Amazon.com Tops BusinessWeek’s List of ‘Customer Service Champs’
USAA, Jaguar, Lexus and The Ritz-Carlton round out the top 5
If anything, the tough economy has made starker the difference between companies that put customers first and those that sacrifice loyalty for short-term gain. In this year’s ranking, which uses data culled from J.D. Power & Associates, which, like BusinessWeek, is owned by The McGraw-Hill Companies, more than half of the top 25 brands showed improved customer service scores over last year. Among the bottom 25 of the more than 200 brands surveyed, scores mostly fell.
To come up with the winners, BusinessWeek started with existing data from J.D. Power & Associates which surveys consumers every year about customer satisfaction. BusinessWeek looked at two of the several measures they assess: the perceived quality of a company’s staff, and what customers think of its processes, such as return policies or reservation procedures.
BusinessWeek aggregated the scores within an industry for each individual brand. Because some businesses work across multiple industries, such as banking and insurance, BusinessWeek included the brand only in the industry in which it scored highest. BusinessWeek’s results may differ from J.D. Power’s satisfaction rankings, which also consider quality, presentation, and price.
As in past years, BusinessWeek also surveyed 5,000 people using the BusinessWeek Market Advisory Board, asking them to nominate three companies they felt were best at customer service and three they felt were the worst. More than 1,000 readers responded. J.D. Power took those top choices and surveyed consumers nationwide. That allowed BusinessWeek to expand the rankings beyond J.D. Power’s existing database, which includes only a limited number of retailers, for example. J.D. Power then ranked all of the brands using scores from its database and the additional surveys. To account for differences between sectors — buying a Lexus, for example, is nothing like buying a cell phone — BusinessWeek gave bonus points for those companies that lead their industries and subtracted points for those that fell below third place. They also gave 25 bonus points to brands that did best in our readers’ poll.
One outlier: Starbucks, which got many votes from readers. Because none of its peers did well in the readers’ survey or appeared in J.D. Power’s 2008 database, BusinessWeek left it off the list. As a result, BusinessWeek can only give the coffee chain a venti honorable mention. For a more complete description of our methodology, go to www.businessweek.com/go/09/method.
BusinessWeek’s special report, “Customer Service Champs,” is featured in the
BusinessWeek’s Ranking of “Customer Service Champs”
Rank Brand 1 Amazon.com 2 USAA 3 Jaguar 4 Lexus 5 The Ritz-Carlton 6 Publix Super Markets 7 Zappos.com 8 Hewlett-Packard 9 T. Rowe Price 10 Ace Hardware 11 Keybank 12 Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts 13 Nordstrom 14 Cadillac 15 Amica 16 Enterprise Rent-A-Car 17 American Express 18 Trader Joe's 19 JetBlue Airways 20 Apple 21 Charles Schwab 22 BMW 23 True Value 24 L.L. Bean 25 JW Marriott