to have the best customer service from barbers and hairdressers with 24% of reviews containing positive customer comments, the highest level in the country.

Top 10 cities with positive customer feedback on hairdressing and barbering:

  1. Chichester (24.0%)
  2. London (22.7%)
  3. Oxford (22.6%)
  4. Lichfield (22.6%)
  5. Brighton (21.7%)
  6. Truro (20.4%)
  7. Norwich (20.4%)
  8. Canterbury (20.2%)
  9. York (19.9%)
  10. Wells (19.5%)

Top 10 cities with negative customer feedback on hairdressing and barbering:

Despite Big Smoke ranking high with many positive customer reviews, the study found that Greater London also had the highest percentage of negative reviews (9.5%), followed by Oxford (8.2%). . The high percentage of both positive and negative experience reviews in Greater London indicates that the city polarizes customers more than any other hair destination in the country.

  1. London (9.5%)
  2. Oxford (8.2%)
  3. Westminster (8.1%)
  4. Brighton (7.9%)
  5. Chichester (7.5%)
  6. Exter (7.3%)
  7. Norwich (7.2%)
  8. Chelmsford (7.0%)
  9. chester (6.8%)
  10. Cambridge (6.8%)

Gyms and fitness centers:

StandOut CV found that Bath in Somerset had the highest percentage of positive reviews for their gyms (14%), followed by Winchester (13.8%) and Wells (11.9%).

Top 10 cities with positive customer feedback on gyms and fitness centers:

  1. Bathroom (14.0%)
  2. Winchester (13.8%)
  3. Wells, (11.9%)
  4. Eli (11.9%)
  5. Chichester (11.4%)
  6. Ripon (11.3%)
  7. Westminster (11.2%)
  8. Truro (10.4%)
  9. London (9.9%)
  10. Cambridge (9.0%)

Top 10 cities with negative customer feedback on gyms and fitness centers:

The worst gym experiences in the UK were found to be in Cambridge, which had the highest percentage of negative reviews (3.2%), followed by Chelmsford (2.3%).

  1. Cambridge (3.24%)
  2. Chelmsford (2.32%)
  3. Westminster (2.12%)
  4. Portmouth (1.86%)
  5. Norwich (1.86%)
  6. Bristol (1.73%)
  7. Oxford (1.72%)
  8. Wells (1.71%)
  9. York (1.70%)
  10. London (1.62%)


Bradford was found to have the highest percentage of positive comments (55.2%) for plumbers, while Leicester and London ranked first for the highest percentage of negative comments per city.

Top 10 cities with positive customer feedback on plumbing:

  1. Bradford (55.2%)
  2. Canterbury (49.0%)
  3. Lichfield (47.0%)
  4. Cardiff (45.8%)
  5. Plymouth (43.3%)
  6. Saint Albans (43.1%)
  7. York (42.7%)
  8. Wakefield (42.6%)
  9. Birmingham (42.6%)
  10. Derby (42.6%)

Top 10 cities with negative customer feedback on plumbing:

  1. Leicester (3.1%) + London (3.1%)
  2. Salford (2.5%)
  3. Swansea (2.4%)
  4. Preston (2.3%)
  5. Lincoln (2.2%)
  6. Stoke-on-Trent (2.2%)
  7. Edinburgh (1.9%)
  8. Worcester (1.8%)
  9. Wakefield (1.8%)

StandOut CV also spoke with Jane Hawkes‘Queen of Customer Service’ and radio presenter, on the study’s findings and the UK’s customer service crisis:

“We have been sailing a tide of mediocrity for years with falling customer service standards evident in an increasing number of areas, yet still only around 90% of customers were complaining. However, the pandemic has been the straw that broke the camel’s back, as customers become increasingly frustrated with the old covid-19 excuse for poor customer service.”

While several companies responded well during the pandemic by adapting their offerings to fit the changing landscape, others struggled to step up to new challenges and exacerbated pre-pandemic problems. As a result, we are seeing record levels of complaints about everything from long wait times, poor quality products and services, delays in issuing refunds, time taken to resolve complaints, and difficulty communicating with customer services.” .

“I don’t think it’s necessarily that these smaller towns and cities are more educated, just that there’s a different social culture. In big towns and cities, customer service is largely provided on a ‘grab and go’ basis, with easy, quick and convenient priority topping the list of priorities rather than the smiles and courtesies of meeting and say hello you can find elsewhere. Londoners aren’t rude or unfriendly, they just have a different pace of life than you’d expect in a city, so in some cases there’s less time for small talk in the working day.”

Director of content for 365 Retail, Retail Focus and Hospitality and Leisure Design. The organizer of the Creative Retail Awards and CDD Connections the networking event.


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