J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Excellence Hinges More on People Than on Price, Particularly Post-Recession Fifty Brands Named J.D. Power 2012 Customer Service Champions

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., March 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Since the onset of the recession, the importance of people as a driver of service excellence has increased substantially--even more than the importance of price, according to a J.D. Power cross-industry special report titled, "Beyond Satisfaction: J.D. Power 2012 Customer Service Champions--Brands That Deliver Service Excellence to Maximize Business Results."

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During the recession, many businesses cut costs and turned to automation technologies to handle customer needs, which had the effect of raising the importance of people in the service experience.

"Consumer expectations have heightened since the onset of the recession," Gina Pingitore, chief research officer at J.D. Power and Associates. "While value is important, consumers want more than simply the lowest price or a product that is just good enough. They expect a superior product that is delivered in a compelling presentation, through fast and easy-to-understand processes that are supported by responsive and concerned people. In addition, the price must be perceived as fair and competitive."

The report also identifies 50 brands as J.D. Power 2012 Customer Service Champions, based on customer feedback attesting to their service excellence. Brands that receive J.D. Power Customer Service Champion designation are among the top 5 percent of more than 800 evaluated brands, based on their performance in five key areas identified as the J.D. Power 5 Ps: People, Presentation, Price, Process and Product. J.D. Power Customer Service Champions not only excel within their respective industries, but also stand out when evaluated across multiple industries.

ACE Rent A Car

Health Mart Pharmacy

Amazon.com

Hotel Indigo

Amica

ING DIRECT Home Loans

Apple

Jackson EMC

Auto-Owners Insurance

Jaguar

Barnes & Noble

JetBlue Airways

Bass Pro Shops

Kohl's

Boost Mobile

L.L. Bean

Cadillac

Lexus

Clark Public Utilities

MetroPCS

David Weekley Homes

MINI

Drury Inn & Suites

New Jersey Manufacturers

Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Publix Pharmacy

Erie Insurance

Quicken Loans

First Federal

Saks Fifth Avenue

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Salt River Project

Frost Bank

Sawnee EMC

Good Neighbor Pharmacy

Scottrade, Inc.

Hampton Hotels

Shea Homes

Hancock Bank

Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative

Southwest Airlines

USAA

Straight Talk

Virgin America

The Ritz-Carlton

Virgin Mobile

U.S. Cellular

Wegmans

United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Pharmacy Services

Wegmans Pharmacy

Brands that provide exceptional customer service tend to consistently employ certain key practices, including:

  • Hiring the right people and empowering them with the best processes, as well as the ability and authority to make judgment calls to resolve issues on behalf of their customers
  • Understanding customer differences to offer the right products through the right channels in ways that truly resonate with them
  • Being consistent in branding and delivery of the service experience, particularly across various channels and customer touch points

The J.D. Power special report, "Beyond Satisfaction: J.D. Power 2012 Customer Service Champions--Brands That Deliver Service Excellence to Maximize Business Results," is based on customer feedback, opinions and perceptions of more than 800 companies in more than 20 industries, gathered from J.D. Power studies conducted in the United States between 2000 and 2011. The Customer Service Champion designation is based on data from U.S. syndicated studies conducted in 2011.

For more information about the changing nature of customer expectations and how the 50 J.D. Power 2012 Customer Service Champions differentiate themselves from their competitors, view the Executive Summary of the special report, available here.

About J.D. Power and Associates
Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company providing forecasting, performance improvement, social media and customer satisfaction insights and solutions.  The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies
McGraw-Hill announced on September 12, 2011, its intention to separate into two public companies: McGraw-Hill Financial, a leading provider of content and analytics to global financial markets, and McGraw-Hill Education, a leading education company focused on digital learning and education services worldwide. McGraw-Hill Financial's leading brands include Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Indices, Platts energy information services and J.D. Power and Associates. With sales of $6.2 billion in 2011, the Corporation has approximately 23,000 employees across more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/.

Media Relations Contacts
Jeff Perlman; Brandware Public Relations; Woodland Hills, Calif.; (818) 598-1115; jperlman@brandwarepr.com
John Tews; J.D. Power and Associates; Troy, Mich.; (248) 680-6218; media.relations@jdpa.com

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates. www.jdpower.com/corporate

SOURCE J.D. Power and Associates



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