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Someone has finally come along and done it. It took years, but Business Week has stepped up to the plate with its first-ever ranking of 25 client-pleasing brands.

After all of the justifiable griping of consumers as well as multiple contributors to the Daily Fix blog, there may be something positive in the way of customer service that we can all talk about and applaud. This may also spur other companies in the direction of fixing their customer service problems (we hope).
Interestingly, prior to press time, JetBlue had made the BW list handily. But the brand was yanked after its recent debacle leaving thousands of air travelers stranded for umpteen hours on tarmacs due to wintry weather. With all that has already been said about this topic, there's no need to go further.
In order to compile its list, BW turned to the brands listed in the J.D. Power & Associates database. The magazine then polled 3,000 of its readers to get their take on the companies that deliver for their customers. J.D. Power, another McGraw-Hill Companies subsidiary, was then tapped to conduct surveys on those brands that readers had suggested, and that were not already in its database.
Once again, the article and the full list are available online here. I urge MP Daily Fix readers to study this list and the rationale for the top 25 names that appear on it. The top five:
USAA. An insurance provider with a heavy customer list of military families, this company treats its customers with respect.
Four Seasons Hotels. Part of the luxury provided by the hotel chain is exemplary customer service.
Cadillac. Surprise! New improvements to the On-Star system warn of impending mechanical problems. Committed to giving customers loaners when their cars are in the shop a la Lexus.
Nordstrom. Customer service has always been a hallmark of this retailer. The company continually strives to improve on its service.
Wegmans Food Markets. "Knowledge-based service." Clearly visible, additional sales help to assist customers and answer questions in its retail stores.
Let's hope this report spurs executives from companies in all sectors to address weaknesses in their customer service. They might even borrow some ideas from BW's top 25 list to ensure their customers have great experiences with their brands.
Do you agree with this list? Have you had great experiences, fair or even poor experiences with any of the brands on the list?
Which brands do you think deliver great customer service, and what experiences have led you to your conclusions?

Continue reading "Where the Customer Really Is King" ... Read the full article

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Ted Mininni is president of Design Force, Inc. (, a leading brand-design consultancy to consumer product companies (phone: 856-810-2277). Ted is also a regular contributor to the MarketingProfs blog, the Daily Fix.