BusinessWeek Customer Service Awards

When you set out to build one of the world’s greatest service companies like we have, you can’t help but become a fan of other companies with great service.

That’s why I love BusinessWeek‘s annual Customer Service awards for companies with more than $1B annual revenue. It showcases companies that prove that you can build a large, profitable business without abandoning the Golden Rule – treat your customers the way you would want to be treated.This year the list was topped by USAA. We’re pretty excited for them, as they are just down the street from us here in San Antonio. Here are the top five:

  1. USAA
  2. L.L. Bean
  3. Fairmont Hotels and Resorts
  4. Lexus
  5. Trader Joe’s

You can see the rest of the list here.

We’re not eligible for the BusinessWeek award, but it’s encouraging for us to know that very large businesses can maintain their service-focused cultures even as they have grown over the years

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  1. I immediately wanted to find a correlation between the best service companies and the best companies at which to work, per Fortune. Here are the only companies on both lists:

    Whole Foods Markets
    Edward Jones
    Publix Super Markets
    JW Marriott Hotels
    Four Seasons Hotels

    Aside from Edward Jones (I guess they had a good year managing people’s money), stores, supermarkets and hotels have the happiest customers and employees. Now it’s up to you, Dave, to figure out the significance.

  2. Will,

    Interesting observation! It makes sense that companies in the retail and lodging industries would top the charts in taking care of people (both their employees and their customers). It’s also not surprising that Edward Jones made both lists, as they are essentially a retail brokerage firm.

    In both retail and lodging, more so than many other industries, the customer experience is largely defined by the actions of front-line employees.

    Consider, for example, Starbucks. Who has a greater influence on whether or not you have a good experience – the head of marketing back at corporate, or the barista who makes your double-blended no-whip caramel frappucino?

    In these two industries, the front-line employee has a disproportionate impact on customer satisfaction. Therefore, these industries should see a link between employee engagement and customer satisfaction.

    On a related note, I think one of the reasons why we have been able to build a company that is so focused on taking care of employees and customers is because we are headquartered in San Antonio, home to over 8 million tourists each year. Taking care of people is ingrained in our culture!

  3. Surprisingly more and more large companies are sacrificing customer service to save money. Custome service is probably what made most companies who they are today, because it is very difficult to grow a business from ground up without a customer centric focus (at least in the beginning). It’s great to see some billion-dollar companies who haven’t lost focus on the customer. Now I have a justifiable reason to buy me a Lexus. 🙂


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