African Americans Rate Experiences Higher

We recently published the 2011 Temkin Experience Ratings which examines how 6,000 US consumers view their recent experiences with 143 companies. We further analyzed the feedback from consumers based on their self-reported ethnicity and here’s what we found:

  • African Americans give companies the highest experience ratings in eight of the 12 industries
  • Hispanics give companies the lowest ratings in seven of the 12 industries
  • The largest ethnic gaps, 11%, are with health plans (African Americans/Hispanics) and investment firms (Caucasians/Hispanics)

I will be posting about other demographic segments and also about our analysis of the Temkin Loyalty Ratings data. If you want to get access to the data, go to the Temkin Ratings website.

Research note: There is a known bias in this type of research on Hispanics; it does not include responses from non English speaking consumers and likely underweights those consumers that use English as a secondary language.

The bottom line: It’s important to know your target customer segments

About Bruce Temkin, CCXP
I'm an experience (XM) management catalyst; helping organizations improve results by engaging the hearts and minds of their employees, customers, and partners. I enjoy researching and speaking about these topics. I lead the Qualtrics XM Institute, which is the world's best job. We're igniting a global community of XM Professionals who are inspired and empowered to radically improve the human experience. To achieve this goal, my team focuses on thought leadership, training, and community building. My work is driven by a set of fundamental beliefs: 1) Everything starts and ends with human beings, so you need to understand how people think, feel, and behave; 2) XM is a discipline that needs to be woven throughout an organization's entire operating fabric; and 3) Building the XM discipline requires a combination of culture, competency, and technology.

2 Responses to African Americans Rate Experiences Higher

  1. Kobus says:

    Hi Bruce. This is fascinating to me, and again just emphasises the importance of proper sampling, especially across these demographic variables that vary so much. I know race is always sensitive, but it is found over and over that it does influence the way people see the world.

    In Africa (South Africa), we find the exact same trend, with African respondents generally being more satisfied and giving higher scores than Caucasians. Could it be that it is in people’s genes to give certain ratings? Does this not correlate with income levels? In Africa, due to our sad history, this is unfortunately the case. I have always thought that income might be the ‘driver’ of this phenomenon, but with what you found I might have to rethink my theory. I know that in America the income gap (genie coefficient) is a lot smaller than in Africa, and it definitively does not coincide with race, as much as it does in Africa.



    • Bruce Temkin says:

      Kobus: Thanks for the feedback; I shared these results to raise the dialogue. I have not done the analysis to figure out if the drivers of the difference across ethnic groups is based on other demographic differences (age, income, education, etc.) versus a fundamental difference in how ethnic groups rate their experience. Keep an eye opened for the differences in loyalty which I am about to publish.

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