July 18, 2012
Last week, MSN revealed their 2012 Customer Service Hall of Fame as well as their Hall of Shame, based on their survey, conducted with JZ Analytics. The results are fascinating though not entirely surprising. It is worthy of note that these survey are “consistent with what the American Customer Satisfaction Index has noticed lately,” in that customer satisfaction across many industries has been improving.
One important company in the Hall of Fame is American Express, who has successfully taken on the task of vastly improving how cardholders are treated. Executive VP of world service, Jim Bush, said about his approach to improving customer service at American Express, “I thought about the opportunity of capitalizing on every interaction and moving awat from being a cost of doing business to being an investment in buidling relationships. Read more about Bush’s approach and how AmEx call centers do not use any scripts in Fortune’s article here.
On the opposite end of the spectrum lies Bank of America, earning the top spot in the Hall of Shame for the second year in a row. In the last year, Bank of America announced (though never implemented) a hugely criticized plan to charge customers a $5 monthly fee for using debit cards to make purchases. MSN gathers three responses Bank of America has offered since they backed off of this plan. The bank first explained their announcement by claiming the fees to be necessary due to costs incurred from federal regulations. This explanation not only discounts Bank of America’s customers but seems to ignore them entirely. Second, spokeswoman Anne Pace insisted, “It’s important to note that we never implemented the fee,” which essentially says to customers, “We’re not that bad. We didn’t do that thing we said we would that infuriated you.” Lastly, a Bank of America senior vice president recently said, “I think we’ve learned a heck of a lot over the past year.” We certainly hope so.
Read more about what MSN’s survey lists as the 10 best (Hall of Fame) and worst (Hall of Shame) companies in terms of customer service by clicking the corresponding links, and be prepared to not be surprised by where Apple, Google, Amazon, or several cable providers rank.