There are companies that are known for good customer service, and then there are companies that are obsessed with their customers. These brands take it to the next level by offering personalized experiences, amazing perks, and quality products. They also listen to their customers, take advantage of data and technology, and create a seamless experience that provides great service and support no matter how customers interact with the brand.
Here are the 10 most customer-obsessed companies of 2018 that are setting the gold standard for what it means to put customers first. These companies were the most cited in reviews and the business press and were included because of their industry-leading focus on customer experience
The name Ritz-Carlton oozes sophistication, and the staff makes sure the service matches the brand’s reputation. Ritz-Carlton is known for putting guests first and for creating incredibly personalized experiences. The company’s main focus is to build an emotional connection between guests and employees for the best hotel stay possible.
Customers are such a focus at social media management app Buffer that the support team is known as the Happiness Team. By constantly staying in contact with its customers, Buffer can answer questions and address problems as quickly as possible. Customers come first in everything the company does, and every employee is always on the lookout for ways to “wow” customers.
Customers at Trader Joe’s are fiercely loyal to the brand, but it has to do with more than just those delicious Joe Joe’s cookies. The store ranks top in customer satisfaction for grocery stores because employees are hyper-focused on customers. From fast checkout to friendly service and product recommendations, Trader Joe’s puts customers first to create a personalized experience at each store and with each shopper.
Once a customer purchases a Harley Davidson motorcycle, they become part of the Harley family for life. Customers are encouraged to join the 325,000-plus member of Harley Owners Group, or HOG. The group connects riders with each other and with the brand and helps with maintenance and other bike issues. Harley Davidson knows that buying a bike is a big purchase, and it puts it customers first to create a brand they can stand behind forever.
From free two-day shipping to streaming movies and grocery delivery, Amazon Prime aims to make customers’ lives easier in just about every area. The company is always innovating and finding new ways to solve customer problems. It also has a responsive service team that is empowered to provide gift vouchers and free months of Prime service if anything goes wrong.
By treating its employees well, Costco can create a customer-focused experience for everyone who enters the door. The store famously will take back nearly any return without a limit to when it was purchased or the state it is in. Costco also listens to customer feedback about items people would like in the store, makes it easy to save with automatically loaded coupons, and has been known to reach out to customers who purchased items that may have been recalled. The store offers bulk discounts, but it doesn’t come at the cost of customer experience.
Zappos is consistently on the top of customer experience brands, and 2018 is no different. The company goes above and beyond to show its appreciation for its customers. It follows the model of surprising and delighting customers by always looking for ways to build a connection. Employees are known to do things like send baby blankets to customers when they hear a crying baby in the background of a service call. It also hosts a series of events across the country with live music and a happy hour to build relationships and reach out to customers.
Dollar Shave Club
There is a lot of competition in the subscription beauty industry, but Dollar Shave Club stands out because of its focus on customers. The company uses a number of technology tools to understand its customers and what drives them to make purchases. All employees are focused on engaging with customers in any way possible and follow the company’s motto of “We don’t respond to situations; we respond to people”.
Disney isn’t necessarily an inexpensive brand, but customers are willing to pay higher prices for its merchandise, shows, and vacations because of the experience the brand provides. Disney employees are trained to refer to guests by name, especially with children. They go above and beyond to share the magic of Disney with customers of all ages and create unique experiences.
The streaming giant’s obsession with customers is based on knowing them very well. Netflix collects a huge amount of data on customers to create hyper-personalized recommendations. It uses that data to help customers find their new favorite shows and to create award-winning original content that is exactly what customers want to see. By understanding customers and putting them first, Netflix can build on its knowledge and provide them entertainment they love.
Blake Morgan is a customer experience futurist, author of More Is More, and keynote speaker. Sign up for her weekly newsletter here. Go farther and create knock your socks-off customer experiences in your organization by enrolling in her new Customer Experience School.