Special Report

Customer Service Hall of Fame

Thomas C. Frohlich, Samuel Stebbins, Evan Comen

American Express logo
Source: Wikimedia Commons

12. American Express   (NYSE: AXP)
> Pct. “excellent” ratings: 37.9%

American Express offers a range of personal and business credit cards with a variety of exclusive benefits and services. It is the only credit card company in the Customer Service Hall of Fame. While other credit card companies, such as Wells Fargo and Bank of America, have some of the lowest customer approval ratings, 37.9% of surveyed American Express customers reported an excellent experience with the company, a larger share than all but a few other major brands.

While most companies emphasize customer service as important to their brand, American Express appears to better hold up to its commitment. The company seems to have improved its customer service markedly in recent years. In 2013, 14% of survey respondents rated their customer experience with American Express as poor, landing the company on the Hall of Shame. This year, only 11.3% of customers reported an equally negative experience with the company. To date, American Express is the only company to have ranked in both the Hall of Fame and Hall of Shame.

YouTube
Source: pixabay.com

11. YouTube
> Pct. “excellent” ratings: 38.0%

While some companies with the highest customer satisfaction ratings have been around for over a century, YouTube is barely a decade old. While face to face customer interactions are common at a number companies on this list, YouTube’s product and service are relatively intangible. The website serves as a platform for users to share and watch videos.

Internet giant Google bought the company in 2006, and within a year began to carefully roll out advertising on the site in such a way that did not detract considerably from the user experience. With advertising, YouTube has turned into a major profit generator.

Some of the 38% of survey respondents reporting an excellent experience with YouTube may have even profited financially from the brand. There are many ways YouTube users can make money, including fan funding and hosting corporate advertisements. The site even offers a free online course for contributors interested in submitting content to turn a profit.

UPS Logo
Source: Wikimedia Commons

10. UPS (NYSE: UPS)
> Pct. “excellent” ratings: 38.6%

What eventually became United Parcel Service, the largest package delivery service in the world, began in Seattle in 1907. Though the company can trace its roots back over 100 years, it did not go public until 1999, right before the rise of e-commerce, which drastically increased the brand’s exposure and ubiquity.

Today, UPS customers can track their packages and confirm shipment deliveries online. The company also invests in technology to increase efficiency and ultimately the customer experience. Tens of thousands of UPS trucks are equipped with tracking technology that measures and records more than 200 elements, including speed, overall vehicle idle time, and oil pressure. The company also uses navigation systems that use algorithms to determine the optimal delivery route.

More than 85% of survey respondents this year reported an overall positive customer experience with UPS, with more than a third of those respondents rating their experience as excellent.