Learn from them and be them
Updated on March 22, 2021
We've all experienced some form of customer service. Sometimes it's an awful experience and other times the experience is so exceptional it restores your faith in humanity. Whether you're a customer, business or customer service representative, providing an exceptional customer experience matters in every single transaction.
We've created a list of companies from all sectors leading the way in customer service. Let's learn from them, appreciate them and be them!
"Customer service is the direct one-on-one interaction between a consumer making a purchase and a representative of the company that is selling it", at least according to Investopedia.
However, in today's day and age, where the quality of customer service often determines where someone will purchase what they need, this definition seems overly simple. Customer service includes your entire customer experience, including interactions with a business's employees, shopping in the store or website, and communications with customer support.
Why does customer service matter? It's simple: it increases revenue and creates loyal customers!
According to the Global State of Customer Service report by Microsoft, of the 5,088 individuals they polled from Brazil, Germany, Japan, the UK and the US, 90% of respondents reported that customer service is a deciding factor in whether or not to work with and remain loyal to a brand.
Acquiring new customers is much more expensive and time consuming than retaining existing customers. Prioritizing your existing customers by providing excellent customer service helps create loyal customers and draw in new customers that are deciding between you and your competition.
Here's our list of companies (in no particular order) with outstanding customer service!
Zappos delivers customer service that every customer dreams of—and they know it!
When you need to reach their Customer Loyalty Team, you can reach out via chat, phone or email in seconds. Zappos actually displays their phone number on every page of their website so you don't have to hunt it down. And when you give them a call, an actual human being answers the phone—that's practically unheard of!
To top it all off, Zappos offers a 365-day return policy and gives every employee "management level decision-making power" so you're never stuck waiting for manager approval.
Nordstrom has a cult following for a good reason: people feel that Nordstrom employees truly care. It's no surprise given that Nordstrom's #1 commitment is to customer service.
Nordstrom employees are empowered to make decisions that are best for the customer, and they do it graciously with a smile. Whether you're in the store shopping, returning a purchase or need something replaced in a day's notice, Nordstrom employees will go above and beyond to help.
There's a famous story about Nordstrom's commitment to the customer that made the company go down in customer service history! It goes like this: In 1975, a man bought a pair of tires at Northern Commercial with the understanding that he could return them if we was unsatisfied. Years later, he returned to that store only to find a Nordstrom in its place. Determined, he brought the worn pair of tires into Nordstrom and explained the situation. The young Nordstrom associate behind the counter learned the approximate value for the two tires and refunded the man right from the till.
Years ago, Stripe was the novelty payment platform. Now? It's one of the top choices for businesses that need a reliable payment processor, especially for international or recurring transactions.
Stripe's customer support team is still small and only available in English, they will do everything they can to help you. You can reach them via chat, email and phone—but there's no crazy wait time on hold. You simply request a call and they call you—sometimes in minutes!
Ever notice how you just feel good in Trader Joe's? The store is always neat and organized, and the staff is genuinely happy to talk with you. In addition, you regularly see pleasant interactions between staff members while they work! It's clear from your first visit that the employees work together as a team.
On top of the atmosphere, Trader Joe's proudly displays their refund policy: ""We tried it, we liked it. If you don't, bring it back for a full refund." Talk about buying with confidence! You know Trader Joe's always has some tasty new treat or special you're just dying to test. And why not? If it's not for you, you'll get your money back!
But wait, there's more! You can even sample most items in the store! You simply ask a Trader Joe's employee if you can try an item and if so, they'll open it for you right there.
Sure HubSpot has made a name for itself with it's user-friendly Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, but have you seen their free content? Whether you're a customer or not, you've likely read an surprisingly helpful HubSpot article on some way to improve your business—or your life.
HubSpot doesn't hide their secrets or block your access after a few articles. They give specific, easy to understand information to anyone—customer or not.
Chick-fil-A undoubtedly offers the best customer service experience in the fast food industry. They do it so well, many customers don't even consider the fried-chicken-sandwich-slinging shop as fast food! The chain's amazing customer service experience has put their earnings ahead of Starbucks, McDonald's and Subway combined.
If you've ever been to a Chick-fil-A, this news is no surprise. Employees wear smiles, respond to your "thank you" with "my pleasure" and little touches like flowers on the table give you an elevated dining experience. It doesn't matter how long the drive-thru line looks, the employees are equipped with neon hazard belts and iPads to take your order right in the traffic line.
Amazon has built their entire system to make the purchasing (and returning and exchanging) experience, as seamless as possible. Right in your account you can view your entire order history, make returns and refunds, and leave reviews. Amazon has invested heavily in creating the best possible user experience and Jeff Bezos himself claimed that Amazon's success is due to "obsessing over customer experience".
You can't have the tagline "Where shopping's a pleasure" and not have over-the-top customer service. The southeastern US grocery chain is so superb, you become accustomed to a certain standard of grocery store after shopping there.
Publix stores are beautiful inside. They are consistently clean, maintain stocked shelves and have layouts to make your shopping experience easier than ever. Though, the best part of shopping at Publix is the employees. Employees are ready to serve whether you need help finding an obscure ingredient, getting to your car in the rain or just hauling your load into the trunk of your car.
Little touches like free cookies for kids in the bakery section and Publix umbrellas at the ready when you exit to a downpour make Publix a worthy name on Newsweek's Best Customer Service 2021 list.
Warby Parker has changed the game when it comes to buying glasses. No need to pick your frames directly after an eye doc appointment when you can hardly see and have no second opinions. Simply hop on your computer, take their fun and interactive quiz and you get not one, but five pairs of glasses sent to your home to try out! Plus, there's a virtual try-on feature where you can see each frame over your actual face!
The eye wear company has seen so much success since they opened in 2010, they are now expanding into eye care. They have nationwide partners where you can get an eye exam in person and also ship contacts in addition to prescription eye glasses.
William Painter is one of the smaller brands on this list, but their customer service is no less impressive. The sunglasses company has made a name for itself by creating sunglasses that last a lifetime. Their signature titanium frames and crystal-clear polarized lenses are tougher than any other brand yet their still lightweight and ridiculously stylish.
On the off chance your sunglasses actually do break, they'll send you a brand new pair. All you pay is the shipping and handling. That offering is pretty amazing, but their groundbreaking policy is on lost sunglasses. If you lose your sunglasses (like so many of us do) they'll give you a discount on your next pair!
It's unlikely you've ever needed to contact Netflix customer support (unless you've had a billing issue or something), but still, Netflix delivers an incredible, personalized customer experience.
Ever seen someone else's Netflix home screen? It's don't recognize half the titles! That's because Netflix curates their selection of movies and shows to your watching habits. The entertainment company makes it effortless to find more of what you like to watch, and less of what you don't.
Overall, your company doesn't have to do anything cheeky, clever or fancy to wow customers with your customer service. You simply have to build a team that operates from a place of empathy, is empowered to make decisions and genuinely wants to make every customer's experience a true pleasure.