Google Leads High-Tech In Innovation Equity

In a recent Temkin Group report, we examined the Innovation Equity Quotient (IEQ) for 50 large brands. IEQ looks at the percentage of consumers that are likely to try something new from a company.  Within the study, there are five consumer-facing high-tech companies (we didn’t include IBM and Intel, for instance, because they don’t tend to sell directly to consumers).

Since innovation is such a cornerstone to high-tech companies, I decided to take a closer look at those companies. Here’s a look at the IEQ for those firms along with data showing difference across age groups.

Google has the highest IEQ, which isn’t surprising since many consumers see Google as a provider of free offerings. More surprising, however, is that Microsoft’s IEQ outpaces Apple’s IEQ. This data bodes well for Google and Microsoft getting mind share for their new products.

High-tech IEQ is clearly skewed to younger audiences, especially for Apple and Google.

The bottom line: High-tech companies need customers to want their new products

Customer Service Champs From BusinessWeek

In its current issue “Extreme Customer Service,” BusinessWeek published it’s annual report on customer service which ranks the “Customer Service Champs.” Here are the top 10 on the list:

  1. AMAZON.COM
  2. USAA
  3. JAGUAR
  4. LEXUS
  5. THE RITZ-CARLTON
  6. PUBLIX SUPER MARKETS
  7. ZAPPOS.COM
  8. HEWLETT-PACKARD
  9. T. ROWE PRICE
  10. ACE HARDWARE

While we didn’t evaluate the same group of companies, there’s an overlap between this list and Forrester’s customer experience rankings. In our rankings, Amazon.com came in 4th and USAA came in 2nd. That’s not a surprise; customer service is often a key component of an overall customer experience strategy (look for an upcoming post that explores the difference between customer service and customer experience).

I’m quoted in the article “Customer Service in a Shrinking Economy” which discusses customer service in this economic environment (note: take a look at my posts about managing in a recession). It’s an execellent article; full of examples from companies like Zappos, Four Seasons, USAA, and Schwab.  

While we’re discussing customer service, don’t forget my “CARES” model:

  • Communication (clearly communicate the process and set expectations)
  • Accountability (take responsibility for fixing the problem or getting an answer)
  • Responsiveness (don’t make the customer wait for your communication or a solution)
  • Empathy (acknowledge the impact that the situation has on the customer)
  • Solution (at the end of the day, make sure to solve the issue or answer the question)

The bottom line: Congratulations to the customer service champs!

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