When we begin talking to a new prospective client at Gravity Digital, the first thing we do is look at their reviews. We’ve learned that it’s nearly impossible to have lasting marketing success for a business that doesn’t take good care of their customers. We just end up getting them more bad reviews…

In this article we wanted to highlight some of the businesses who are doing customer experience really well, and some that we can all agree need some help. Maybe you’ve had an experience with some of these businesses, or maybe you’ve had an experience somewhere else that was a standout (good or bad). Let us know!

One quick note.

We did not include extreme examples that everyone knows about. For example, high end luxury brands like the Ritz Carlton are built on their customer experience, so these are no brainers that we did not include. That goes for anything at really high price points… think Disney vacations. You won’t see that here.

You also won’t see the examples that everyone knows are bad. Like the DMV. Like the IRS. Government agencies giving a poor experience is sadly something that we all know. You won’t find those here either.

So let’s start with…

Customer Experience in Healthcare

It’s sad to say that the industry most connected with “caring” for people has a reputation for providing really bad customer (or patient) experience. Go look at review sites for most hospitals. It’s not good.

And we get it… most healthcare workers are overworked. They have to deal with a high volume of people who typically don’t feel good. It can be a tough environment to put a smile on your face.

One example that really drives this home for us is Quest Diagnostics. And to be clear, we’re not talking about the provider who actually takes your blood (an experience that would be hard to make good). We’re talking about the corporate, billing side of things.

While Quest is not alone in this industry, they really set the bar for making it hard to get answers to questions about billing, results, and processes. In fact, it’s hard just to get someone on the phone. An if you want to know what your labs are going to cost before you actually buy them… good luck.

So, is the Healthcare Industry hopeless? No! There are some healthcare companies that are doing things really well.

In an otherwise grumpy industry, Houston Methodist has a higher-than-average percentage of happy , helpful people.

Similarly, many chiropractors have raving fans and reviews (like some of our clients).

There is even an alternative to health insurance called Christian Healthcare Ministries that goes FAR above and beyond what you would expect. First – they make things that are very complicated seem very simple. They are straightforward and clear. They also are very caring and patient in every interaction. You know, the way healthcare should be.

BTW – are pharmacies and doctor’s offices STILL using fax machines?? Have you ever been told “I don’t see it in the system”?

Service-Based Customer Experience

When we have bad customer experience, service-based businesses are probably the first thing that come to mind. Customer service for utilities is notoriously bad. Think about your water or electric company. Ever had an issue you needed resolved? Again, volume seems to be the issue. But it seems that if one of these companies could put together a team that had a customer-first mindset, they could DOMINATE their industry.

In customer experience, there are systems problems and there are people problems. This company has both: Suddenlink. Suddenlink is an internet service provider. The only thing they are worse at than actually providing internet service – is helping you resolve the constant issues with their internet service. It’s bad ya’ll. Someone is beating up on Suddenlink in our neighborhood Facebook group every day. every. day.

Plot twist: the horrible service from Suddenlink left a void that was filled when a new provider came to town called Tachus. And as bad as Suddenlink was – Tachus is awesome. Their local marketing is simple:

Dis-honorable mention goes to Enterprise Car Rental. Same type of issues. If you have a problem with your car – it’s very hard to find someone to talk to who can help resolve it.

It’s like these companies really just don’t care, But that makes room for all of the Tachuses of the world.

Customer Experience with Consumer Goods

One trend you might notice is that larger companies that deal with higher volume usually have a harder time providing quality customer service. While smaller companies often try to make every customer feel appreciated (because they are).

Some of those small businesses that are doing a great job are Greenberg Turkey, The Peach Truck, and Kiel James Patrick. You’ll want to buy from them again and again because the experience is exceptional.

One stand out on the positive side, from one of the largest companies in the World, is Amazon.

Prime members know this. We all stay Prime members because it is so ridiculously easy to return stuff and get our money back. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad for us as a society, but they have the system down perfectly.

Resolving issues is a breeze with Amazon Prime.

Another large company that is doing things well is Garmin. I would imagine the Garmin customer Lifetime Value is very high – because they treat their customers so well. Casey called one time because his watch band was giving him a rash – and Garmin sent him a newer watch with a replaceable band for free! Now he buys all their stuff.

But not every business that sells consumer goods treats their customers right.

Ashley furniture can take months longer to deliver than they tell you.

Oofos shipping policies are completely wonky.

And 1-800-Flowers never actually has the flowers you want.

You can see the stories behind these experiences in this video.

Well, that’s our list. What about you? What are the good experiences you’ve had? The bad? The ugly?