Do you have a company that you absolutely adore? Have you discovered a brand or product that makes you want to rave about it to your friends, your family and even to complete strangers? Is it because the service you received has been completely outstanding, or is it just that it gives you a warm and fluffy feeling inside?
We Brits can be hard to please at times, but other countries often denounce us for providing dreadful customer service. In an interview for the BBC, Michelin-starred chef Michel Roux Jr bemoaned the levels of service in the UK – not just in restaurants but also in shops.
Traditionally, we have a reputation for putting up with bad service, but according to the Guardian, we are doing our best to overturn the situation. Apparently, social media and email have made us quicker to voice our opinions, both good and bad, spreading the word about the rights and wrongs of the service we receive.
Nowadays, you can name and shame a company in less time than it takes to locate a stamp, thanks to websites such as soapboxshout.com. With just a few clicks we can spread the word about bad, inefficient or downright incompetent service, making it harder for companies to hide behind advertising slogans.
With a history built on tradition, it’s no wonder that some of our best-loved companies are those which have stood the test of time – many of them celebrating the best of Britishness dating back over decades. The BBC, for example, despite all the griping and moaning about the cost of the licence fee, remains one of our favourite institutions and even today is a byword for quality when it comes to costume dramas and wildlife documentaries.
ITV is another popular British institution, despite the plethora of adverts which interrupt the programmes, but it still seems preferable to many of the younger and more frivolous TV stations which currently abound.
Cadbury’s chocolates can be identified just by a glimpse of a particular shade of purple and retain a fond place in the nation’s hearts, despite being owned by a huge international faceless corporation. Walker’s crisps are another perennial favourite, as British as fish and chips and with a long and illustrious history.
We love Kelloggs, which has been a staple of the British breakfast for decades, and what meal would be complete without a collection of Heinz sauces on the table? Clearly, we are creatures of habit, loving easily identified brands even when the original owners have long since sold out to global conglomerates.
We went off Starbucks when we discovered that the company was employing tax-avoidance tactics to reduce payments in this country, yet we have decided to overlook the same behaviour from other companies such as Google and Amazon, which remain on the list of favourite companies in Britain.
Meanwhile, Boots and Tesco also make it on to the list of favourites, despite regular media reports that the British high street is losing customers by the day. Clearly, we Brits have our favourites, but at least we are more likely to name and shame the companies that fail to deliver customer satisfaction than we were in the past.