With so many shopping options--online and in-store--customer service matters more than ever. Find out which brands do the most to keep you happy.
Think good help is hard to find?
Zogby Analytics, in partnership with MSN, recently released its seventh annual customer service survey, which ranked about 150 brands by customer satisfaction from a survey of more than 1,500 consumers. To make it into the final results, each brand had to have reports from at least 500 respondents who have interacted with the brand in the last year, says Chad Bohnert, Zogby's chief marketing officer.
"To get an 'excellent' or 'good' rating, the person has to be completely satisfied...," says Bohnert. Customer service, he adds, boils down to two factors--how well are customers getting problems resolved and what is the company doing to minimize customer service issues?
These brands are the creme de la creme--the companies with the highest percentage of "excellent" responses. Do your customer experiences match up? We'd love to hear your opinions in the comments.
10. Lowe's Home Improvement
Over 80 percent of respondents ranked Lowe's as "excellent" or "good," in part because of the company's commitment to honoring customer service requests both in-store and through their online channels. The company has also made it easier for DIYers to ask questions in person about projects they've found online by equipping stores with wifi and associates with iPhones reports the <em>Los Angeles Times</em>.
9. Trader Joe’s
Trader Joe's doesn't carry the biggest selection, but it earns a spot on this list thanks to its drive to stock stores with products requested by the local community. The company also values staying ahead of the curve by taking steps like using allergy labels before they were required and stocking shelves with local goods before they reach a national market.
After repeated consumers called Samsung "<a href="http://reviews.cnet.com/flat-panel-tvs/samsung-ln52b750/4864-6482_7-33490659-3.html" target="_blank">the worst customer service ever</a>," the electronics retailer made a serious investment in improving its reputation. In the last year, the company has wooed customers back by launching a worldwide customer service campaign and offering a free app that provides online support, troubleshooting guides, and how-to videos you can take anywhere.
7. State Farm
Three out of four respondents believe that like a good neighbor, State Farm is there—and they're not the only ones. In a survey of insurance companies by the Temkin Group research firm, State Farm was recently ranked the No. 2 firm for customer service, just under USAA, because of their accessibility, ability to solve customer problems, and the emotional connection consumers had to the brand.
With their mantra of "<a href="http://www.google.com/about/company/philosophy/" target="_blank">Focus on the user and all else will follow</a>," Google goes to borderline insane lengths to test how even the smallest decisions impact user experience. For example, when faced with a choice between two shades of blue for a Google toolbar, the company tested 41 shades to see what tested best reports the New York Times. Fans can expect that level of attention to detail in all Google products.
Despite the <a href="http://consumerist.com/2013/07/29/fedex-fires-package-chucking-workers-caught-on-video/" target="_blank">recently leaked video</a> of a FedEx driver throwing packages, the air freight company has long held a reputation for delivering goods ranging from typical packages to a 320-pound sea turtle on time without damage. Over 40 percent of those who interacted with the brand in the last year ranked FedEx customer service as "excellent."
4. United Parcel Service
UPS garners a 41 percent "excellent" rating by anticipating what customers need before they need it and helping customers through social media. UPS plans to expand those efforts to workers soon. According to the <em>Wall Street Journal</em>, UPS will soon unveil a social networking platform where workers can address safety hazards, concerns, and company criticisms in an effort to make the firm run smoother.
3. Hilton Hotels and Resorts
Of course businesses care about their customers, but Hilton outlines its philosophy for exactly how they'll take care of you. For example, Doubletree, a franchise owned by Hilton Worldwide, maintains a CARE committee within each of its hotels that includes workers from every department and exists to monitor hotel performance and ensure that guests are satisfied. The tactic is working, at least according to Zogby's study where four out of every five respondents reported an "excellent" or "good" interaction.
2. Marriott International
This company is filled with buzz about suite attendants who leave personalized notes and door attendants who provide local homeless people with transportation to the nearest shelter. Details count at Marriott and so does rewarding repeat customers. The hotel chain has taken home numerous accolades for its loyalty program including a top spot on <em>US News and World Report's</em> Best Hotel Rewards Programs list.
With an initiative to hire up to 7,000 new workers, approximately 2,000 of which will be in customer service, the online giant plans to bolster its already robust service wing, reports <em>The Washington Post</em>. The company has long been a pioneer in e-customer service by offering policies like automatic refunds when service standards aren't abided by, free shipping on orders, and price guarantees on pre-ordered items, all of which make it a perennial No. 1 in Zogby's study.
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