Top 10 Customer-Centric Companies of 2014
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The results are in! Several companies have compiled their list of the top customer service oriented companies of 2014. As a customer-centric company, we decided that this information is key and wanted to take these lists a step further. So we integrated data from lists and articles compiled by Forbes, Temkin, USA Today, Entrepreneur, Zogby Analytics, Bloomberg BusinessWeek and J.D. Power & Associates to provide you with the top customer-centric companies of 2014 as well as their secrets for success.
The company topping our list is no surprise. How does Amazon do it year after year? They embed customer-centricity into their DNA. Here are a few practices that keep them at the top:
- Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos leaves one seat open at the conference table and states that the seat is occupied by the “the most important person in the room – the customer”.
- Bezos believes that, “Everyone has to be able to work in a call center” so that they have insight into the customer’s perspective. As such, each year he and thousands of Amazon managers attend two days of call center training and field calls periodically.
- Amazon appoints “Customer Experience Bar Raisers” to maintain excellent standards.
- Amazon develops products based on customer desires rather than their development team’s opinion.
- They cultivate a “culture of metrics” where they routinely engage in head-to-head tests of customers’ reactions to different features or site designs.
These practices are obviously working for Amazon. They consistently rank first on most lists of the top customer-centric companies in the world – and they are showing no signs that they may give up their spot anytime soon.
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USAA is consistently ranked as one of the best customer-centric companies. Why? Transparency and innovation. Here are some of the features that helped them reach the top of both the banking and insurance industries:
- Their “My account” system provides customers with the status of their car insurance claim 24/7 so they can be informed as early and as often as needed.
- They were the first bank to provide iPhone deposits to their customers.
- They offer to text account balances – an extremely helpful feature for soldiers in the field.
- They discount car insurance while soldiers are deployed overseas.
This degree of transparency and innovation is a huge hit with customers: 87% of respondents to a J.D. Power survey say they will “definitely buy” from USAA again and their customer retention rate is 97.8%. Incredible!
3. Hilton Worldwide
When it comes to being a customer-centric company, Hilton knows what matters. According to Joshua Sloser, VP of Digital Innovation at Hilton, 42% of hotel guests expect a response to their post on social media within an hour and this increases to 72% if it is a customer service related issue. Hilton has rolled out policies and procedures to help meet these expectations. In fact, they have taken this so seriously that they tweaked Conrad Hilton’s original Hilton vision to, “Fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality – one tweet at a time”.
4. Marriott International
Marriott continues to delight its customers by following some of the principles of their founder, J. Willard Marriott:
- “It’s the little things that make big things possible. Only close attention to the fine details of any operation makes the operation first class.”
- “Take care of your people and they will take care of your customers.”
- “Great companies are built by people who never stop thinking about ways to improve the business.”