Customer Service Champs From BusinessWeek

In its current issue “Extreme Customer Service,” BusinessWeek published it’s annual report on customer service which ranks the “Customer Service Champs.” Here are the top 10 on the list:

  2. USAA
  4. LEXUS

While we didn’t evaluate the same group of companies, there’s an overlap between this list and Forrester’s customer experience rankings. In our rankings, came in 4th and USAA came in 2nd. That’s not a surprise; customer service is often a key component of an overall customer experience strategy (look for an upcoming post that explores the difference between customer service and customer experience).

I’m quoted in the article “Customer Service in a Shrinking Economy” which discusses customer service in this economic environment (note: take a look at my posts about managing in a recession). It’s an execellent article; full of examples from companies like Zappos, Four Seasons, USAA, and Schwab.  

While we’re discussing customer service, don’t forget my “CARES” model:

  • Communication (clearly communicate the process and set expectations)
  • Accountability (take responsibility for fixing the problem or getting an answer)
  • Responsiveness (don’t make the customer wait for your communication or a solution)
  • Empathy (acknowledge the impact that the situation has on the customer)
  • Solution (at the end of the day, make sure to solve the issue or answer the question)

The bottom line: Congratulations to the customer service champs!

Written by 

I am an experience management transformist, helping organizations improve business results by engaging the hearts and minds of their customers, employees, and partners. My "job" is Head of the Qualtrics XM Institute. The Institute is still being established, but our goal is to help organizations around the world thrive by mastering Experience Management (XM). As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. Prior to joining Qualtrics, I was managing partner of Temkin Group (leading CX research, advisory, and training firm), co-founder and chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (, and a VP at Forrester Research. I'm a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Check out my LinkedIn profile:

3 thoughts on “Customer Service Champs From BusinessWeek”

    1. McKinsey critic (interesting name): As it turns out, yes. USAA is a Forrester client as are many of the other firms listed in the rankings I’ve discussed — spannning the top, bottom, and middle of the lists. Being a Forrester client, however, has no impact on where firms end up on the lists or which ones we chose to talk about (believe me, I get a lot of angry calls from Forrester clients who end up doing poorly in our analysis). These rankings are all based on different consumer surveys, so its hard to deny that USAA is doing something right. As for what I write about in this blog, being a Forrester client is even less relevant. This is a personal blog and has no association with Forrester. And, unfortunately, nobody pays me for writing anything here.

  1. In this difficult economy, it would be smart for companies to improve their customer service because there is little cost and it can add tremendous value. They should learn as much as they can from these customer service champs.

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