A Company is Only as Good as Its Customer Service

I have never heard of anyone that had a bad customer experience with Amazon, Apple, Costco or Salesforce. The aforementioned companies are incredibly successful due, in large part, to a material focus on the customer experience. Not surprisingly, the stock market has handsomely rewarded these four companies over the past decade. 

Amazon is so customer focused that it will literally send you a replacement for a lost package immediately without ever implying that the customer is at fault. The result is a consumer experience that is so optimal that Amazon is the only place where many consumers decide to shop online. 

The same can be said for Apple when it comes to the in store experience. Apple employees are so passionate about their products that I feel like I am talking to a polite tech enthusiast in the Apple stores and not Apple employees! The result is incredibly brand loyal customers. When was the last time we heard of a consumer switching from using primarily Apple products to non-Apple products? Apple's in store Genius Bar customer support concept is brilliant and I can't understand why more companies don't do it. The result is Apple having the highest sales per square foot of any retailer in the U.S. at close to $5,000 per square foot per year!

The customer experience at Costco is also superb. In fact, Costco has the best return policy in the retail industry. We only buy televisions from Costco given the company's multi year return policy. Costco also doesn't even bother asking for a receipt when you return items (given their digital receipt policy). In addition, Costco has never raised prices on its fast food products; you still pay only $1.50 for the hot dog and drink combo, which was the same price Costco charged consumers 30 years ago! Most consumers don't know that you can even trade in your old consumer electronic devices at Costco and receive a 'Costco Cash Card' in return. A friend of mine jokes that "if you can't find it at Costco, then you don't need it!" 

Not surprisingly, Salesforce, whose roots are in the customer relationship market, also has superb customer service. In fact, Salesforce is so customer focused and so transparent that the company will publicly disclose in real time when its cloud services are unavailable or having reliance issues. Consumer trust is of paramount importance as 'transparency builds trust'. For more details, please see the following link for real time Salesforce outages:  https://trust.salesforce.com/. How good is Salesforce's customer experience? Here is what happens when you start typing 'salesforce customer support' in your browser address box or in Google: 

In conclusion, a superb customer experience begets more loyal customers that will no doubt spend more money on a company's products or services in the long run. A superb customer experience also leads to higher stock prices over time. In this digital social media age, if a customer has a poor experience, all of their online contacts might find out about it very quickly. It can take 30+ years to build a brand and just a handful of poor customer experiences to destroy it; a company is only as good as its customer service.