Customer satisfaction is closely tied to employee satisfaction. In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., customer service expert and published author Shep Hyken explained that the way employees will treat customers often reflects the way they are treated by management.
The theory that happy employees make for satisfied customers appears to be correct. Each of the 13 companies on this list has a higher rating on employee review site Glassdoor than the average 3.3 out of 5 star rating across all companies.
In addition to keeping employees happy, the companies with the best customer service unfailingly provide better than average service. Referring to such Customer Service Hall of Fame companies as Amazon, FedEx, and Netflix, Hyken said, “Day in and day out, all they do is consistently provide a tiny bit above average service, which means that they’re beating the bar. The key word is consistency.”
A company’s product and customer expectations are also closely tied to quality of service. In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., Praveen Kopalle, associate dean for Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business’ MBA program, explained the connection.
With every transaction, the customer is receiving the actual product, and also the experience that goes with it. Tied to each piece of the transaction is a set of expectations on the customer side. Perceptions of good customer service are typically little more than “the difference between the expectations for the product and the actual product, and the difference between the expectation for service and the actual service,” Kopalle said.
“The reason Amazon and Apple are high on the list is because the actual product is good and the actual quality of the service is good, and even though my expectation for the quality of the product and service are high, the actual products and services are even higher than that.” Kopalle explained that Amazon and Apple are both able to create experiences that are personalized to the specific customer. “They exceed my already high expectations.”
24/7 Wall St. commissioned polling company Zogby Analytics to conduct an online national survey in which more than 1,500 randomly chosen respondents rated customer service at 151 of the best-known companies in the country. Seventeen industries are represented in the study.
Respondents were asked to evaluate customer service quality as “excellent,” “good,” “fair,” or “poor.”
When a company with multiple divisions scored as one of the best or worst for customer satisfaction, the company was only listed once in our rank. Companies with the same parent company but different branding were listed separately. For example, YouTube and Google each appear on our list, even though they are both owned by Alphabet. Meanwhile, AT&T and AT&T U-verse were combined into a single entry.
The 12 companies with the highest percentage of “poor” responses comprise our Customer Service Hall of Shame. Using the same methodology, the 13 companies with the highest percentage of “excellent” responses comprise our Customer Service Hall of Fame.