According to a J.D. Power and Associates cross-industry special report, "Beyond Satisfaction: J.D. Power 2012 Customer Service Champions — Brands That Deliver Service Excellence to Maximize Business Results," ACE Rent A Car and Enterprise Rent-A-Car were among the 50 brands named in the report, which was released March 13.

"Consumer expectations have heightened since the onset of the recession," said Gina Pingitore, chief research officer at J.D. Power and Associates. "While value is important, consumers want more than simply the lowest price or a product that is just good enough. They expect a superior product that is delivered in a compelling presentation, through fast and easy-to-understand processes that are supported by responsive and concerned people. In addition, the price must be perceived as fair and competitive."

The Customer Service Champions are selected based on customer feedback attesting to their service excellence. Brands that receive J.D. Power Customer Service Champion designation are among the top 5% of more than 800 evaluated brands, based on their performance in five key areas identified as the J.D. Power “5 Ps”: people, presentation, price, process and product.

J.D. Power Customer Service Champions not only excel within their respective industries, but also stand out when evaluated across multiple industries.

The report states that brands providing exceptional customer service tend to consistently employ certain key practices, including:

• Hiring the right people and empowering them with the best processes, as well as the ability and authority to make judgment calls to resolve issues on behalf of their customers.

• Understanding customer differences to offer the right products through the right channels in ways that truly resonate with them.

• Being consistent in branding and delivery of the service experience, particularly across various channels and customer touch points.

The full list follows, in alphabetical order:

ACE Rent A Car
Auto-Owners Insurance
Barnes & Noble
Bass Pro Shops
Boost Mobile
Clark Public Utilities
David Weekley Homes
Drury Inn & Suites
Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Erie Insurance
First Federal
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Frost Bank
Good Neighbor Pharmacy
Hampton Hotels
Hancock Bank
Health Mart Pharmacy
Hotel Indigo
Jackson EMC
JetBlue Airways     
L.L. Bean
New Jersey Manufacturers
Publix Pharmacy
Quicken Loans
Saks Fifth Avenue
Salt River Project
Sawnee EMC
Scottrade Inc.
Shea Homes
Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative
Southwest Airlines
Straight Talk
The Ritz-Carlton
U.S. Cellular
United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Pharmacy Services
Virgin America
Virgin Mobile
Wegmans Pharmacy

For more information, view the Executive Summary of the special report, available here.