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Best Customer Service 2024: The Winning Strategies

Customer service plays an important role in attracting and retaining customers. Businesses can leverage good customer service to boost sales. Empathy, good communication, and problem-solving are core skills in providing excellent customer service.


Regulars at Dutch Bros Coffee often say that the flavorful beverages brought them to the drive-thru coffee chain, but the smiling employees are what keep them coming back. “Love the coffee, love the employees. Every time I go, I feel like a VIP.” “I’ve never had such amazing, friendly attitudes before Dutch Bros.” “Consistently friendly, helpful and all-around excellent customer service.”


Such raves for Dutch Bros Coffee come courtesy of a year-long online survey conducted by HundredX, a data analytics company focused on customer insights, that forms the backbone of Forbes’ first-ever list of the Best Customer Service. 


About 200,000 U.S. residents provided 4.2 million evaluations across more than 3,000 different worldwide brands, focusing on four categories of customer service: people (employees who interact with customers); speed (time to provide the good or service); services (processes associated with the product or service, such as installation protocols and delivery options); and resolution (how well problems are resolved).


Topping the overall list, in order, were The UPS StoreChick-fil-A, and REI, which joined a Top 10 spanning many industries—some more glamorous than others—including insurance, grocery, specialty stores, and auto repair and maintenance. Winners of subcategories were Chick-fil-A (people), Jimmy John’s (speed), The UPS Store (services), and USAA (resolution). Dutch Bros, with more than 800 national locations, primarily in the West and South, placed second in the people subcategory and No. 10 overall.


“Our greatest differentiator is our people and how they strive to be difference-makers in people’s days,” says Brian Maxwell, chief operating officer at Dutch Bros Coffee. Part of the company’s mission, he says, is to be “fun loving” and to have customers “drive away feeling important, appreciated and better equipped to have an amazing day.”


Top brands consistently offer hassle-free, cheerful and speedy service, customers say. “Fast and friendly!”. “They make returns so easy!” wrote another. Emphasis on easy. “A consumer is stressed about something they have to execute, and it’s almost like these angels take away the problem and have the necessary services to fix it. It’s immediate gratification.”


Outside experts agree that employee connections with customers can be pivotal. Shep Hyken, author of books such as The Cult of the Customer says that “anybody who’s on that front line who is ever going to interact with a customer needs to understand this awesome responsibility they have to be the one person representing the entire company at that moment—like the CEO of the moment.” The bottom line, Hyken says, is that customer service should be not just a company department, but a core part of a brand’s culture. “Customers today no longer compare you to your direct competitor, but to the best service that they experienced from anywhere. People have

great experience is all about, and you need to live up to that expectation.”


For the full Forbes article by Rachel Rabkin Peachman






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