5 Years of Temkin Experience Ratings, First Drop in CX

As I mentioned when we released the 2015 Temkin Experience Ratings, this is the fifth year of our large-scale customer experience (CX) benchmark. If you downloaded the free report (and why wouldn’t you?), then you would have seen some data and graphics on how the industry ratings have changed over those five years. Here’s one of the key graphics…

1503_TxRIndustryChanges5YrsComputers is the only sector that has increased every year, while banks, credit cards, supermarkets have not had any declines. The results over the past year, however, showed a disappointing shift in direction; 10 of the 19 industries declined. It’s the first year that a majority of industries declined, with the largest previous number being four industries that dropped last year.

What’s going on here?

One explanation is that companies are getting worse at CX. Given the amount of effort that companies are putting into improving CX, this does not seem like a likely situation. I could buy an argument that they aren’t getting better, but there’s no reason to believe that they are getting worse.

A second explanation is that consumer expectations are rising at a pace that is faster than the speed at which companies are improving their CX. This makes sense to me. A few companies that are really, really good at CX establish a baseline of expectations for consumers across all of their interactions.

Keeping up with your mediocre peers may no longer be a viable strategy. As consumer discontent rises, there will be more opportunities for your competitors (or entirely new competition) to radically improve their CX and steal your customers.

The bottom line: CX isn’t keeping up with customer expectations.

About Bruce Temkin, CCXP
I am a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers. I am also the co-founder and Emeritus Chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

4 Responses to 5 Years of Temkin Experience Ratings, First Drop in CX

  1. Thank you for sharing the 2015 results/analysis!
    Will you be including hospital/medical clinics in future studies given the transformational changes including M&As that are making these service providers for profit entities? Given the competitive dynamics, hospitals are now in the business of serving a customer/patient community that have choices due to higher out of pocket expenses. They’re also comparing this health experience against similar retail and hotel experiences.

    • Bruce Temkin says:

      Hi Teresa: Thank for commenting. I agree that CX is very important and becoming even more important on the delivery side of health care. We examine the industry groups every year, and will certainly consider hospitals/clinics next year.

  2. Lee Tucker says:

    Interesting stuff Bruce. I’d be very curious to know if there’s any way to break this out by contact channel (mobile, web, voice). Companies have poured tons of $$ into their mobile and web channels, not nearly as much lately into voice. We’ve had several years of Siri and Google Voice to for people to get a taste of what is possible with natural language, but it seems to me that despite the fact that lots of customers still use the phone, companies still have a lousy or at best, mediocre automated system that we have to use before talking with a live agent. So it’s no surprise that the experience scores have dropped.

    • Hi Lee: Our Temkin Experience Ratings does not look at individual channels, but we do have a Temkin Web Experience Ratings and a Temkin Customer Service Ratings that look at more specific areas of the experience. I agree with your observation about the untapped potential of natural language interfaces — why should people have to learn a new language to interact with technology?

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