2004 Customers First Awards

You'd think it would be obvious: Take care of the folks who matter most -- the ones who pay the tab. But truly customer-focused companies are sadly rare. And so Fast Company is celebrating those that get it right.

Meet the Leading Listeners, companies that use feedback to make things better; the Customer-Centered Leaders, who create a culture that's dedicated to service; the Profitable Players, who know that investments in service really pay off; the High-Tech Achievers, companies that use technology not just to replace the human element but to improve the experience; and the Employee Innovators, who understand the inextricable link between good employees and happy customers.

This special section online builds on the article in the October 2004 issue and includes details about our methodology, profiles of our advisory board members, additional commentary -- and ways to share stories about your best customer experiences, as well.

Our Customer Champions

Additional Resources

Putting Customers First
Meet the best customer-focused outfits, and learn from them.
A Baker's Dozen of Experts
Here are the 13 jurors who helped us select the Customers First Awards winners and finalists.
Methodology, Scoring, and Partners
Take a look at the numbers behind the winners -- and learn about our partner in the project, ForeSee Results
Experiencing the Next Competitive Battleground
A leading customer experience theorist and practitioner expands on why companies need to go beyond customer service -- and how cost cutting helped raise the bar for customer experience.
Recipe for Service
Not all fast food chains are fast companies. Chick-fil-A is an exception.
Lessons from the Customers First Award Finalists
At your service
Are You Customer Experienced?
What's the best customer experience you've ever had? Share your stories. We'll publish the most inspiring, instructive, and interesting entries online in the future.