Rating corporate giants that put the customer first

Small businesses may have an advantage when dealing with customers, but even large corporations can earn a reputation for reliable, friendly customer service. Take, for example, United Services Automobile Association (USAA) of San Antonio. For the second consecutive year, the financial services and insurance giant has been named BusinessWeek's "Customer Service Champ." The ranking, it should be pointed out, is limited to companies with annual revenues of $1.5 billion or more. Those at the top end had the best combined scores, using data compiled by consumer affairs researcher J.D. Power & Associates and BusinessWeek reader nomi-nations. The human face of a corporation, or its people-to-people skills, was weighted 60 percent; its "process" scores 40 percent. The magazine's "Customer Service Champs," with the business each is engaged in:

  • 1. USAA insurance
  • 2. L.L. Bean online/catalog retail
  • 3. Fairmont Hotels lodging
  • 4. Lexus auto
  • 5. Trader Joe's supermarkets
  • 6. Starbucks restaurants
  • 7. JetBlue Airways airlines
  • 8. Edward Jones brokerage
  • 9. Lands' End online/catalog retail
  • 10. Ace Hardware home improvement
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