There is little more frustrating for us as consumers than really bad customer service. The topic is fresh on our minds thanks to that nightmare call recorded by a journalist trying to cancel his comcast service.
Usually, bad customer service experiences aren’t as public, but they happen all the time and can have a significant impact on a business’ success.
A 2009 study in China, noting that there wasn’t a wealth of research tying customer satisfaction to profit, tried to get to the bottom of it. Their conclusion is powerful.
“The results show that non-financial measure, customer satisfaction, is significantly associated with contemporary and future financial performance. Furthermore, the enterprises with higher-level customer satisfaction than others will enjoy higher profitability.”
Put simply, customer satisfaction has been proven to have a direct relationship with financial success.
We got curious about who consumers think are the absolute worst, and found some answers. The website Ranker.com, with more than 14 million fans has a comprehensive crowd-sourced ranking on the subject. There have been more than 23,000 votes and over 4,000 voters. Here’s how they’re voting.
8. Best Buy
The consumer electronics giant comes in at number eight on the list. This is interesting given that Best Buy reportedly has plans to better train their staff to compete with companies like Amazon.
One of Best Buy’s biggest customer service offerings is their “Geek Squad,” that helps people install and set up gear they buy at the store.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File
Citibank comes in at number 7. Citigroup has been in the news a lot lately thanks to a $7 billion fine and settlement over investigation into pre-crisis mortgage practices.
Citigroup is the third largest holding company in the United States as of March 31, 2014.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
You might think based on the recent service call mayhem that the communications company would be first on this list, but that’s not the case.
It will be very interesting to see how the customer service experience changes as the purchase of Time Warner shakes out.
5. American Airlines
Since the merger with US Airways, they are now the world’s biggest airline. But according to this list, at least, that hasn’t meant great customer service. It’s still all very new, though, and time will tell how much better or worse the customer experience will be on the heels of this merger.
According to the NRF, Wal-Mart is the biggest mass merchant in the United States. When you’re that large it’s a real challenge to keep everyone happy, and Wal-Mart has had varying success. We recently wrote about a man who discovered Wal-Mart refused to price match their online prices in stores.
3. Bank of America
REUTERS/ Brendan McDermid
The Charlotte-based banking giant comes in at number three. Forbes ranks Bank of America as the 13th biggest company in the world. Recently, they announced they were lowering their threshold for people qualifying for loan discounts and other benefits.
2. Time Warner Cable
Now that the company is set to merge with Comcast, we’ll have to wait and see if Time Warner Cable is able to improve their customer service. Of course, according to the American Consumer Satisfaction Index, subscription television service doesn’t have a great reputation.
Number One on Ranker’s list is the second-largest wireless phone carrier in the United States (note that Verizon, number one, did not make this list). And they’re set to get even bigger with a DirecTV merger.