Money Talks: Best Companies for Customer Service

Whether you own or work for a business, if customers don't like the service they receive, they'll go elsewhere and you'll be in trouble.

So it's a good idea to see who's winning awards for customer service and how they're doing it.

Every year, Business Week magazine picks the top big companies in customer service.

Number five this year? Publix supermarkets.

Next? The Four Seasons Hotel.

Number three on the list was Apple Computer

Number two was financial services giant USAA

And the number one company for customer service, according to Business Week, was catalog clothing company LL Bean.

So what separated winners from losers?

Well, the winners seem to do a couple things consistantly. They use technology to improve their customer service.

They also went out of their way to make sure their employees were happy.

For example, Publix Markets now uses a new inventory system that automatically re-orders, which keeps popular items on the shelf. It's also employee-owned.

"When our customers are happy, ultimately my family benefits," one employee told Money Talks.

Apple helps their customers with roving checkout clerks. Plus, you can make an appointment to buy something.

When LL Bean needed to close a call center, rather than outsourcing, they allowed employees to work at home.

Standup Imagine the difference that made over sending those calls to a place like India.

The bottom line: whether you own a 1,000 grocery stores or you're self-employed at home, there are ways you can use technology to improve your customer service.

Specific tips for you right here at