US Companies With The Best and Worst Customer Support

June 29, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. fed up (idiom) [fed] [uhp] – to be tired of doing or experiencing something
Example: I resigned from my home- based writing job because I was fed up.

2. query (n.) [kweer-ee] – a question or request for information
Example: The sales clerk immediately answered my query about credit cards.

3. topnotch (adj.) [top-noch] – excellent; meeting the highest standard
Example: Ms. Smith, a topnotch opera singer, received a loud applause from the audience.

4. compliment (v.) [n. kom-pluh-muhnt; v. kom-pluh-ment] – to praise or express appreciation  
Example: The boss complimented his employees for a job well done.

5. below par (idiom) [bih-loh] [pahr] – less than that expected
Example: He lost in the competition because his performance was below par.

Read the text below.

A study by Consumer Reports Magazine in US reveals that many Americans are fed up with poor customer care.

Based on a phone survey conducted to determine the customers’ level of satisfaction, the results show that 64 percent of 1,010 Americans walk out of stores due to poor assistance from salespersons, while 67 percent hang up their phones even before they get response for their queries.

Specifically, most consumers complain about impolite salespersons and personnel who cannot be reached over the phone.  

Among companies, consumers consider Southwest Airlines topnotch in terms of staff performance. They also gave high ratings to Apple and Micro Center because their employees know a lot about computers.

In addition, consumers again complimented Apple for offering technical support over the phone.

On the other hand, companies which performed below par included Walmart discount stores, Sam's Club and Costco Wholesale due to unqualified sales persons; US Airways for poor flight crew performance; and computer manufacturers such as Acer, Asus, Dell, HP/Compaq, Sony and Toshiba for poor technical support for customers.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Have you ever had a bad experience with store personnel?
·         What must companies do to improve customer service?

Discussion B

·         Do you think that good customer service alone can improve sales?
·         How do you think can dissatisfaction affect a company?

June 29, 2011