Publix Leads Strong Group of Grocers in Customer Experience

This post examines the 15 grocery chains included in the 2012 Temkin Experience Ratings.

Publix earned the top spot in the grocery industry and is the second overall company across all 206 companies in the study. Aldi, H.E.B., and Winn-Dixie also scored very well. These four grocery chains received “excellent” customer experience ratings, a level that was only earned by eight companies across all 18 industries.

The overall grocery industry earned the top spot out of 18 industries, slightly higher than fast food chains and retailers and well ahead of other industries. The majority of the grocery chains earned “good” ratings. Piggly Wiggly, which is the lowest scoring grocery chain, earned an “okay” rating.

Other highlights from the research include:

  • Publix received the highest Functional rating.
  • Publix and Aldi received the highest Accessible ratings.
  • Publix, Aldi, and Winn-Dixie received the highest Emotional ratings.
  • Piggly WIggly received the lowest scores in all three experience dimensions.

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: Grocery chains are doing a pretty good job meeting customer needs

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 Publix Leads Strong Group of Grocers in Customer Experience

  1. Mrs. Smith says:

    I think this data is misleading. I have been shopping at the Piggly Wiggly’s here in SC forever. I know that they are independently owned and vary from state to state (based on personal experience AND research). I have found this particular group to be fantastic on the customer service scale, and definitely better than any of the other grocers here in my area. My local Publix, you can walk up and stand in front of the deli, bakery or meat counter without so much as a glance from any of the staff. Same is true of Food Lion and Bilo in my experience. I think this is an unfair judge of character given PW’s “homegrown – locally owned” values. I’m a believer.

    • Bruce Temkin says:

      Hi Mrs. Smith: Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Piggly Wiggly. Since all of the companies we evaluate are very large organizations, they also serve a large number of customers. Even the best rated companies sometimes deliver bad experiences and the lowest rated companies deliver good experiences. So it’s not surprising to find that some customers have great experiences with even the lowest rated companies in an industry. The only way to rate one company versus another is to have a large sample of consumers provide feedback, which is the basis of our ratings. As it turns out, none of the grocery chains are rated that low overall, even Piggly Wiggly. PW has a high “okay” rating and was in the top third of companies. I hope that you continue to have wonderful experiences at PW!

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