Excellence Hinges More on People Than on Price, Particularly Post-Recession

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Fifty Brands Named J.D. Power 2012 Customer Service Champions

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 14 March 2012 -- 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."

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
Auto-Owners Insurance
Barnes & Noble
Bass Pro Shops
Boost Mobile
Clark Public Utilities
David Weekley Homes
Drury Inn & Suites
Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Erie Insurance
First Federal
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Frost Bank
Good Neighbor Pharmacy
Hampton Hotels
Hancock Bank
Health Mart Pharmacy
Hotel Indigo
Jackson EMC
JetBlue Airways Kohl's
L.L. Bean
New Jersey Manufacturers
Publix Pharmacy
Quicken Loans
Saks Fifth Avenue
Salt River Project
Sawnee EMC
Scottrade, Inc.
Shea Homes
Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative
Southwest Airlines
Straight Talk
The Ritz-Carlton
U.S. Cellular
United States Department of Veterans Affairs,
    Pharmacy Services
Virgin America
Virgin Mobile
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

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Media Contacts

Troy, Michigan
(248) 680-6218

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