BusinessWeek Launches List Of "Customer Service Champs"

BusinessWeek has created an inaugural list of companies that provide excellent customer service. These “customer service champs” run the gamut of industry and are especially notable for simultaneously winning the praise of BusinessWeek while avoiding the ire of Consumerist.

For these companies, great customer service is much more than just a job for the front lines or the call centers. It takes coordination from the top, bringing together people, management, technology, and processes to put customers’ needs first. That’s true today more than ever. Technology is leveling the barriers between alpha companies and also-rans, making great customer service one of the few ways companies can distinguish themselves.

Topping the list, insurance company USAA, followed by the Four Seasons Hotel, Cadillac, Nordstrom, and Rochester’s main tourist attraction, Wegman’s Food Market. JetBlue would have made the list at No. 4, but “in the wake of such a massive operational meltdown, BusinessWeek decided to take a wait-and-see approach…”

We salute the winners for their outstanding achievement in the field of excellence. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER

The Best Customer Service Companies [BusinessWeek] (Thanks to Tim and Mark!)

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  1. homerjay says:

    Does this mean they’ll be awarded the Montgomery Burns Award?? You know, I won that once….

  2. hop says:

    gee, where are best buys,circuit city etc.???????

  3. RumorsDaily says:

    Was it the first annual award for outstanding achievement in the field of excellence?

  4. homerjay says:

    Couldn’t have been. That one’s sitting on my mantle- next to my Grammy.

  5. humphrmi says:

    homerjay – you keep your grandma on the mantle?

  6. healthdog says:

    Why? The Grammy is not an award.

  7. CDNRower says:

    Per a recent post; USAA Insurance is a company to avoid –now it’s a customer service all-star?? Where’s the disconnect?

  8. Zing!

  9. By the way, Homerjay, how was that ham?

  10. factotum says:

    According to the article, Southwest provided 2 free round trip vouchers as a result of an uncontrolled (weather) circumstance. JetBlue’s not looking so generous after all.

    As an aside, I would like to know if any of the companies lauded in the article purchase advertising in the print or online versions of BusinessWeek.

  11. OnoSideboard says:

    Hate to be a nay-sayer, but as a consumer-end user of UPS, I think their customer service sucks.

    I live in an apartment complex with an on-site office. When the Postal Service, Fed-Ex, or DHL deliver a package and I’m not home, they leave a note on my door (or in my mailbox) telling me the package is in the office.

    UPS consistently screws this up. Half the time, I get no note, so as far as I know, my package hasn’t arrived. If it’s something I ordered for myself, I have to track down the tracking number to discover that it’s been signed for by one of the office minions. The other half of the time, I get the notice on the door stating that they will attempt delivery between a certain time (usually 2-5pm) the next day. So the next day comes, and I wait anxiously for my package, never to see the UPS guy again. After two days of non-delivery, I check the tracking number to discover it was dropped off in the office the same day they left the notice about attempting delivery the next day.

    The worst is when I’m not even expecting a package, because it takes the office staff cleaning out the package closet to call me and let me know my UPS delivery has been sitting there for weeks, and I’m way overdue on a thank-you note to Granny for the birthday present.

    I’d let it slide if this happened on rare occassions, but UPS’s frequent screw ups, compared with non-existant screw ups on the part of the other delivery services, really pisses me off.

  12. Maulleigh says:

    My mom LOVES Nordstroms. A male friend of ours needed a suit quickly so he called ahead and they were waiting for him and got the best customer service. It was even at closing time. She loves their return policy. They’ll take back ANYTHING.

  13. dresden says:

    It’s good to know Rochester will still be on the map even after Xerox and Kodak totally abandon us. :P

  14. B says:

    I thought Homer Jay gave his Grammy to the bellhop. And on his mantel is an Oscar belonging to Dr. Haing S. Ngor. (I admit I had to look up that last name).

  15. “UPS consistently screws this up. Half the time, I get no note, so as far as I know, my package hasn’t arrived. If it’s something I ordered for myself, I have to track down the tracking number to discover that it’s been signed for by one of the office minions.”

    That depends so much on your local office manager and specific delivery person. I would write complaint letters to several folks up the chain (and CC it to the local office) in hopes of getting this fixed.

    For me, my UPS driver is a wonderful, helpful man who goes out of his way to ensure if it’s even a tiny bit drizzly that my package is well undercover, including putting his own plastic over it if it won’t fit under the eave. My mail person, on the other hand, can’t be bothered to deliver anything or, if she deigns to deliver, to put it in the actual mailbox. The dirt nearby is good enough. Once I actually SAW her dropkick a package onto my step. AND SHE KNOWS I WORK FROM HOME.

  16. “A male friend of ours needed a suit quickly so he called ahead and they were waiting for him and got the best customer service.”

    Ooooh, I do this too at Nordstrom’s: “I have a court appearance first thing in the morning and I need plain black shoes with 2 inch heels, but I can’t get there until 6:30.”

    “What size, ma’am?”

    “7 1/2, narrow.”

    “We’ll pull some pairs for you and have them ready at 6:30. Ask for Joe at the shoe service desk.”

    And you get there and they’ve pulled 10 pairs that they think are just right for a suit, and a further 10 that are a little edgier, just in case you’re feeling funky. :D

  17. BelBivDevolkswagen says:

    Wegmans, people, the pride of Upstate NY! Danny Wegman, the owner, lives on a 10 million dollar lakehouse estate on Canandaigua Lake, and he personally appears at the Canandaigua store at LEAST once a week. Watch out if you shake his hand though, they’re really greasy…

    Oh, and he has a nightclub in his basement…

  18. Yay, they are putting a new Nordstrom’s closer to where I live.

    And I agree, UPS sucks.