PetSmart and Amazon Lead Retailers in Customer Experience

We recently released the 2015 Temkin Experience Ratings that ranks the customer experience of 293 companies across 20 industries based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers.

PetSmart and Amazon.com tied for the top spot, each scoring 82%, which put them both in 4th place overall out of 293 companies across 20 industries. Walgreens came in a close third with a rating of 81% and a ranking of 8th, while Bed Bath & Beyond, Lowe’s, and Costco all earned 79% and tied for 19th place overall.

At the other end of the spectrum, RadioShack was at the bottom of the list for the fifth straight year, earning a rating of 63%. Six other retailers earned Temkin Experience Ratings below 70%: Sears, Gap, Best Buy, GameStop, Kmart, and Foot Locker.

Here are some additional findings:

  • Retail was one of only five industries to improve its ratings between the 2014 and 2015. The industry average for retailers increased by 1.7 percentage-points.
  • Foot Locker (+7 points), Dollar General (+6 points), Walgreens (+5 points), and the Bed Bath & Beyond (+5 points) improved the most between 2014 and 2015.
  • Overall, the retail industry averaged a 74% rating in the 2015 Temkin Experience Ratings and came in 3rd place out of 20 industries. It was also one of only five industries to improve its rating over the past year, increasing its average by 1.7 percentage points.
  • True Value (-6 points), Sam’s Club (-5 points), and Best Buy (-5 points) declined the most between 2014 and 2015.

Read more of this post

Amazon Kindle Leads Computers and Tablets in Customer Experience

We recently released the 2015 Temkin Experience Ratings that ranks the customer experience of 293 companies across 20 industries based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers.

Amazon (Kindle) and Apple deliver the best customer experience in the computer and tablet industry, according to the 2015 Temkin Experience Ratings, an annual ranking of companies based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers. Amazon took the top spot with a rating of 76%, placing it 41st overall out of 293 companies. Apple came in second with a rating of 68% and an overall ranking of 119th.

While the Temkin Experience Ratings have included computer makers for five years, it added tablets to this category in 2015. Amazon’s Kindle—a newcomer to the Ratings—unseated Apple as the highest-scoring computer and tablet maker, a position Apple had held for the previous three years.

At the other end of the spectrum, Lenovo and Asus tied for the lowest-rated computer and tablet maker, each with a rating of 55% and an overall ranking of 245th. Lenovo dropped six percentage-points from 2014, while this is the first year that Asus has been included in the Ratings.

Overall, the computer & tablet industry averaged a 63% rating in the 2015 Temkin Experience Ratings and tied for 11th place out of 20 industries. It was also one of only 5 industries to improve its rating over the past year, increasing its average by 1.2 percentage points.

Here are some additional findings:

  • The ratings of all computer makers in the 2015 Temkin Experience Ratings are as follows: Amazon (76%), Apple (68%), Hewlett-Packard (64%), Barnes & Noble (60%), Toshiba (60%), Sony (60%), Acer (57%), Dell (57%), Lenovo (55%), and Asus (55%).
  • Sony (+5 points) and Apple (+1 point) were the only companies in this industry to improve their ratings between 2014 and 2015.
  • Lenovo (-6 points), Acer (-4 points), and Dell (-2 points) declined by the most percentage-points between 2014 and 2015.

Read more of this post

Examining Amazon.Com’s Relentless Customer Advocacy

Last week I attended the Arizona State University, Center for Services Leadership (CSL) Compete Through Service Symposium. It was an excellent event. I was impressed by what the CSL is doing to equip future customer service/experience leaders.

One of the speakers was Mike Gathright, Director Americas Customer Services at Amazon.com. He describe Amazon.com as “The Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company,” or just EMC3. It’s no accident that Amazon.com scores so consistently high in the Temkin Experience Ratings and Temkin Customer Service Ratings. The company works on it.

I really love one of the company’s tenets, Relentlessly advocate for customers. It sounds like something that all companies should strive to do.

Gathright explained that Amazon.com has three key priorities:

  • Empower your people
  • Listen to customers
  • Invent for customers

To deliver on those priorities, the company uses a number of internal quality processes including Kaizen (continuous improvement) and Genba walk (seeing and observing the actual process or activity).

One of the quality efforts that I really like is the use of an Andon Cord. This is a concept where any employee can identify a quality problem and halt manufacturing. The implementation at Amazon.com is that any phone agent can pull the Andon cord (not a real cord), which will remove the buy button from all of its sites, immediately stopping the sale of a product. This step kicks off a process for the product team to find and solve the root cause of the problem.

To get the Andon cord going, Amazon.com celebrates its use and analyzes the savings from avoiding quality issues with products sent to customers. The company also built a tool to help associates decide if the situation they are seeing warrants them pulling the Andon cord.

Gathright also discussed the notion of one-way doors and two-way doors in the context of innovation. One-way doors are changes that you can’t undo, while two-way doors are changes that can be undone if they don’t work. He said that Amazon.com goes big and bold through two-way doors.

The company taps into its employees with a Twitter-like tool internally to crowd-source ideas. Employees submit ideas and they get voted up or down based on the likes and dislikes from associates. Gathright also said that the company believes in “hiring the right people and getting out of their way.”

To measure the effectiveness of Amazon.com’s customer service, the company asks a simple question: “Did we solve your problem?” The answer to that question is the only key metric.

When asked about the trade-off between CX and bottom line results, Gathright explained that it’s not “either/or,” it’s more like “both/and.”

The bottom line: Amazon.com is purposeful about delivering great CX.

Congrats To Industry Leaders in Customer Service

Since today is the last day of Customer Service Week, I’m give a shout out to industry leaders in the 2014 Temkin Customer Service Ratings. The chart below shows the leaders across 19 industries, along with where they ranked compared with the 233 companies in the ratings.

1410_TCSR_IndustryLeaders

The bottom line: Happy Customer Service Week!

 

USAA and Capital One 360 Top 2014 Temkin Web Experience Ratings

We just published the 2014 Temkin Web Experience Ratings, the fourth year of the ratings. It uses feedback from 10,000 U.S. consumers to rate 222 organizations across 19 industries.

Download dataset for $295

USAA’s banking business took the top spot and Capital One 360 (formerly ING Direct) earned the second highest rating in the 2014 Temkin Web Experience Ratings, which rates 222 companies across 19 industries. USAA’s insurance and credit card businesses tied for third place.Rounding out the top 13 companies in the ratings are Charles Schwab, Amazon.com, credit unions, TD Bank, U.S. Bank, Sheraton, Ace Hardware, eBay, and Nordstrom.

The award for delivering the worst web experience goes to Coventry Health Care, followed closely by Medicaid. Four of the bottom 14 organizations are health plans and three are TV service providers. The remaining companies in the bottom 14 of the Temkin Web Experience Ratings are Charter Communications, Comcast (TV service and Internet service), Dunkin’ Donuts, Time Warner Cable (TV service and Internet service), Jack in the Box, CareFirst, MetroPCS, Highmark, Adobe, and Wendy’s.

1406_TWER_BestWorst

Here’s how the industries compare with each other:

1406_TWER_Industries

The 2014 Temkin Web Experience Ratings shows that companies have made improvements in web experience between 2013 and 2014. Led by airlines, which increased by nearly 15 percentage points since last year, 17 of 19 industries improved. The two industries that earned lower ratings in 2014 are parcel delivery services and rental cars.

Nearly two-thirds of the 195 organizations that were in both the 2013 and 2014 Temkin Web Experience Ratings improved this year. On average, firms earned an increase of 3.2 percentage points. Eleven companies improved by more than 15 percentage points: Southwest Airlines, Health Net, United Airlines, PetSmart, AOL, Sony, Bright House Networks, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Edward Jones, Cablevision, and AAA.

Six companies saw their Temkin Web Experience Ratings fall by 10 points or more between 2013 and 2014: Dunkin’ Donuts, Avis, Hertz, Jack in the Box, Dollar, and Blackboard.

1406_TWER_IncreaseDecrease

Methodology:

The data was collected from an online survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers during January 2014. Quotas were set to mirror the U.S. census data for age, income, gender, ethnicity, and geographic regions of the U.S. population.

Temkin Web Experience Ratings are based on asking consumers the following question about companies with whom they’ve had a customer service interaction during the previous 60 days: “Thinking back to your most recent interaction with the websites of these companies, how satisfied were you with the experience?” Potential responses range from 1= “very dissatisfied” to 7= “very satisfied.” Temkin Web Experience Ratings are calculated by taking the percentages of consumers who respond with a 6 or 7 and subtracting the percentage who respond with 1, 2, or 3.

Download dataset for $295

Temkin Ratings website
You can view a sortable list of results from the Temkin Web Experience Ratings as well as other ratings on the Temkin Ratings website.

 

Sam’s Club and Amazon.com Lead Retail Industry 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.

Sam’s Club and Amazon.com continue their reign as the highest-rated retailers for the third straight year, each earning an “excellent” rating. Sam’s Club narrowly beat out Amazon.com for the top spot, receiving an 81% rating and an overall rank of 8th out of 268 companies across 19 industries. With ratings of 79% each, Costco, PetSmart, Ace Hardware, and BJ’s Wholesale Club also earned high marks from customers. At the other end of the spectrum, RadioShack and Foot Locker tied for last place among 45 retailers. This is the fourth straight year that RadioShack has been at the bottom of the industry.

Download entire dataset for $395

RetailersA
Here are some additional findings from the retail industry: Read more of this post

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).

Download report for $195
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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:

1402_EconomicsOfServiceRecovery

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.

Download report for $195
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The bottom line: Make sure to recover quickly after a bad experience

Improve the Experience for Gift Card Recipients

In a recent research report we used Temkin Group’s SLICE-B experience review methodology to evaluate the experience of buying a gift card online from Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, CVS, Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, Target, Walgreens, and Walmart. But those journeys don’t end when the gift card is sent; there’s an important person on the other side of those gifts—the recipient. So, to analyze the entire end-to-end gift-card experience provided by each retailer, we took a look at the experience from the viewpoint of the person who received the gift cards.

You can download a free copy of our Insight Snapshot: Gift Card Receiving Experience (.pdf) that includes screen shots of the best practices.

1311_GiftCardRecipientGoodBad

Here are some of the best practices that we found: Read more of this post

50 CX Tips: eBook and Infographic

1310_50CXTips_COVERI recently completed a series of 50 customer experience (CX) tips. To make it easier for people to read and download all of the tips, I assembled them into a free eBook: 50 CX Tips: Simple Ideas, Powerful Results.

Each of the 50 CX Tips is aligned with one or more of Temkin Group’s four customer experience core competencies: Purposeful Leadership, Compelling Brand Values, Employee Engagement, and Customer Connectedness.

The CX Tips include examples from a wide variety of companies including Adobe, Amazon.com, Apple, BCBS of Michigan, Becker and Poliakoff, Big Lots, BMO Financial Group, Bombardier Aerospace, CDW, Charles Schwab, Citrix, Disney, EMC, Fidelity Investments, Hampton Inn, Hilton, IBM, Intersil, Intuit, JetBlue, Microsoft, Oklahoma City Thunder, Oracle, Safelite AutoGlass, Salesforce.com, SanDIsk, SimplexGrinnell, Southwest Airlines, Sovereign Assurance of NZ, Sprint, Starbucks, Stream Global Services, Sam’s Club, USAA, VMware, and ZocDoc.
DownloadButton200wWhile you may have a hard time applying all 50 CX TIps, you should be able to identify several that will work for your organization. I challenge you to select three or more of the CX Tips to implement. Here’s an idea: Have each of your team members pick the five CX Tips that they think would be the most powerful for your organization. Use a team meeting to discuss everyone’s selections and pick the ones you want to implement.

We also created an infographic with the 50 CX tips. Here’s a version with the top 10 CX tips (click on the graphic to get a .pdf of the full infographic).

Top10CXTips_TemkinGroupThe bottom line: A handful of CX Tips can propel your customer experience.

USAA On Top of 2013 Temkin Customer Service Ratings

We just released the third annual Temkin Customer Service Ratings of 235 companies across 19 industries based on a study of 10,000 U.S. consumers (see full list of firms).

Download entire dataset for $295

Company Results

Here are some company highlights:

2103TCSR_TopBottomFirms2103TCSR_IndustryLeadersLaggards

  • USAA earned the top two spots for its insurance and banking businesses. Other companies at the top of the ratings are credit unionsAce HardwareCharles SchwabDollar TreeChick-fil-ASonic Drive-InHy-VeeCostcoTrader Joe’s, Advantage, Publix, and H.E.B.
  • TV service providers and Internet service providers earned nine out of bottom 10 spots in the ratings.
  • For the second straight year, Charter Communications took the bottom spot. The rest of the firms in the bottom five are Time Warner CableCox CommunicationsOptimum (i/o), and CareFirst.
  • The following companies earned ratings that were 15 or more points above their industry averages: USAA (insurance and banking), Alaska Airlines, credit unions, Advantage, Kaiser Permanente, TriCare, Charles Schwab, and Bright House Networks.
  • Five companies earned ratings that were 15 or more points below their industry averages: Apple Stores, US AirwaysRadioShack, HSBC, and 21st Century.
  • Twenty-three percent of companies earned “strong” or “very strong” ratings, while 37% earned “weak” or “very weak” ratings.

Temkin Group also examined year-over-year results for the 171 companies that were in both the 2012 and 2013 Temkin Customer Service Ratings and found that:

  • Forty-four percent of companies improved their ratings while 47% experienced a decline.
  • Twenty companies showed double-digit increases, led by: Citibank (banking and credit cards), U.S. Bank, Hyundai, Nissan, Old Navy, Charles Schwab, Continental Airlines, and Piggly-Wiggly.
  • Eleven companies showed double-digit decreases, led by: LG, Giant Eagle, Toshiba, Cox Communications, ING Direct, and Budget.

Industry Results

Here are some industry highlights:

2103TCSR_Industries

  • Grocery chains, retailers, and fast food chains earned the highest average Temkin Customer Service Ratings, while TV service providers, Internet service providers, wireless carriers, and health plans earned the lowest ratings.
  • On average, credit card issuers, banks and fast food restaurants improved the most while appliance makers, TV service providers and investment firms declined the most.

Calculating the Temkin Customer Service Ratings

During January 2013, Temkin Group asked 10,000 U.S. consumers to identify the companies that they had interacted with on their websites during the previous 60 days. These consumers were asked the following question:

Thinking back to your most recent customer service interaction with these companies,
how satisfied were you with the experience?

Responses from 1= “very dissatisfied” to 7= “very satisfied”

For all companies with 100 or more consumer responses, we calculated the “net satisfaction” score. The Temkin Customer Service  Ratings are calculated by taking the percentage of consumers that selected either “6” or “7” and subtracting the percentage of consumers that selected either “1,” “2,” or “3.”

Download entire dataset for $295

Temkin Ratings website

To see all of the companies in the Temkin Customer Service Ratings as ell as all of our other Temkin Ratings and sort through the results, visit the Temkin Ratings website

The bottom line: TV service providers deliver terrible customer service

Amazon-ing the Newspaper Experience

As you’ve likely heard, Jeff Bezos purchased the Washington Post and related media properties for $250 million. You can see some of what Bezos has in mind from his letter to the Washington Post employees. Here’s an excerpt:

“The Internet is transforming almost every element of the news business: shortening news cycles, eroding long-reliable revenue sources, and enabling new kinds of competition, some of which bear little or no news-gathering costs. There is no map, and charting a path ahead will not be easy. We will need to invent, which means we will need to experiment. Our touchstone will be readers, understanding what they care about – government, local leaders, restaurant openings, scout troops, businesses, charities, governors, sports – and working backwards from there.”

My take: I applaud Bezos for making this move. Yes, the newspaper business is going through very tough times, but let’s look at the numbers. Here’s the average amount of time that U.S. consumers spend on different media activities from Temkin Group’s Media Benchmark Study:

MediaUsageU.S. consumers, on average, spent 1.13 hours per day reading newspapers (on paper) in 2012, a number that dropped to .95 hours in 2012. During the same period, reading of news online increased from 1.18 to 1.37 hours. Collectively, U.S. consumers increased the time they spent reading news from 2.31 to 2.32 hours. While  newspaper circulations (on paper) may be declining, news consumption is on the rise. It’s fun to think about what Bezos can do with over two hours of a consumer’s day.

So how can Bezos take advantage of this growing appetite for news? By applying Amazon’s online experience design and predictive analytics skills to build around the Washington Post’s core asset, its strong brand and its national/international journalism. Here are some ways that Bezos might Amazon-ize the newspaper experience:

  • Dynamically personalized newspaper (My News): You can get news feeds from lots of sources today, but they are typically based on static preferences and pre-set search criteria. What about a daily “newspaper” that adapts over time to my needs. An Amazon-ized newsfeed would identify what I’m likely to want to read based on my profile, previous content that I’ve consumed and liked, purchases that I’ve made (including books and other products), my current location, and the content that people like me enjoy reading. If I’m someone who likes to read a daily newspaper, then it can be formatted for on-demand printing from my home.
  • Suggested reading. If I’m reading a news story and want to read more on the topic, Amazone-ized news can serve up related information from relevant articles, blog posts, and other sources beyond just the Washington Post content. There may even be some books that Amazon might suggest based on the news that I’m interested in reading.
  • “Give-it-A-Try” content. Online news eliminates some of the random discovery that happens when reading a newspaper, but Amazon-ized news could incorporate that into the online experience by creating a “Give it a Try” type of content that includes articles that aren’t typical for the reader’s preferences.
  • Democratization of journalists. Good Washington Post journalists will shine, but marginal ones will be set aside as Amazon-ized news will reward the authors who people like to read, whether or not they are Washington Post journalists. Amazon can continue its push to enable self-publishing (as it does in Kindle Direct Publishing and CreateSpace) in the news space, enabling some independent writers to become featured writers in the content if their work seems to be liked by a large number of people or they become very popular with a niche of consumers. (Note: Who knows, maybe Customer Experience Matters will become a popular source for the Washington Post).
  • Prime bundling: Prime membership includes free two-day shipping and some free streaming movies, so why not include free subscription to some form of the Washington Post content.
  • Really, really smart marketing. Understanding the content that we consume an the products that we’ve purchased will allow Amazon-ized news to provide very relevant ads, even more tailored than what Google can provide. And Amazon can find ways to embed opportunities to purchase within the content. And, anything that people want to buy is one click away from a final purchase on Amazon.
  • Kindle News. Amazon can also make the Kindle a prime-time news platform. As more people get comfortable reading their books on Kindles and other mobile/tablet applications, Amazon can dominate the news delivery service. Look for Kindle News Apps on every mobile device you can think about.

What’s next? These changes won’t happen overnight. But what might be on Bezos’ roadmap if he successfully Amazon-izes the newspaper business? Yahoo! If Bezos and company can generate new value from the Washington Post’s reach and brand, think about what can be done by Amazon-ing Yahoo! This $250 million acquisition may just be a small incubator for a much larger strategy to acquire Yahoo! and take on Google. That clash of online titans would be fun to watch and good for consumers who would benefit from an accelerated pace of innovation.

The bottom line: I’m looking forward to seeing Bezos Amazon-ize the newspaper industry

Amazon and USAA On Top of 2013 Temkin Web Experience Ratings

We just released the third annual Temkin Web Experience Ratings of 211 companies across 19 industries based on a study of 10,000 U.S. consumers (see full list of firms).

Download entire dataset for $295

Company Results

Here are some company highlights:

2013TWERCompanyBestWorst

  • For the third straight year, Amazon.com topped the Temkin Web Experience Ratings while USAA took the next two spots for its bank and insurance businesses.
  • Other companies at the top of the ratings are RegionsU.S. BankeBayAdvantage Rent A Carcredit unions, and QVC.
  • At the other end of the spectrum, MSNHealth NetEarthLink, and Cablevision earned the lowest ratings.
  • Only 6% of companies earned “strong” or “very strong” ratings, while 63% earned “weak” or “very weak” ratings.
  • Amazon.com and USAA’s insurance business earned ratings that were 20 points above their industry averages and eight other companies were at least 10 points above their peers: Kaiser Permanente, Advantage Rent A Car, eBay, QVC, USAA (bank), Sonic Drive-In, Charles Schwab, and Fidelity Investments.
  • Health Net and RadioShack earned ratings that were 20 points or more less than their industry averages and six other companies were at least 15 points below their peers: 21st Century, American Family, Days Inn, Taco Bell, and Kmart.

Temkin Group examined year-over-year results for the 154 companies that were in the 2012 and 2013 ratings and found that:

  • Forty-one percent of companies improved, while 53% declined.
  • Over half of the companies that were in the 2012 and 2013 ratings earned lower scores this year.
  • Eight companies showed double-digit increases: Humana, Old Navy, U.S. Bank, Citibank, TriCare, Blue Shield of California, Toyota, and Safeway.
  • Twenty-one companies declined by at least 10 points and six companies dropped by more than 15 points: Southwest Airlines, MSN, United Airlines, ShopRite, Cablevision, and Bright House Networks.

Industry Results

Here are some industry highlights:

2013TWERIndustries

  • Banks earned the highest average Temkin Web Experience Ratings, followed by investment firms, retailers, credit card issuers, and hotel chains.
  • Five industries earned average ratings of “very weak” ratings: Internet service providers, TV service providers, airlines, health plans, and wireless carriers.
  • Seven industries improved between 2012 and 2013., while nine declined. Airlines suffered the most dramatic drop, losing 15 points.

Calculating the Temkin Web Experience Ratings

During January 2013, Temkin Group asked 10,000 U.S. consumers to identify the companies that they had interacted with on their websites during the previous 60 days. These consumers were asked the following question:

Thinking back to your most recent interaction with the websites of these companies,
how satisfied were you with the experience?

Responses from 1= “very dissatisfied” to 7= “very satisfied”

For all companies with 100 or more consumer responses, we calculated the “net satisfaction” score. The Temkin Web Experience Ratings are calculated by taking the percentage of consumers that selected either “6” or “7” and subtracting the percentage of consumers that selected either “1,” “2,” or “3.”

Download entire dataset for $295

Temkin Ratings website

To see all of the companies in the Temkin Trust Ratings as ell as all of our other Temkin Ratings and sort through the results, visit the Temkin Ratings website

The bottom line: Web experiences are heading in the wrong direction.

USAA On Top (Again) in 2013 Temkin Trust Ratings

We just released the third annual Temkin Trust Ratings of 246 companies across 19 industries (see full list).

Download entire dataset for $295

Company Results

For the third straight year, USAA‘s insurance business earned the top ranking in the Temkin Trust Ratings. Here are additional highlights:

1306_13TrustTopBottom

  • Two of USAA’s business areas —insurance and banking—topped the list of companies. USAA’s credit card business also ranked sixth.
  • The other companies in the top 10 of the ratings are credit unions, Publix, H.E.B., Amazon.com, Trader Joe’s, Charles Schwab, and Sam’s Club.
  • HSBC earned two of the bottom three spots for its credit card and banking businesses.
  • TV service providers and Internet service providers dominate the bottom of the ratings, collectively taking 10 of the bottom 15 spots. The other companies in the bottom 15 are US Airways, CareFirst, and T-Mobile.

We also examined year-over-year results for 204 companies that were also in the 2012 Temkin Trust Ratings. Here are some highlights of that analysis:

  • Citigroup in credit cards and Hyundai earned the largest jump (21 points) over their 2012 Temkin Trust Ratings. The other largest gainers are Alaska Airlines, Bank of America in credit cards and banking, Continental Airlines, Avis, and EarthLink.
  • Cox Communications in TV service and Fifth Third in banking lost the most ground (17 points) since last year. The other largest decliners are HSBC in banking, PNC in banking, JCPenneyBright House Networks, and eMachines in computers.

Industry Results

Here are the highlights of the 19 industries in the 2013 Temkin Trust Ratings:

1306_13TrustIndustries

  • Grocery chains earn the most trust while TV service providers earn the least trust from their customers.
  • Six companies earned Temkin Trust Ratings that are 20 percentage points or more above their industry average: USAA (banking, credit cards, insurance carriers), credit unions (banking), TriCare (health plans), and Kaiser Permanente (health plans).
  • Four companies earned Temkin Trust Ratings that are 20 percentage points or more below their industry average: HSBC (banking and credit cards), US Airways (airlines), 21st Century (insurance carriers).
  • Led by credit card issuers and rental car agencies, 14 of the 18 industries in the 2012 and 2013 Temkin Trust Ratings improved over last year’s scores. The only four industries with declining ratings are TV service providers, retailers, appliance makers, and insurance carriers.

Calculating the Temkin Trust Ratings

During January 2013, Temkin Group asked consumers to identify companies that they have interacted with during the previous 60 days.  For a random subset of those companies, consumers are asked to rate companies as follows:

To what degree do you TRUST that these companies will take care of your needs?
Responses from 1= “do not trust at all” to 7= “completely trust”

For all companies with 100 or more consumer responses, we calculated the “net trust” score. The Temkin Trust Ratings are calculated by taking the percentage of consumers that selected either “6” or “7” and subtracting the percentage of consumers that selected either “1,” “2,” or “3.”

Download entire dataset for $295

Temkin Ratings website

To see all of the companies in the Temkin Trust Ratings as ell as all of our other Temkin Ratings and sort through the results, visit the Temkin Ratings website

The bottom line: Without a customer’s trust, it’s hard to expect her loyalty.

Advantage Rent A Car and USAA Lead in 2013 Temkin Forgiveness Ratings

All companies, even customer experience leaders, make mistakes. But how much goodwill have companies built up for consumers to forgive them after those miscues? To answer this question, Temkin Group surveyed 10,000 U.S. consumers about companies with whom they’ve recently interacted. We used this data for the third annual Temkin Forgiveness Ratings of 246 companies across 19 industries.

Download entire dataset for $295

Company Results

Here are the highlights of the 246 companies in the 2013 Temkin Forgiveness Ratings:

  • Advantage earns top spot. With an excellent score of 61%, Advantage earned the highest rating.
  • USAA dominates forgiveness. USAA grabbed the next three spots for its banking, insurance, and credit card businesses.
  • The rest of the top 10. H.E.B., Blackboard, Aldi, Alaska Airlines, credit unions and Publix round out the top 10
  • No industry owns the top. The top 25 companies in the ratings comes form a variety of industries: Four grocery chains, three airlines, three retailers, two banks, two hotel chains, two investment firms, two software firms, one appliance maker, one auto dealer, one credit card issuer, one fast food chain, one health plan, one insurance carrier, and one rental car agency.
  • HSBC dominates the bottom. HSBC earned the bottom two spots in the ratings for its credit card and banking businesses.
  • Many TV service providers are at the bottom. Six of the bottom 12 companies are TV service providers: Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Verizon, Charter Communications, and Optimum (iO)/Cablevision.
  • USAA most outperforms its peers. We compared company ratings with their industry averages and USAA came in the top three spots, 36 points above in banking, 31 points ahead in credit cards, and 28 points ahead in insurance. Three other companies are more than 20 points above their industry averages: Advantage (car rentals), credit unions (banking), and TriCare (health plans).
  • HSBC most underperforms. HSBC fell the farthest below its industry average in two areas, 23 points behind its peers in banking and credit cards. Five other companies had scores that were 15 points and more below their industry: US Airways (airlines), Motel 6 (hotels), McAfee (software), Kia (auto dealers), and Hertz (rental cars).

We also examined year-over-year results for 204 companies that were in both the 2012 and 2013 Temkin Forgiveness Ratings. Here are some highlights of that analysis:

  • Chrysler improves the most. With a jump of 29 percentage points, Chrysler is the most improved company.  Six other companies gained 20 points or more: Continental Airlines, Citigroup, Avis, EarthLink, Ameriprise Financial, and Alaska Airlines.
  • US Cellular declines the most. With a drop of nearly 20 percentage points, US Cellular dropped the most in 2013.  Nine other companies fell by more than 10 points: Bright House Networks, HSBC, Cox Communications, Hertz, PNC, SunTrust Bank, Dollar Rental Car, Hyatt, and TD Ameritrade.

Industry Results

Here are the highlights of the 19 industries in the 2013 Temkin Forgiveness Ratings:

1305_TFR_TopBottomFirms

  • TV service providers are unforgivable. TV service providers, as an industry, earned the lowest Temkin Forgiveness Rating of 12%. It was five points below Internet service providers and seven points below wireless carriers.
  • Grocery chains are the most forgivable.  With an average rating of 39%, grocery chains are the highest scoring industry. Three industries are just four points behind: hotel chains, auto dealers, and rental car agencies.
  • Credit cards make the most improvements. Credit cards made the largest improvement, nine percentage points, over the previous year.  Auto dealers, rental car agencies, and airlines also improved by more than five points.
  • TV service providers head in the wrong direction. Led by TV service providers that dropped three points between 2012 and 2013, three industries earned lower scores in 2012. The other industries are retailers and appliance makers.

Calculating the Temkin Forgiveness Ratings

During January 2013, Temkin Group asked consumers to identify companies that they have interacted with during the previous 60 days.  For a random subset of those companies, consumers are asked to rate companies as follows:

How likely are you to forgive these companies if they deliver a bad experience?
Responses from 1= “extremely unlikely” to 7= “extremely likely”

For all companies with 100 or more consumer responses, we calculated the “net forgiveness” score. The Temkin Forgiveness Ratings are calculated by taking the percentage of consumers that selected either “6” or “7” and subtracting the percentage of consumers that selected either “1,” “2,” or “3.”

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Temkin Ratings website

To see all of the companies in the Temkin Forgiveness Ratings as ell as all of our other Temkin Ratings and sort through the results, visit the Temkin Ratings website

The bottom line: Forgiveness is an asset that you accumulate by consistently meeting customer needs.

Bezos Letter Describes Amazon’s Customer-Centric Blueprint

In his recent letter to shareholders, Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos provides insight into a truly customer-centric organization. The letter demonstrates how Amazon operates with a long-term view of customer value. Here are some of the most powerful components of the letter:

Proactively delighting customers earns trust, which earns more business from those customers, even in new business arenas. Take a long-term view, and the interests of customers and shareholders align.

I frequently quote famed investor Benjamin Graham in our employee all-hands meetings – “In the short run, the market is a voting machine but in the long run, it is a weighing machine.” We don’t celebrate a 10% increase in the stock price like we celebrate excellent customer experience. We aren’t 10% smarter when that happens and conversely aren’t 10% dumber when the stock goes the other way. We want to be weighed, and we’re always working to build a heavier company.”

Bezos understands the value of Amazon’s most critical asset, customer loyalty, which I’ve defined as the willingness to consider, trust, and forgive. That focus is what put Amazon.com on the top of the retail sector in the 2013 Temkin Experience Ratings. Great leaders focus on building that customer loyalty asset with the knowledge that it will generate the best returns for all stakeholders in the long run.

Here are some other components of Bezos’ letter that I want to comment on…

As regular readers of this letter will know, our energy at Amazon comes from the desire to impress customers rather than the zeal to best competitors… One advantage – perhaps a somewhat subtle one – of a customer-driven focus is that it aids a certain type of proactivity. When we’re at our best, we don’t wait for external pressures. We are internally driven to improve our services, adding benefits and features, before we have to.”

My take: Too many companies overly focus on their competition, a process that leads to collective mediocrity. Great companies focus their energies, from learning to innovating, on three questions: who are our customers? what do they want and need? how can we provide them even more value?

We build automated systems that look for occasions when we’ve provided a customer experience that isn’t up to our standards, and those systems then proactively refund customers.

My take: This type of proactive approach is not only great for building trust with customers, but it also establishes pressure within Amazon to do the right thing all the time. It creates an environment where mistakes are proactively found, fixed, and prevented in the future.

Our business approach is to sell premium hardware at roughly breakeven prices. We want to make money when people use our devices – not when people buy our devices. We think this aligns us better with customers. For example, we don’t need our customers to be on the upgrade treadmill. We can be very happy to see people still using four-year-old Kindles!

My take: If you want to align your interests with your customers, then create pricing models where you only make money when customers gain value. This is an increasingly important concept as more products and services are connected online where usage and value can be more closely monitored.

As proud as I am of our progress and our inventions, I know that we will make mistakes along the way – some will be self-inflicted, some will be served up by smart and hard-working competitors. Our passion for pioneering will drive us to explore narrow passages, and, unavoidably, many will turn out to be blind alleys. But – with a bit of good fortune – there will also be a few that open up into broad avenues.”

My take: Every company makes mistakes, but companies that build loyalty with customers also earn their forgiveness. That’s why Amazon scores so high in the Temkin Forgiveness Ratings. It also allows employees to have the confidence to try new things.

The bottom line: Customer-centric organizations are purposefully built

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