5 Smaller Companies That Lead With Customer Experience

Everyone knows the big names when it comes to customer experience. Brands like Zappos, Amazon and Apple set the standards for how customers want and expect to be treated. In fact big companies know that for a company with over $1 billion in annual revenue, a slight improvement to customer experience can generate an ROI of $823 million over a three-year period. But investing in customer experience is powerful for small companies too. And I think we are all ready to hear about some new companies leading with customer experience, so let’s throw some new fresh faces into the customer experience mix. Not every company is as big as Amazon or as flashy as Disney, but they’re still providing great customer experience.

Here are five companies flying under the radar with their outstanding customer experience.

Captain Train Solves All Customer Issues Within Two Hours – A CEO Commitment 

Captain Train might not be well known in the United States, but it’s a great example of customer experience across the pond. Captain Train started as a small service for purchasing cheap train tickets in France. In a ticketing industry known for poor customer service, Captain Train’s CEO made a pledge to solve all customer issues and questions within two hours. The company fulfills its promise and shows that it’s completely focused on providing a great experience for customers. Captain Train knows that travelers don’t have time to wait for their questions to be answered. By providing personalized service in a timely manner, the company is changing the experience of an entire industry.

Ipsy Provides A Personalized Digital Customer Experience

Subscription boxes are a dime a dozen these days, and they all thrive on having strong customer data to provide recommendations. Beauty and makeup subscription service Ipsy takes it a even further by making every step of the process as enjoyable and painless for customers as possible. Instead of answering mundane questions about their beauty preferences, Ipsy gives customers a fun beauty quiz. A long and frustrating signup process can turn away customers, but Ipsy makes it fun and engaging. The result is that customers already have had a great interaction with the brand before their first box arrives. The goal of Ipsy is for customers to express their individual beauty, and taking the time to understand their needs and preferences makes that even easier. With Ipsy’s customer experience, customers can easily get beauty products that work for them instead of taking a risk and searching through items at the store.

DAVIDsTEA Provides Free And Easy Returns

From the strong aromas to the hot steam, drinking tea is definitely a sensory experience. It’s one that DAVIDsTEA works into all areas of its customer experience. As customers step into one of DAVIDsTEA’s 200-plus stores across the U.S. and Canada, they are surrounded by bright colors and delicious scents. DAVIDsTEA makes sure its products look and smell great, but it knows customers are taking a risk buying a tea they likely haven’t tried before. DAVIDsTEA has an unparalleled return policy for its industry. It allows customers to return anything they buy. The brand also includes three free samples with every purchase so customers can try new flavors in the comfort of their own homes. DAVIDsTEA’s customer experience shows that it stands behind its products and will do whatever it takes to create a great shopping and return experience.

Advance Auto Parts Makes Products Easy To Find

For anyone less than a professional mechanic, shopping for car parts and accessories can be overwhelming. There are countless variations of every product to match the specific model and year of your car. Advance Auto Parts leads with customer experience because it realizes shopping for car parts can be stressful and goes above and beyond to make it easier. The store sells more than 100,000 products, but it’s easy to find the exact right item on the company’s website with its advanced search features. To make it even easier, Advance Auto Parts features helpful videos and articles online and in-store to help customers learn everything they need to keep their cars running smoothly. Instead of being overwhelmed by options, Advance Auto Parts customers can easily and confidently find exactly what they need.

Thrivent Financial Offers A Personal Touch

This non-profit life insurance company goes beyond just selling policies to customers. Thrivent showcases its strong customer experience by offering a personal touch and getting to know everyone who walks through the doors and contacts the brand. Aside from showcasing its products, Thrivent offers learning resources for potential customers of all ages and financial situations. The company is focused on sustainable, environmentally friendly efforts. Its mission of corporate social responsibility extends to its customers. With a phone system to easily connect with a person and a robust web presence, Thrivent shows it cares about customers by making its products available wherever they are.

These five examples show that customer experience matters for all companies, no matter the size. Even if your company won’t be featured on the front page of the newspaper, it can still lead with customer experience and make it a hallmark of the brand.

Originally published on Forbes.

Blake Morgan is a keynote speaker, futurist and author of “More Is More.” Sign up for her weekly customer experience newsletter here

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