“People buy from people” is an oft-quoted phrase, but it’s especially relevant in a post-recession world, according to a recent report released by J.D. Power & Associates in announcing its 2012 Customer Service Champions.

The downward pressure on business costs during the recession caused many businesses to automate many of their processes, and these activities took a toll on customer service, J.D. Power found.  As a result, consumers have become even more sensitive to factors beyond price, including quality of the product, processes and presentation, as well as the delivery of brand consistency throughout those experiences.  Perhaps most important, J.D. Power asserts in the report, are the people delivering the product or service.

J.D. Power’s study identified the following as best practices employed by brands that provide great customer service:

  • “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” (will need to make it obvious that this is a direct quote)

 

Among J.D. Power’s 2012 Customer Service Champions include Amazon, Cadillac, Jaguar, Lexus, MINI, Apple, USAA and JetBlue Airways.

Check out the full executive summary here.

Headed to Digital Dealer next month?  Be sure to attend Laurie Foster’s presentation at 3 PM on Tuesday, April 3 for tips on how to deliver a great experience for new-car shoppers, from ensuring a consistent brand presence to managing your online reputation.