Business Week recently announced its list of customer service standouts.  These customer-focused companies provide excellent examples of how to deliver exceptional service.  So read on and add to your bag of customer service tricks.  What follows is a list of companies that made the list along with unusual or noteworthy ways these companies are improving their bottom line while they improve their customer service.  Before you check out the article, try to guess which initiatives belong to which companies.

Ace Hardware, Amazon.com, American Express, Amica Mutual Insurance, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Branch Banking & Trust, Charles Schwab, Dell, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Jaguar, L.L. Bean, Lexus, Nordstrom, Panera Bread, Publix Super Markets, Southwest Airlines, Starbucks, The Ritz-Carlton, True Value, USAA, Wegmans Food Markets, WestJet

Investing in Employees

  • Increased training budget by 13%.  Awards tuition scholarships for employees.  Answer
  • Employees granted equity in company.  Answer

Investing in Technology

  • Leveraged best of both worlds after implementing best practices from recently acquired company.  Answer
  • Implemented overflow call system to use remote representatives when local volume overloaded local resources.  Answer
  • Integrated online inventory with brick and mortar inventory to speed customer fulfillment.  Answer

Investing in Customers

  • Escalated problems if not solved within 20 minutes.  Answer
  • Developed outreach program to contact dormant customers.  Answer
  • Roving check-out clerks bring service to customers.  Answer

The pivot point is that we can learn much from those companies that blaze the way with excellent customer service.  We don’t need to re-invent the customer service wheel.  And while not every solution will be appropriate for all companies, these stalwarts set the bar high when innovating around, and executing on customer service.

Which companies are customer service trailblazers that should make the next Business Week list?

  • fullmeasure

    Zappos is a great example of a company that puts the customer first and trailblazes on behalf of the customer experience.

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