Bloomberg BusinessWeek shared its top 20 Customer Service Champions for the year and what I found interesting is its always the companies that are already doing great that keep looking for more ways to stay on top.  During a recession year, they all realized they needed to up their games to keep customers coming back and here again are what the best of the best did:
American Express began hiring employees with a hospitality background to work in their call centers vs. call center experience.  They recognize the importance of customer friendly representatives working their phones.  I recently had the need to call them and I will testify it was a delightful experience that helped me with my needs and much more.

Nordstromscontinues to wow their customers.  This past year they set up instore pickups for online orders to really raise the bar on their current level of service.

Publix grocery stores installed a new inventory software system so they can stay on top of customer favorites and be more efficient.
Southwest Airlines kept its policy to not charge customers on checking up to two bags – about the only airline left that is not charging for luggage these days.  They also will email a voucher out within 24 hours as a gesture of goodwill when passengers are inconvenienced with a long delay on flights.  I will also vouch for Southwest on thinking out of the box to deliver excellent service:  last week when in Houston airport waiting for my flight they were offering free pictures with Santa and a $20 future flight voucher!
Customer Service champs are champs because they want to be winners and will never rest on their laurels.  Are you stepping up to the plate?

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