6 companies where customers come first

Surveys show that more consumers than ever are fed up with bad service. Meet six entrepreneurs who profit by bucking the trend.

SimplySoles
SimplySoles
Washington, DC

Type of firm: Online women's shoe emporium

Customer-service strategy: While it's hard enough to get good service from brick-and-mortar businesses, finding it on the Internet can be ever tougher. That's not true at SimplySoles (simplysoles.com), where the average pai of shoes goes for $275. Shoppers who call the toll-free customer-service number can even reach the founder, Kassie Rempel (pictured) directly. For certain customers Simply-Soles will send out a selection of shoes - no charge, no commitment. These shoppers can try on shoes in their homes to see which pair looks best with a particular outfit. They are billed only when they make a purchase and can send the remaining shoes back to SimplySoles in prepaid mailers at a cost of about $12 a returned pair roundtrip. SimplySoles also sends out handwritten thank-you notes to every customer who orders shoes. The notes address the customer and shoe by name - a little touch that builds loyalty.
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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.