As you work to build your business from the ground up, a key step in that process is providing outstanding customer service. It does not matter if you are a plumber or if you are working in the area of architecture, great service is what brings customers back time and time again. And, once you establish that reputation for great service, you’ll likely see a reduction in the amount of negative feedback you find online. So, who does it best? If you were to consider all companies you have dealings with regularly which offer you the best customer service on a regular basis? Here’s what the pros say.

Known for its easy access to just about anything, has become the go-to solution for buying something online. The company has a no-questions-asked return policy and uses local distributors, making shipping faster and more reliable than the competition.


Love them or hate them, Apple is known for good customer service. The company has user friendly software with support services built in. And, it consistently works towards learning what the customer wants to implement this in its new line up of products. It is a customer-focused product and no one can compete with it as easily as a direct result.

Southwest Airlines

When it comes to airlines there are plenty of instances when customers complain. Southwest Airlines, on the other hand, does a great job of meeting the needs of customers. Customers like that they are referred to by first names. They like receiving birthday cards and invitations to special events just for being a customer. And, it is said to be the airline with the fewest delays in schedules. That has to make a big difference in customer loyalty, too.

It is a shoe store, so what’s not to love? The company is known for its outstanding customer service because it has a customer-first design. It offers 24/7 phone reps, up to a year for returns, and offers free shipping both ways. Add to that the discounts it offers and promotions to customers and you have a company that can’t be passed up.

When it comes to your own business, learning for what these companies do can help you to improve your reputation and draw in more customers. The key to remember here is that this is a highly competitive marketplace and you cannot afford to have a bad reputation.

Mark van Berkel is Founder and President of Hunch Manifest Inc. While managing business operations he also leads the team in designing semantic technology to provide personalized online presence and reputation management services. Prior to forming the company, he was consultant in enterprise software projects to companies including Panasonic, Shell, and General Electric and was an Architect for a world leading human capital management software-as-a-service. Mark holds a Bachelor of Information Systems from StFX University and did his graduate studies at University of Toronto, getting a MEng Industrial Information Engineering and an MBA, Strategy and Innovation from the Rotman School of Management. In 2006 he published a 170 page report as a researcher at the Semantic Technologies Lab at the University of Toronto and built a semantic technology prototype for SAP Research Labs. Connect with Mark on LinkedIn or Twitter. Mark is also certified in Google Analytics.