America's Best Customer Service 2019

The waitress who knows your coffee order; the dry cleaner who saves your favorite sweater; the bakery you visit every weekend whose manager gives your daughter an extra cookie—those aren’t merely transactions. They’re relationships. Your community.

We can all see, though, that those meaningful roles are imperiled by the forces disrupting virtually every workplace in America. As Ellen Ruppel Shell reports in our cover story, automation doesn’t replace humans as a side effect. Replacing humans is the goal. Right now, more Americans are employed in retail than in any other economic sector—more than in health care and construction combined. But manufacturing used to be America’s No. 1 employer, and look what happened there: jobs lost and factories abandoned. Analysts predict that by 2020, one-fifth of the country’s multitrillion-dollar retail business will have moved to the web, slashing the number of workers needed. And those online jobs are increasingly vulnerable too. The technology is moving fast, Shell writes, but the policy needed to help workers navigate the disruption is far behind.

As we examined the larger, impersonal forces that are transforming retail, it seemed like a good time to recognize a more personal factor in business success: the ways in which many companies nurture their relationships with consumers. We worked with Statista, the respected global research firm, to collect and analyze data across 141 retail categories. The compiled rankings reveal the best customer-service companies. Newsweek has always been committed to deep reporting about American workers, both the challenges they face and the transformations they achieve. This new story builds on our legacy of authoritative coverage.

The automated future is already upon us, and the hope is that we—as a nation and as individuals—can shape it to our advantage. There will likely be losses along the way. For myself, I’d miss the operators at 1-800-CONTACTS, who don’t judge me when I wait until the last minute to place an order (journalists need deadlines), and Lands’ End, where a soothing voice on the phone helped resolve my Hamlet-level indecision over whether those sheets were really sky blue or more like aqua. I don’t want to interact with a bot—and I certainly don’t want to be replaced by one. Robots don’t crave human connection and meaningful work. We do.

Brick and Mortar Retailers: Clothing
  • 1 Affordable-Luxury Brands
  • 2 Apparel
  • 3 Athletic and Sporting Goods Manufacturer
  • 4 Baby and Children's Products
  • 5 Bridal Fashion
  • 6 Designer Jewelry Retailer
  • 7 Fashion and Luxury Accessories
  • 8 Footwear
  • 9 Jewelry Retailer
  • 10 Lingerie
  • 11 Plus-Size Fashion
  • 12 Sporting Goods Retailer
  • 13 Women's Apparel
Brick and Mortar Retailers: Food, Health and Beauty
  • 1 Chocolate and Candy Stores
  • 2 Convenience Stores
  • 3 Eyewear Retailers
  • 4 Hearing Care
  • 5 Perfume and Cosmetics
  • 6 Pharmacies and Drugstores
  • 7 Supermarkets
  • 8 Superstores and Warehouse Club Stores
Brick and Mortar Retailers: Home Goods
  • 1 Arts and Crafts
  • 2 Department Stores
  • 3 Outdoor Recreation Merchandise
  • 4 Premium Furniture Retail
  • 5 Bookstores
  • 6 Furniture Retail
  • 7 Pet Care
  • 8 Toys
Catering, Restaurants and Leisure
  • 1 Bagel and Sandwich Chains
  • 2 Casual Dining Restaurant Chains
  • 3 Doughnut Chains
  • 4 Fast-Food Restaurant Chains
  • 5 Movie Theaters
  • 6 Upscale Chain Restaurants
  • 7 Buffet Restaurants
  • 8 Coffeehouse Chains
  • 9 Fast-Casual Restaurant Chains
  • 10 Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt Stores
  • 11 Pizza Chains
Online Retailers: Clothing
  • 1 Apparel (Online)
  • 2 Footwear (Online)
  • 3 Luxury Fashion Accessories (Online)
  • 4 Men’s Accessories (Online)
  • 5 Plus-Size Fashion (Online)
  • 6 Baby and Children's Products (Online)
  • 7 Jewelers (Online)
  • 8 Members-Only Sales (Online)
  • 9 Occupational Clothing (Online)
  • 10 Women's Apparel (Online)
Online Retailers: Food, Health and Beauty
  • 1 Contact Lenses (Online)
  • 2 Groceries (Online)
  • 3 Perfume and Cosmetics (Online)
  • 4 Vegan and Vegetarian Products (Online)
  • 5 Eyewear Retailers (Online)
  • 6 Medical Supplies (Online)
  • 7 Restaurant Delivery Services (Online)
Online Retailers: Home Goods
  • 1 Booksellers (Online)
  • 2 Flower Retailer (Online)
  • 3 Lighting (Online)
  • 4 Online Home Stores
  • 5 Consumer Electronics (Online)
  • 6 Home Furnishings (Online)
  • 7 Office Supplies (Online)
  • 8 Used Goods (Online)
Online Retailers: Sports and Leisure
  • 1 Bicycles (Online)
  • 2 Electronic Cigarettes (Online)
  • 3 Hobby Store, Model Making (Online)
  • 4 Musical Equipment (Online)
  • 5 Pet Food and Pet-Related Products (Online)
  • 6 Sports and Fitness Nutrition (Online)
  • 7 Costumes and Accessories (Online)
  • 8 Fishing Equipment and Clothing (Online)
  • 9 Hunting, Arms Equipment and Clothing (Online)
  • 10 Party Supplies (Online)
  • 11 Photo and Video Equipment (Online)
  • 12 Subscription Box Services (Online)
Online Retailers: Transportation
  • 1 Auto Parts Retailer (Online)
  • 2 Motorcycle Parts and Accessories (Online)
  • 3 Automotive Marketplace (Online)
  • 4 Tire and Wheel Manufacturers (Online)
Online Services and Digital Products
  • 1 Cloud Storage and Cloud Computing Services
  • 2 Employment Search Engines
  • 3 Language-Learning Platform
  • 4 Music Streaming Services
  • 5 Pay-Per-View Services and Video-On-Demand
  • 6 Ticketing Services
  • 7 Email Services
  • 8 Internet Service Providers
  • 9 Mobile Carriers and Telecommunications
  • 10 Online Dating Sites
  • 11 Price-Comparison Websites
  • 12 Wedding Registries
Services: Beauty and Wellness
  • 1 Fitness Centers
  • 2 Nutrition and Weight-Loss Programs
  • 3 Hair Salons
  • 4 Spas, Wellness and Beauty
Services: Employment, Education and Child Care
  • 1 Nanny and Au Pair Agences
  • 2 Tutoring Services
  • 3 Temporary Employment Agency
Services: Insurance
  • 1 AD&D Insurance (Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance)
  • 2 Disability Insurance
  • 3 Health Insurance
  • 4 Life Insurance
  • 5 Travel Insurance
  • 6 Auto Insurance
  • 7 General Liability Insurance
  • 8 Homeowners Insurance
  • 9 Retirement Planning Solutions
Services: Personal Services, Home Care and Maintenance
  • 1 Automotive Repair
  • 2 Handyman Referral Services and Home Repairs
  • 3 Home-Care Services For Seniors and Disabled
  • 4 Storage Centers
  • 5 Dry-Cleaning Services
  • 6 Home Security
  • 7 House Cleaning and Maid Services
Services: Real Estate and Banking
  • 1 Asset Management
  • 2 Crowdfunding Platforms
  • 3 Payment Services
  • 4 Real Estate Database
  • 5 Commercial Banks
  • 6 Online Banking
  • 7 Real Estate Agencies
  • 8 Trading and Brokerage Services
Services: Transportation and Travel
  • 1 Airlines
  • 2 Bus Carriers
  • 3 Carsharing
  • 4 Flights, Hotels and Holiday Deals Search Engines
  • 5 Hotel Chains (up to 3 stars)
  • 6 Moving Services
  • 7 Taxi and Peer-to-Peer Ridesharing
  • 8 Travel Management
  • 9 Vacation Rental and Hotel Booking Services
  • 10 Apartment Hotels, Extended Stays
  • 11 Car Rental Services
  • 12 Cruise Operators
  • 13 Gas Stations
  • 14 Low-Cost Airlines
  • 15 Shipping and Delivery Services
  • 16 Travel Agencies
  • 17 Upscale Hotel Chains (4 to 5 stars)