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.

Nurse Next Door
Nurse Next Door
Vancouver, BC

Type of firm: Home health care

Customer-service strategy: When this company (nursenextdoor.ca) stumbles, it delivers a "humble pie," a fresh-baked apple pie accompanied with a note that reads in part, "We are very humbled by our mistake and sincerely apologize for the poor service." The firm, with $10 million in annual revenue, has spent $1,300 on pies but reckons it has kept customers worth $90,000 in annual sales from defecting. This outcome is typical, according to John Tschohl, president of the Service Quality Institute in Minneapolis (customer-service.com) and one of the world's foremost experts on service recovery. According to his research, a recipient of good customer service will tell five other acquaintances on average. A client who suffers bad service will tell 10 and possibly even hundreds if he goes online to complain.
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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.