Can You Think of 9 Companies with Stellar Customer Service?
Everyone has read about the customer service horror stories that plague every industry in existence. From automobiles and technology to food service and healthcare, no industry is safe from the dangers of disappointed customers.
Some companies are smart, however. They know how to treat customers with more than a smile -- they provide real, reliable service that cannot be re-created with an automated phone system.
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Chase Bank, the consumer arm of JPMorgan Chase, earned high marks from not one but two separate surveys last fall.
The first, conducted by Harris Interactive, and Google, found that 59 percent of Chase Bank customers were either "satisfied" or "extremely satisfied." This compares favorably to Citibank (55 percent), Bank of America (48 percent) and Wells Fargo Bank (47 percent).
Chase also topped Bank of America in a survey conducted by the American Consumer Satisfaction Index.Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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Sony tied for fifth place in MSN Money's 2012 Customer Service Hall of Fame, and for good reason. The Japanese tech giant provides some of the best customer service in the world.
When PlayStation 3 units broke down prematurely in 2007, Sony not only fixed the consoles for free (per the terms of the one-year warranty, of course), but the company went the extra mile by sending customers a special padded box to exchange the defective units. The box's postage was pre-paid, so customers were able to send the system to Sony -- free of charge.Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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Nikon's customer service is worth noting, if only for the friendly representatives, short wait times when placing a call, and the fast repair times.
Unlike Sony, however, Nikon does not provide free shipping for the exchange of defective items -- even if they are still under warranty.Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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The granddaddy of them all? That depends on if you are, in fact, a granddad. Those who are may appreciate Apple's ultra-kind, ultra-novice approach to product purchases, returns and repairs.Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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Best Buy, like many retailers, is often bashed for having long lines around the holidays and clueless sales associates.
The company's return policy is one of the best in the world, however. Customers can literally purchase and test any item and return it within a couple of weeks.
Just because the policy exists does not mean that customers should abuse it. Every consumer has had moments where they wish they had not purchased a particular item. Thanks to Best Buy, that is no longer a problem.Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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Owned by Cedar Fair (whose NYSE ticker is appropriately "FUN"), Cedar Point strives to provide a clean, safe and exciting environment.
The proof is in the pudding: in addition to the ongoing praise for its roller coasters (including GateKeeper, its newest ride), Cedar Point has earned a 98 percent approval rating from Citysearch visitors.Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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Walt Disney World
Kathryn Lee (a quality assurance manager at Accelerated Business Results) said it best in a blog post entitled, "Everything I Know About customer Service I Learned At Disney World."
"Disney knows a thing or two about good old-fashioned customer service," she wrote. "Thousands of people visit Disney theme parks daily, yet cast members still know how to make individuals feel special. From the way they warmly addressed my 5-year-old daughter as 'princess' to the way our server at the 50's Prime Time Café took extra time to offer us 'insider' tips without us even asking, Disney cast members consistently go above and beyond what we typically experience elsewhere."Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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Fast and reliable, Starbucks prides itself on delivering a great customer experience.
This was especially apparent when one Benzinga writer was given a free beverage to make up for a minor mistake on his order.Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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Amazon is not kidding about the simplicity of its returns: they are so easy, even a Geico-hired caveman could do it!
The online retail giant does not charge a dime for returns or exchanges of faulty items, but be warned: customers who simply return an item (because they don't like or want it) will be charged a return shipping fee.Image Source: Wikimedia Commons