Customer Service Champs

I finally got up to reading the BusinessWeek 2010 listing of customer service champs. LLBean (retailer), USAA (financial services & insurance), Apple (cool gadgets), Four Seasons (hotels) & Publix (retailer) share the spoils at the top of the table. 

Some snippets that caught my fancy amongst the leading customer service champs are :

  • Four Seasons Hotel – to beat the recession blues, Four Seasons got human resource managers to take on additional responsibility of manning spa desk. Both roles are about keeping customers happy – one is internal while the other is external.
  • Lexus – not only allows its customers to book service schedule online, but also allows them to pick the service representative they trust. 
  • Jaguar – is at #16 position. Apparently the exemplary customer service (especially during the sales cycle) remains the same even after the Tata take over.
  • American Express – New training programs rolled out in 2009 switched from 70% technical know-how to 70% soft-skills teaching to help agents better relate to customers.
  • Dell – is braving its way through social media (has had its share of customer ranting on Dell customer blogs)  & making the best of getting closer to customers. From a social media perspective, this is working as per plan – Dell is creating & sponsoring a platform for its customers to vent.
  • Southwest – has a “senior manager of proactive customer service”!