“The ramblings and grumblings of author Ad Hudler”

Please: Help me celebrate Best of the Best
Friday, May 17, 2013

A good friend of mine long ago called me a "self-appointed-critic-at-large." Supposedly, I am critical. I like to say I simply have a Passion for Excellence.

I just had a good experience with my bank, SunTrust, and it got me thinking of how few service providers or retailers truly excel at what they do. Here's my partial list of The Best. Please add to it so you can contribute to the overall quality of my life.

1. SunTrust. We've been with them for three states, and I've never been in a branch that was less than perfectly run. Also, I like the free candies at the counter, and they seem to hire very attractive women.

2. Chick-fil-A. So maybe you don't like their politics, but most of them have a little-old-lady hostess who goes around the restaurant, asking if there's anything you need. And there's always fresh flowers on the table. And if you wait more than 5 minutes for your food you generally get a coupon for a free sandwich. And they have the best side salad in Fast Food Land, which includes broccoli! And they have mouthwash in the bathrooms. And, and, and, and, and...........

3. Publix: There are markets with better groceries but no one trains their people like Publix. Their bakeries are the best, their fried chicken is Southern-good, they have the best deli sandwiches in town. You can actually find something in the store that you want on your sandwich and take it to the deli and they'll use it without charging you extra. People love working there (I contrast this to Kroger, where everyone mopes and slurs their sentences and says "I dunno...but I'm fixin' to get off work in fifteen minutes and I can't wait.")

Have I missed any?


Blogger Libby McMillan said...

Chick-fil-a is so efficient and friendly, with a good product. You nailed that one.

I've always loved Southwest Airlines. Fast, friendly, fair and they use humor in-flight. Yea!

And Disney employees are like aliens, they are so perfect. The HR dept being called "Casting" says it all.

And while I don't personally prefer the Ritz-Carlton (simply due to my personal style), the employees there are nothing short of amazing.

I've never had a bad experience at CarMax either (and they're one of the 100 best companies to work for).

My last contribution may not count coz it's been many years ... but Nordstrom always used to be amazing. Loved the personal attention in the fitting rooms, and free alterations.

May 17, 2013 at 7:29 PM  
Blogger Ad Hudler said...

Those are all great additions, Libby!

May 18, 2013 at 12:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree with Libby's Nordstrom's.
Talk about consumer friendly.
Also, have you ever ordered anything from Harry & David's?
A REAL PERSON answers the phone immediately!
Southwest, too; I completely enjoy flying with them.
Wegman's grocery stores will always hold a special place in my heart, though it's been years since I've been in one . . . I can't imagine them having changed the policies that make them the best of the best for employees each year, and that translates into the finest service for their customers.

May 20, 2013 at 12:13 PM  
Blogger erinesosweet said...

Verizon Wireless has the best customer service of any phone/technology company, hands down. They are super helpful, speak so that you know what they are talking about and have never made me feel like I'm an idiot (even when shopping for a new phone with my dad).

Yes, they cost more that some other companies, but the service is so worth it!

Once I had to get a new phone for my boss when his was stolen overseas. They worked with me and the new phone arrived earlier than scheduled and I was able to quickly enable it so that he could use it as soon as he got home!

May 21, 2013 at 11:32 AM  
Blogger Ad Hudler said...

Erin: I have to agree. Every single person I deal with at Verizon, either on the phone or in person, has been very well trained. And they always end the conversation with, "Now, Mr. Hudler, have we taken care of your problem satisfactorily?" .... or something like that.

May 21, 2013 at 11:54 AM  

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