15 Companies with Amazing Customer Service + What They Teach Us
From Amazon to Trader Joe’s, here are 15 companies that provide excellent customer service, as well as the business lessons you can learn from them.
Some brands just get customer service right. Whether they offer an enjoyable atmosphere, attentive support, easy returns or any other combination of consumer-friendly perks, certain businesses seem to delight shoppers at every turn.
And where there’s great customer service, you’ll likely also find continual growth, excellent retention and impressive annual profits. So, what exactly are these brands doing to achieve such success? Let’s take a look at 15 companies with amazing customer service, what we can learn from them and how to apply these lessons to your own business strategy.
While this list is in no particular order, Amazon is probably the first company to come to most people’s minds when reflecting on brands with great customer service. The world’s largest online retailer keeps shoppers happy in several different ways.
First of all, Amazon offers a ridiculously vast selection of product options to consumers. From electronics to apparel to crafts to pantry items, there’s almost nothing you could want to buy that isn’t available on Amazon’s website.
Secondly, these items are typically well-priced — many of them being cheaper on Amazon than through any other retailer. Plus, shoppers can save even more money thanks to Amazon’s low shipping fees (Prime members frequently get free shipping on practically every “ships from Amazon” product).
And, if an item ships directly from Amazon’s FBA program, delivery speeds tend to be lightning fast. It’s not uncommon for a customer to buy a product via Amazon Prime, select the free shipping option and still receive their order just two or three days later.
Finally, a quick look at reviews will tell you that Amazon’s return policy is easy and hassle free. In fact, the marketplace makes everything as easy as possible for shoppers, from searching for items to completing purchases to making a return / receiving a refund.
Takeaway: The lesson that Amazon can teach anyone in the customer service game is to offer consumers options, convenience and savings. Make things as easy and enjoyable for your customers as possible, and they will keep coming back to your store.
Next up, we have another juggernaut in the world of customer fandom: Apple. If you talk to anyone who owns an iPhone, MacBook, iPad, etc., you will find that most Apple users are fiercely loyal to the brand.
That intense loyalty exists because of Apple’s masterful blend of smart branding, customer service and product quality. The company listens to what their customers want (which, as we’ve reported before, is an integral part of any good customer service strategy), then delivers products that fit those needs and exceed expectations.
A few other ways Apple keeps shoppers happy include:
- Frequent software updates so users can enjoy the best experience possible.
- Robust forums and help documentation so customers can find answers to questions.
- Tons of apps aimed at serving the professional, gaming, entertainment and all other needs of users.
- Live events keeping customers in the know about upcoming new product releases and updates.
Takeaway: What can we learn from Apple? Plenty. First of all, build or offer products that customers love. Second, let user feedback inform your strategies. And third, keep your customers informed about what’s new or on tap for your company, while also building a strong, customer-centric branding tone for your business.
If you search for something online, you probably use Google to do it. Many of us also use Gmail as our preferred email provider. Then there’s the popularity of the Google Chrome browser, and the fact that Google users can utilize one sign-in to access all of their related programs and services.
Therein lies the crux of why Google is so great at customer service. The search engine / email / web browser giant has made every part of internet usage and surfing easy and convenient for users. Plus, they enact various security features to keep you safe while using their products. Not to mention the fact that they have stringent rules and guidelines for companies to follow in order to show up prominently in search results. All of these factors have made them a trusted player in today’s internet-centric market.
Takeaway: There are two major keys to Google customer service success that any company can learn from. One is to make your products / services as easy and convenient to use as possible. The second is to keep your users secure and build trust however you can. After all, trust is the basis of great customer service.
In the supermarket industry, one of the big names that comes to mind when you think about stellar customer service is Publix.
This grocery retailer, based in the Southeastern United States, actually goes by the mantra: “Publix — where shopping is a pleasure.” Publix is also employee-owned, and if you’ve ever purchased one of the store’s bakery specialties, you know that the staff goes above and beyond to make every customer happy.
Takeaway: The lesson we can learn from Publix is a simple one: do whatever you can to make the shopping experience a pleasant one. Offer great products and friendly service, plus, keep your employees satisfied in order to foster a positive environment.
Another high-scoring grocer in the customer service department is Trader Joe’s. With its private-label staple items (I love their peanut butter cups!) to the organic produce, Trader Joe’s has enjoyed rapid growth thanks to consistently high-quality products.
In addition to quality, Trader Joe’s also offers a wide selection of unique snacks and food items that you can’t find at most other supermarkets. And the friendliness of their store associates combined with the cleanliness of stores keeps shoppers coming back again and again.
Takeaway: Offer customers something that is unique and satisfying. Make sure your products stand out from the rest, and keep your offerings high quality. Also, hire friendly, attentive staff.
When it comes to fast food customer service, Chick-Fil-A is a real standout. The restaurant is often so busy that lines stretch around the block, however, the staff moves people through at a blistering pace. All while keeping a smile on their face and getting orders correct.
A huge part of Chick-Fil-A’s success with customers can be boiled down to the fact that the company uses set processes for keeping the line moving. Each employee has a specific job to do, and they do it well.
Another reason for the fast food purveyor’s efficiency might just be its simple menu. While the restaurant certainly offers a wide selection of (mostly) chicken-related entrees and sides, they’ve avoided going too overboard with options. That means that the cooks in the back aren’t having to keep an insane amount of ingredients on hand or switch gears as much as those who work for fast food places that have menus that run the gamut of every type of food imaginable.
And finally, Chick-Fil-A is another company that focuses on keeping employees happy as well as customers. For example, all Chick-Fil-A restaurants are closed on Sundays, which is certainly appreciated by the staff. This kind of satisfaction at work undoubtedly leads to workers offering more friendly service to customers.
Takeaway: Find what you’re good at (in Chick-Fil-A’s case, it’s chicken) and do it well. Also, enact strong processes for taking care of customers, document those processes and make sure all of your employees are well-trained. Finally, remember that happy employees often = happy customers.
Ritz-Carlton has been around forever, and there’s a good reason for that. While the price to stay at a Ritz-Carlton might be steep, the company justifies and earns this premium by providing the best guest services imaginable.
Take this story covered in Bloomberg as an example. A family was staying at a Ritz-Carlton in Bali. They had brought with them special items (such as specific milk and eggs) for their son to eat while on vacation, because he had certain food allergies. However, when they arrived at their destination, they realized the eggs had broken and the milk had spoiled.
Upon learning of the problem, the manager and dining staff at the Ritz-Carlton where the family was staying actually took the time to search for appropriate food items for the family’s son. While they didn’t find any stores nearby selling the needed foods, the resort’s executive chef remembered a store in Singapore that carried them. He then called up his mother-in-law and asked her to buy the products and fly them to Bali — which she did.
Takeaway: Go the extra mile for your customers. Whether your products are expensive or low-cost, do everything in your power (within reason, of course) to thank people for buying from you and to make their experience a positive one.
Another supermarket that we simply must mention is Costco. From low prices to free samples to an excellent return policy, Costco has been delighting shoppers for years. As Forbes mentioned in their article covering brands that provide great customer service, shoppers are quoted as saying, “The prices are unbeatable and Kirkland is a very reliable brand.”
Takeaway: Sometimes the best approach is to keep things simple. Make it convenient for customers to shop with you, and offer great service along with fair prices (plus, samples never hurt).
If we’re going to talk about companies that provide excellent customer service, we definitely have to mention JetBlue. The brand is credited with being many frequent flyers’ favorite airline, and it’s no surprise as to why.
When the company first started in 1998, its “Customer Bill of Rights” set a whole new standard in the commercial aviation industry. In an interview with Forbes, JetBlue VP of Customer Support Experience, Operations and Recovery said, “When we decided that our mission would be ‘to bring humanity back to air travel,’ we knew we would have to build a great culture internally or great customer service would never take root externally, with the traveling public. We needed to build a culture of respect, trust and communication, a culture where we take care of each other.”
Takeaway: Treat your customers and your employees with respect. Foster open communication, be honest, maintain transparency and above all else, be human in your interactions with customers.
When looking for a car manufacturer that offers stellar customer service, look no further than Toyota.
Despite a few recalls in recent years, Toyota remains a big favorite among shoppers. This is thanks to the fact that most Toyota models get great gas mileage and decent acceleration for a standard sedan.
In addition to that, Toyota often holds major sales events and is known as a dependable maker of safe, sturdy, long-lasting vehicles.
Takeaway: Toyota is another example of keeping things simple. Offer products customers love, and ones they can depend on to perform as advertised. Also, keep your prices affordable while meeting shoppers’ needs.
Cracker Barrel is one of America’s favorite restaurants for a reason. The cozy-cabin-themed eatery has resisted the urge to change too much with the times, and instead offers diners classic, dependable favorites that they know and love.
From country-style breakfast spreads to homestyle fried chicken (or chicken-fried steak), Cracker Barrel’s menu consists of a smattering of many people’s long-time favorite dishes. And they’re always served by friendly, helpful, knowledgeable waitstaff.
Cracker Barrel has also kept their prices fair over the years, and the restaurant’s store gives diners the unique opportunity to shop for old-fashioned trinkets, candies, toys, games and more. There’s just no other atmosphere or menu quite like that of Cracker Barrel’s, and it serves as quite the comfort to customers.
Takeaway: If your customers love what you do, keep doing it. While it is important to grow with the times, shoppers often want the comfort and stability of knowing that certain things will always be available. Keep your most customer-loved products easily accessible, and give shoppers a great experience.
From Victoria’s Secret to Bath and Body Works, the companies that operate under L Brands are all known for their top-of-the-line customer service.
These brands accomplish their shopper fandom in a number of ways. First of all, they offer products that consumers love. And they continually add to their lineup. Just take a look at Bath and Body Works. No matter what type of fragrances you like, whether your tastes tend toward gourmand or aromatherapy, you can find something to suit any preference.
Then, L Brand stores also hold frequent sales to thank their shoppers for being loyal. For example, check out Victoria’s Secret and Bath and Body Works during each of their next semi-annual sales. You’ll be able to take home a ridiculously huge haul for very little money.
Takeaway: Offer your customers a great selection and put on excellent sales. And while you’re at it, make sure they always receive friendly customer service.
Also made by Toyota, the Lexus brand must be mentioned on its own. A perennial favorite among luxury car aficionados, Lexus consistently releases automobile options that are of the highest quality.
This brand absolutely specializes in giving drivers the ability to ride in style while being more comfortable than one would think possible in a car. In fact, when it comes to performance, comfort and style, Lexus is virtually unmatched.
Takeaway: Nothing lets your customers know how important they are to you quite like offering them the best possible quality and service.
When you’re talking about drugstore or pharmacy customer service, you have to think about CVS.
The pharmacy retailer is known for offering excellent customer service and a wide selection of products. CVS is also famous for having made the decision to stop selling cigarettes, a move that was made in order to align business practices with looking out for customers’ well-being. Many other pharmacy chains quickly followed suit, making CVS a trendsetter in the industry.
Takeaway: If you work in a niche industry, be the best at what you do. Take good care of your customers, hire knowledgeable staff and also make sure your business policies align with your company culture.
Not to toot our own horn or anything, but — beep, beep. Here at Replyco, customer service is at the center of everything we do. In fact, we are known for being a “customer service company first, software company second.”
After all, how could we help you get your customer service under control if we weren’t staying on top of our own? We utilize several policies and factors to make sure our customers are always getting the very best experience possible.
First of all, visit our Public Roadmap any time to learn more about what features, updates and new integrations are on tap for the near future. You can also submit your own requests and vote for your favorites.
Want to attend a live webinar focused on what’s new at Replyco, and even participate in a Q&A? Join us at one of our monthly Customer Catch-Up Workshops. The next one is coming up on Tuesday, March 9th.
We also frequently put on webinars with our partners aimed at giving eCommerce sellers the information they need to thrive in today’s online marketplace. Here are a couple we have coming up soon:
- Navigating Internationalization & the Post-Brexit Landscape | Feb. 18, 2021
- Live Demo: Replyco and Cdiscount | Feb. 23, 2021
Takeaway: Stay focused on your customers and what you can do to make their experience better. This is where we can help. If you’re a multi-channel eCommerce seller, responding quickly to messages is half the battle. Learn how we can help you achieve lightning-fast response rates and boost customer service by taking a tour of our features. Ready to take control of your inbox now? Start your free trial today!