For years, 24/7 Wall St. published its “Hall of Shame” and “Hall of Fame” customer service studies. We stopped. The same companies held the top spots on both lists year after year. Consumer-facing companies that had millions of customers, like cable companies and banks, did poorly. Big tech companies led by Apple and Amazon did well. One thing we discovered. A great deal of research showed that organizations with poor customer service had more financial problems and lower margins than those that ranked among the best for customer service.
For years, the gold standard for customer service research has been the American Customer Satisfaction Index. It was founded in 1994 by researchers at the University of Michigan, along with the American Society for Quality and CFI Group in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It researches dozens of industry categories from cars to retailers to consumer electronics each year. Hundreds of companies get included.
24/7 Wall St. has assembled a list of those companies whose customer service Americans are the happiest with. Customer satisfaction scores for 2020, the percentage of change in score from 2019, and the industry category of each company come from the American Customer Satisfaction Index. It’s interesting to note that almost all of the top-rated companies show at least a small decline in customer satisfaction from 2019. The Index doesn’t comment on these decreases, but they are perhaps due in part to the stress on businesses caused by the pandemic.
The highest score received by any company is by supermarket chain Trader Joe’s. It received an 84, which did not drop from the prior year. Chick-fil-A had the same score, but it dropped by 2% from the year earlier.
Trader Joe’s is an unlikely winner. Headquartered in California, it has just over 500 stores in 42 states and the District of Columbia. It considers itself a neighborhood store. Most of its products actually have its name on the label. By the measure of most national retailers, it is fairly small.