We’ve all experienced it. You call customer service only to spend 40 minutes on the phone plodding through a cascade of robotic messages instructing you to press this or that number, often interrupted by periods of anodyne “hold music” interspersed with reminders that your call is “important,” and that you will be served by the next available representative. In the worst case scenario, your call mysteriously disconnects, forcing you to go through the whole process again.
Then there’s poor face-to-face customer service — dealing with a salesperson who offers little or no guidance and can’t seem to answer simple questions, or simply ignores customers as they wander around the store. Even reaching out for assistance on Twitter all too often feels like an exercise in futility. (Poor customer service is one of the reasons these are America’s worst retailers.)
However you connect with them, all too many companies just don’t seem to do customer service right — and it costs them dearly. An estimate in 2018 by the cloud service company NewVoiceMedia suggested that businesses lose as much as $75 billion annually due to poor customer service. A survey of consumers from the global professional services network PwC the same year found that only 49% of U.S. respondents thought that companies provided good customer service — though 65% considered it more important than advertising in building brand loyalty.
Some companies, though, do get it right. 24/7 Wall St. has assembled a list of those whose customer service Americans are the happiest with. Customer satisfaction scores for 2020, the percentage of change in scores 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. (These are American brands that went bankrupt during COVID.)