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Guest Blogger: Bruce Temkin | March 15, 2012

Who Are the Customer Experience Stars?

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In the recently published 2012 Temkin Experience Ratings, we rated the customer experience of 206 companies across 18 industries based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers. This research provides a great benchmark of customer experience, as it compares companies with their industry peers as well as with companies from other industries.

Not too many companies have mastered customer experience. Only 28 percent of the companies received "good" or "excellent" ratings, while 37 percent received "poor" or "very poor" ratings. I want to congratulate the eight companies that earned an "excellent" rating:

Sam's Club (retailer)
Publix (grocery chain)
Starbucks (fast food chain)
Subway (fast food chain)
Chick-fil-A (fast food chain)
Aldi (grocery chain)
Winn-Dixie (grocery chain)
H.E.B. (grocery chain)
Credit unions (bank)

As you can see from the list, the customer experience leaders come from a handful of industries. The top 22 firms in the ratings come from only four industries: eight grocery chains, six fast food chains, six retailers, and two banks. It turns out that a few of the six new industries that we added in this year's ratings--grocery chains, fast food chains, parcel delivery services, appliance makers, car rental agencies, and auto dealers--dominate the top of the ratings.

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Here are some additional findings from the research:

• Three industries had average ratings of "good" (grocery chains, fast food chains, and retailers) and three had average ratings of "poor" (health plans, Internet service providers, and TV service providers)
Earthlink and Charter Communications take the bottom two spots in the ratings. But health plans owned the crown for poor performance, taking seven of the bottom 14 scores.
USAA came out in first place for both credit cards and insurance.
• Leaders in the TV service providers industry--Bright House Networks and Dish Network--only managed to take 124th spot in the ratings.
Kaiser Permanente in health plans and credit unions in banking lead eight companies with ratings that are more than 10 points above their industry average.
DHL in parcel delivery and RadioShack in retail lead eight companies that fall 10 or more percentage points below their industry average.
• Across the 12 industries that are in both the 2011 and 2012 Temkin Experience Ratings, eight earned higher scores in 2012 and four showed a slight decline. Insurers had the highest improvement.
• Led by PNC and Lenovo, seven companies earned double-digit improvements in their ratings between 2011 and 2012.
Regions Bank is the only company that declined by more than 10 percentage points between 2011 and 2012.

While few companies have earned an "excellent" or even "good" rating, the 2012 Temkin Experience Ratings show that many companies are improving. That's great news. Remember, customer experience transformation is a journey, not a sprint. It's wonderful to see so many companies running in the right direction.

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About the Author: Bruce Temkin is customer experience transformist and managing partner of Temkin Group, and chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association. He blogs at Customer Experience Matters

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