Kaiser Permanente and Humana Lead Health Plans in 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings

We recently released the 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings that ranks the customer experience of 268 companies across 19 industries based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers.

Kaiser Permanente earned the top spot with a 68% rating, positioning the company in 109th place overall out of 268 organizations across 19 industries. Humana, meanwhile, earned a rating of 63% and placed 160th overall. While Kaiser Permanente consistently ranks near the top of the list—even taking first place in 2012—this year, Humana ascended from the middle of the pack to the top, improving its rating by an astonishing 12 percentage points.

At the other end of the spectrum, Coventry Health Care (BCBS) plummeted down the ranks after declining 18 percentage points from 2013, leaving it in last place across all 268 companies in the ratings with a score of 41%. Empire (BCBS), Highmark (BCBS), and Medicaid joined Coventry as the lowest-rated companies across any industry.

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Here are some additional findings from the health plan industry:

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Report: What Happens After a Good or Bad Experience, 2014

1402_WhatHappensAfterGoodBadExperiences_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, What Happens After a Good or Bad Experience, 2014. The report, which includes 19 data charts, examines which companies and industries provide the most bad experiences, what impact those experiences have on spending, and how the negative impacts of bad experiences can be mitigated by good service recovery. The report also examines how consumers share their good and bad experiences with companies as well as with other people. Here’s the executive summary:

To understand the effect of good and bad experiences, we asked 10,000 U.S. consumers about their recent interactions with 268 companies across 19 industries. Results show that Internet services and TV services are the industries most likely to deliver a bad experience to their customers, while grocery chains are the least likely to. At the company level, Scottrade had the smallest percentage of customers reporting a recent bad experience with the company and Time Warner Cable had the highest. More than half of the customers who encountered a bad experience at a fast food chain, credit card issuer, grocery store, or hotel either decreased their spending with the company or stopped altogether. However, our data shows that a good service recovery effort can help mitigate a bad experience. Unfortunately, many firms—especially in the banking, Internet services, and TV services sectors—aren’t very good at service recovery. In addition to the consequences of bad interactions, we also examined which channels customers use to share their good and bad experiences and how these changed across age groups. We then compared these results to survey responses from the past two years. We also uncovered a negative bias inherent in how customers provide feedback. ING Direct, Residence Inn, and Fairfield Inn have the most negative bias in the feedback they receive directly from customers, while Hy-Vee and Hyundai have the most negative bias on Facebook. 

Click link to see full list of industries and companies covered in this report (.pdf).

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One of the most interesting analyses in the report is the look at how service recovery after a bad experience affects the spending pattern of consumers. Here’s a summary of one of the charts showing just how important it is for a company to recover well after making a mistake:

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Here are some other insights from the research:

  • Sixteen percent of consumers who have interacted with TV service and Internet service providers report having a bad experience over the previous six months. Next on the list are wireless carriers, with 12% of their customers reporting a bad experience. At the other end of the spectrum, only 3% of consumers report a bad experience with grocery chains and 4% report having a bad experience with fast food chains.
  • The five companies with the most customers reporting bad experiences are Time Warner Cable (25%), Motel 6 (22%), Coventry Health Care (21%), and Comcast (21%). There were 10 companies with only 1% or less of their customers reporting bad experiences: Scottrade, Chick-fil-A, H.E.B., Whole Foods, ShopRite, ING Direct, Starbucks, Trader Joe’s, Vanguard, and True Value.
  • More than one-quarter of consumers who have a bad experience stop spending with computer makers, car rental agencies, credit card issuers, hotel chains, and software companies. The impact of bad experiences is less costly for parcel delivery services, wireless carriers, health plans, TV service providers, Internet service providers, and grocery chains, as less than 15% of their customers with bad experience stopped spending.
  • The industries that are the best at responding to a bad experience are investment firms, major appliances, retailers, and car rental agencies. The industries that are the worst at responding to a bad experience are TV service providers, wireless carriers, Internet service providers, parcel delivery services, and health plans.
  • Thirty-two percent of consumers give feedback directly to companies after a very bad experience and 23% give feedback after a very good experience.
  • Overall, 25- to 34-year-olds are the most likely to share feedback about their experiences. After a good experience 57% tell a friend directly, 28% share on Facebook, and 18% put a comment or rating on a review site. After a bad experience, 60% tell a friend directly, 31% share on Facebook, and 20% write a review.

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The bottom line: Make sure to recover quickly after a bad experience

TriCare and Kaiser Permanente Lead Health Plans in 2013 Temkin Experience Ratings

We recently released the 2013 Temkin Experience Ratings that ranks the customer experience of 246 companies across 19 industries based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers. Here are highlights from the health insurance industry:

  • The health plan industry has the second-lowest average rating. The average score was 55%, tied with Internet service providers. (The lowest-ranked industry was TV service providers.)
  • The industry has been steadily improving over the last three years, from an average rating of 50.3% in 2011 to 54.8% this year.
  • The highest-ranked health plan, TriCare, is #78 across all industries in the ratings.  The plan’s rating of 71% is six percentage points ahead of the second-highest-ranked health plan, Kaiser Permanente.
  • TriCare earned the top marks for functional and emotional experience while Kaiser Permanente earned the top accessible rating.
  • TriCare earned the largest improvement over 2012, 12 points, followed by Anthem (BSBS) with an eight point gain and Highpoint (BCBS) with a seven point gain.
  • Coventry Health Care has an unusual profile, somewhat below average functional rating with a strong accessible and emotional ratings.
  • Thirteen of the 15 health insurance companies surveyed have scores considered “poor” or “very poor.”
  • Three plans tied for the lowest functional component: CareFirst (BCBS), Health Net, and Empire (BCBS).
  • Medicaid earned the lowest score for the accessible component.
  • CIGNA and CareFirst (BCBS) earned the lowest emotional ratings.
  • The lowest-ranked health plan, #242 Empire (BCBS), was the only plan with a “very poor” rating.
  • Here’s a link to industry results from the 2012 ratings.

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Temkin Ratings website

Report: 2013 Temkin Experience Ratings

Temkin Ratings website

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We published the 2013 Temkin Experience Ratings. The report analyzes feedback from 10,000 U.S. consumers to rate 246 organizations across 19 industries. Congratulations to the top firms in this year’s ratings: Publix, Trader Joe’s, Aldi, Chick-fil-A, Amazon.com, and Sam’s Club.

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You can also download the data for $395.

The Temkin Experience Ratings are based on evaluating three elements of experience:

  1. Functional: How well do experiences meet customers’ needs?
  2. Accessible: How easy is it for customers to do what they want to do?
  3. Emotional: How do customers feel about the experiences?

Here are the top and bottom companies in the ratings:

2013TER_BestWorstHere’s how the industries compare with each other:

(NOTE: We have published posts on the detailed results for all 19 industries)

2013TER_IndustriesHere are the companies that are leaders and laggards across the 19 industries:

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In this year’s ratings, 37% of companies earned “good” or “excellent” scores, while 28% are rated as “poor” or ”very poor.” Companies with at least a “good” rating grew by nine-percentage points since 2012 and by 21-points since 2011. Of the 203 companies that are included in both the 2012 and 2013 Temkin Experience Ratings, 57% firms had at least a modest increase. The companies that made the largest improvement over 2012 are Citibank, TriCare, TD Ameritrade, Office Depot, EarthLink, Hardees, and Regions Bank.

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Get the Data

Do you want to see all of the data? You can purchase an excel spreadsheet for $395…

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To view all of our ratings (experience, loyalty, trust, forgiveness, customer service, and web experience), visit the Temkin Ratings website

Temkin Ratings website

The bottom line: Customer experience is improving, but there’s still a long way to go

Companies Don’t Earn The Loyalty Their CX Deserves

Our report The ROI of Customer Experience shows that customer experience is highly correlated to loyalty. The research analyzed the relationship between Temkin Loyalty Ratings and Temkin Experience Ratings (TER) for 206 U.S. companies.

After analyzing the connection between these ratings, we found that some companies seem to have higher loyalty levels than they seem to deserve based on their customer experience while others have lower loyalty levels.

Using that dataset, I compared actual loyalty levels with projected loyalty levels. How? By plugging each company’s experience rating into our regression model to identify what their loyalty rating should be (normalized to their industry average) based on its TER and compared that projected rating with its actual loyalty rating. In the chart below you can see the companies with the largest positive and negative variances from the model’s projections.

The companies with loyalty levels the most above the projections are USAA, Highmark, Medicaid, credit unions, and TriCare. The companies that fall the most below the projections are T-Mobile, BMW, Bosch, AT&T, and Alamo.

Let’s examine USAA as an example. Since it has very high experience ratings compared with its industry peers, our model projects that its loyalty ratings should be at the high end of banks, credit card issuers, and insurance carriers. This analysis shows that USAA’s actual loyalty levels are higher than expected, even after factoring in its wonderful customer experience.

So what?!? There’s nothing inherently good or bad with being above or below the projected loyalty level. There’s no reason to expect companies to fall directly on their projected loyalty levels.

What’s interesting about this analysis is not what’s good or bad, but WHY are some companies so far away from the projected levels. This is where I’ll leave the data behind and offer my interpretation about WHY some companies have higher than projected loyalty while others have lower than projected loyalty:

  • Product fit. CX is not the only component of customer value. Companies that have tailored their products and services to better meet customers’needs (like USAA and TriCare) have an even better loyalty level than their CX would suggest. If companies have a poor product offering, then their loyalty may be lower than projected (this may explain Sears and DHL).
  • Product quality. If companies have quality problems with their offerings, then they would have lower loyalty levels than their CX deserve (this may explain AT&T, T-Mobile, and Alamo).
  • Service expectations. Companies that have premium status (BMW cars and Bosch appliances) often elicit higher expectations from customers, so they don’t earn the loyalty that their CX would suggest and have to work harder.
  • Trapped customers. In industries where customers have a hard time switching, a bad experience may not lead to the loyalty decline anticipated by the model; the same type of situation would occur if a company is harder to move away from than it’s competitors (this may explain Medicaid, Medicare, MSN, and EarthLink).
  • Commoditization. In industries that have a lot of pricing comparisons, customers may overly focus on price and not award good customer experience with the level of loyalty that the model projects (this may explain Alamo). It can also push consumers that have poor experience to more quickly leave a company for its competitor (this may explain DHL).
  • Substitutions. In sitations where customers don’t have a lot of clear alternatives, they will be more loyal to a company than the model suggests (this may explain eBay). A company that relies on self-service may be seen as easier to move from than a company that forms more personal connections with customers (this may explain E*TRADE).
  • Emotionality. Sometimes customers develop a strong affinity for a brand that increases loyalty and dampens the negative effect of any poor experiences (this may explain Southwest Airlines and Apple).

These items cover three broad topics: offerings, competitive environment and customer expectations. What do you think causes companies to earn more or less loyalty than their customer experience seems to deserve?

The bottom line: CX is correlated to loyalty, but other things matter as well

Report: Net Promoter Score Benchmark Study, 2012

We just published a Temkin Group report, Net Promoter Score Benchmark Study, 2012. It provides NPS data on 175 U.S. companies across 19 industries. Here’s the executive summary:

USAA took the top two spots for its banking and insurance businesses while HSBC came in at the bottom for banking and credit cards. Our analysis of differences across consumer demographic segments showed that NPS tends to go up with age, doesn’t vary much by income levels, and is often highest with Asians. We also asked consumers what would make them more likely to recommend the companies and found that promoters are more likely to select lower prices and detractors are more likely to select better customer service. While there is some debate about the efficacy of NPS, our analysis shows that promoters are much more likely than detractors to purchase more in the future across all industries. To help you implement a successful NPS program, we’ve included eight tips such as don’t believe in an “ultimate question” and use control charts, not pinpointed goals. The industries included in this report are airlines, auto dealers, banks, computer makers, credit card issuers, fast food chains, grocery chains, health plans, hotel chains, insurance carriers, Internet service providers, investment firms, major appliance makers, parcel delivery services, rental car agencies, retailers, software firms, TV service providers, and wireless carriers.

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(includes the data)

The industries included in this report are airlines, auto dealers, banks, computer makers, credit card issuers, fast food chains, grocery chains, health plans, hotel chains, insurance carriers, Internet service providers, investment firms, major appliance makers, parcel delivery services, rental car agencies, retailers, software firms, TV service providers, and wireless carriers.

The report contains the following components:

  • NPS for 175 companies across 19 industries
  • NPS differences based on age, income, and ethnicity of consumers
  • Improvement areas selected by promoters and detractors by industry
  • Connection between NPS and future purchases by industry
  • Eight tips for implementing a successful NPS program

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(Includes the data)

The bottom line:  Companies need to give customers a reason to recommend them

2012 Temkin Web Experience Ratings

Temkin Group has just released the 2012
We introduced the Temkin Web Experience Ratings last year. The 2012 Web Experience Ratings include 159 companies from 18 industries and is based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers.

Congratulations to the top firms in this year’s ratings: Amazon, credit unions, USAA, PNC, Southwest Airlines, eBay, Sam’s Club, ShopRite, JCPenney, and ING Direct. Of course, not every company has earned good web experience, especially the companies at the bottom of the 2012 ratings:  Charter Communications, Humana, Qwest, Cigna, Time Warner Cable, Anthem, Road Runner, Medicare, Blue Shield of CA, and TracFone.

We also  examined industry averages and found that banks and investment firms have earned the highest Temkin Web Experience Ratings followed by hotel chains and retailers. But consumers gave very low ratings to Internet service providers, health plans, and TV service providers.

The research also examines how individual companies are rated relative to their industry peers. The following 11 firms outscored their industry average Temkin Web Experience Ratings by 10 percentage points or more: Kaiser Permanente, Amazon, ShopRite, Southwest Airlines, USAA, Starbucks, H.E.B., Publix, credit unions, Marriott, and Apple.

The following 15 companies fell 10 percentage points or more below their industry averages: Wells Fargo Advisors, AAA, Charter Communications, Delta Airlines, Citibank, Bank of America, Humana, TracFone, Qwest, Old Navy, U.S. Airways, Rite Aid, Kohl’s, Kmart, and Charter Communications.

Temkin Group also analyzed changes from the 2011 Temkin Web Experience Ratings. Led by TV service providers and insurance carriers 11 of the 12 industries that were in both the 2011 and 2012 ratings improved since last year.

Seventy-two percent of companies that were in the 2011 and 2012 Temkin Web Experience Ratings showed improvement. Led by Comcast (Internet and TV service), Allstate, AOL, Charter Communications, Toshiba, and Sam’s Club, 20 companies improved by 10 percentage points or more between 2011 and 2012. Only three companies­— Kohl’s, TracFone, and Rite Aid—declined by 10 percentage points or more during that timeframe.

Do you want to see the data? Go to the Temkin Ratings website where you can sort through all of the results for free. You can even purchase the underlying data if you want to get more access.

The bottom line: Web experience is not good enough for how important it is

Health Plans Deliver The Worst Customer Experience

This post examines the 13 health plans included in the 2012 Temkin Experience Ratings.

Kaiser Permanente was the top rated health plan, the only plan to receive an “okay” rating, but it is only ranked 87th overall. TriCare, Medicare, Aetna, United Healthcare, Humana, Empire BCBS, Blue Shield of CA, and CIGNA all received “poor” ratings. Four plans received “very poor” ratings and are ranked in the bottom seven across all 18 industries: Highmark BCBS, Health Net, Medicaid, and Anthem BCBS.

Health plans represented the lowest rated industry, and only one of three industries to receive an average rating of “poor.”

The industry, however, experienced a modest two percentage point improvement between 2011 and 2012. Ten health plans were included in both the 2011 and 2012 Temkin Experience Ratings. Kaiser Permanente had a double-digit improvement in its score while five other plans increased their score by five or more points: Anthem BCBS, Aetna, United Healthcare, CIGNA, and Humana.

Do you want to see the data? Go to the Temkin Ratings website where you can sort through all of the results for free. You can even purchase the underlying data if you want to get more access.

The bottom line: Health plans have a chronic case of poor customer experience

Kudos To Customer Service Leaders

The annual Customer Service Week starts today and goes through Friday (10/7). Given the occasion, it seems like a good opportunity to acknowledge some of the better performers in our 2011 Temkin Customer Service Ratings, which ranks 129 large companies across 12 industries.

First of all, kudos to the top 25 companies in the ratings. led by USAA, Edward Jones, Courtyard by Marriott, and Sam’s Club:

But, overall, companies aren’t very good at customer service and there is a wide difference across industries…

…so I want to give a shout out to companies that most outperformed their industry averages. Led by USAA, Southwest Airlines, Discover, American Express, and Edward Jones here are the top 25:

The bottom line: Happy customer service week!

Health Plans Deliver Poor Customer Experience

In the 2011 Temkin Experience Ratings, we examined the customer experience across 12 industries. For this post, we will take a closer look at the 10 health plans  in the ratings.

Health plans have an average rating of “Poor” and was the next to lowest ranked industry…

Let’s take closer look at the results for all of the individual health plans…

As you can see, TriCare leads the health plans and is the only plan to cross over into the “okay” rating. Medicare and Kaiser Peermanente are the only two in the “poor” rating. The remaining seven firms firms earned a “very poor” ratings.

Let’s take a look at the three components of the Temkin Experience Ratings…

TriCare  is the top-performing health plan when it comes to all three experience components and is the only firm to pass the line of goodness for its functional experience. The remaining health plans drop off rapidly; especially when it comes to the accessible component. Anthem falls well below the other health plans across all experience components.

The bottom line: Health plans, like TV service providers, need a customer experience overhaul

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Health Plans Fail On Customer Experience

Forrester’s 2010 Customer Experience Index (CxPi) ranks 133 firms across 14 industries. I recently analyzed the results of the nine health plans in the CxPi. Here are the overall results:

Some interesting tidbits from the research:

  • Health plans were the worst scoring industry for the third straight year.
  • The average score across health plans was the same as it was in 2008, a “very poor” 51%.
  • Kaiser was in top place again, although it dropped a bit from 2008.
  • The public plans, Medicare and Medicaid, had the largest improvement.
  • Anthem (BCBS) and United Healthcare dropped the most since 2008.

The bottom line: Health plan customer experience needs resuscitation.

Customer Service Is The Worst Touchpoint

I recently published a report called Experiences Across the Customer Lifecycle that examines how satisfied US consumers are with four interactions (researching a product/service, purchasing a product/service, using a product/service, getting customer service) across 14 industries.

In 12 of the 14 industries, customer service was the lowest (or tied for lowest) rated interaction. Across all four touchpoints, hotels are at the top and health plans are at the bottom. Here are some of the highlights from the analysis:

I also examined how consumers rated individual companies. Here’s a shout-out to the companies that outperformed their industry averages by more than 10 percentage points:

  • Researching a product/service: Credit unions, American Express, AT&T, DirecTV, USAA, Amazon.com, Verizon, and Barnes & Noble.
  • Purchasing a product/service: Credit unions, American Express, Medicare, Vanguard, Visa, Apple, Aol, Southwest Airlines, and ING Direct.
  • Using a product/service: Credit unions, Apple, Medicare, USAA, and Toshiba.
  • Getting customer service: Credit unions, Kaiser, Apple, Cox Communications, American Express, Visa, USAA, Barnes & Noble, Marriott, Kohl’s, Southwest Airlines, and Verizon.

The bottom line: The entire customer lifecycle needs and upgrade, especially customer service.

Which Companies Do Consumers Recommend The Most?

I recently published a research report called Consumers’ Likelihood To Recommend 133 Firms that examines how loyal consumers are to 133 firms across 14 industries (the same firms that are in the 2010 Customer Experience Index). Based on surveying more than 4,600 US consumers, I created a metric called Net Recommendations*.

Here are the top 10 firms and their Net Recommendations rates:

  • Barnes & Noble (86%)
  • Amazon (81%)
  • eBay (81%)
  • Vanguard (79%)
  • Kohl’s (79%)
  • USAA (78%)
  • Apple (77%)
  • BJs Wholesale Club (76%)
  • Marriott Hotels & Resorts (75%)
  • Costco (75%)

To get a more complete picture of which firms are generating loyal customers, I compared the Net Recommendations score for each company to its industry average. The top five on the list are credit unions, Sun Trust Bank, JetBlue, Vanguard, and Kaiser.  Here are the 25 firms that were 10 points or more above their peers:

 

 

*Net Recommendations: We asked consumers how likely they were to recommend firms to a friend or colleague on a 5-point scale from (1) not at all likely to (5) very likely. To create the Net Recommendations score, we took the percentage of consumers who gave the company a “4″ or “5″ and subtracted the percentage of consumers that gave the company a “1″ or “2.”

The bottom line: Does your business generate enough recommendations?

Health Plans Deliver The WORST Experience

In Forrester’s 2008 Customer Experience Index (CxPi), we ranked 113 companies across 12 industries. I recently published a snapshot of the health plan industry looking at the results from the eight plans on the list (Aetna, Anthem (BCBS), CIGNA, Kaiser, Medicaid, Medicare, TriCare, and United Healthcare). Here’s some of what we found:

  • Experiences are “very poor” and getting worse. As a group, the eight health plans ended up with a “very poor” rating of 51%; the lowest score of any of the 12 industries we examined. Making matters worse, the industry dropped three percentage points from the 2007 CxPi results. 
  • Kaiser led the pack. With an “okay” score of 70%, Kaiser led all health plans. All of the other plans ended up with ratings of either “poor” or “very poor.”
  • Medicaid is as bad as it gets. With a terrible rating of 38%, Medicaid was the lowest scoring plan. It also ended up in next to last place across all 113 organizations in our rankings.
  • Only Kaiser improved. When we compared the 2008 results with those from 2007, only Kaiser showed an improvement. CIGNA and Medicaid, on the other hand, declined the most.
  • Some big shifts in CxPi components. There were five double-digit changes in the scores for the three underlying elements of the CxPi: Kaiser’s improvement in being easy to work with and enjoyability, Anthem’s decline in enjoyability, and both CIGNA’s and Medicaid’s drop in being easy to work with.

The bottom line: Put customer experience on the health care reform agenda

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