Off Topic: Who’s Watching Football Today?

It’s the most important day in U.S. sports, Superbowl Sunday. As you can see from my choice of graphics, I’m rooting for the Patriots. So let me say up front: Go Pats!

Given the importance of this day, I decided to do a bit of analysis on who actually watches football. In a recent Temkin Group survey, we asked 10,000 U.S. consumers about their sports preferences. It turns out that football is the favorite sport by a wide margin. Fifty-seven percent of Americans like to watch football, which outpaces second place baseball by more than 20 percentage points.

I dug a bit deeper into the consumers that enjoy watching football. It’s not much of a surprise, but men are much more avid fans of football than females across all age groups. The largest gender gap is with males and females between 65 and 74 years old. It also turns out that older consumers are the most interested in football.

I also took a look at the customer bases of 249 large companies to see how many of them enjoy watching football. Led by Sheraton, Residence Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Infiniti, and Avis, 16 companies have at least 20% more than the national average of football enthusiasts. These companies should would probably do well taking out a Superbowl ad.

The bottom line: There will be a lot of people watching the Superbowl (and, go Pats!)

CX Insights From Marriott And JetBlue

I recently spoke at the Customer Experience Strategies Summit in Toronto. While I was there, I was able to catch a few of the other speakers. I really enjoyed hearing from the Marriott and JetBlue speakers. Both companies did very well in the 2011 Temkin Experience Ratings; Marriott was the top rated hotel chain and JetBlue was the second rated airline (behind Southwest). Here are some of the interesting details that they shared:

Scott Allison, VP of Canadian Operations, Marriott:

  • Allison shared this great comment: “culture trumps brand.” Marriott links its strategy as a company with its strategy as en employer. Bill Marriott still visits a lot of hotels and when he does, he first goes to employee areas like employee entrances and break rooms. Employees are also trained on what makes their brand special.
  • Hotel general managers need to hit targets for both customer experience and employee satisfaction to get their bonuses.
  • Something goes wrong, even if it’s a small thing, during about one-quarter of stays — so hotels need to be good at recovery. That’s why the Ritz Carlton empowers associates to spend up to $1,000 per day per guest to improve someone’s stay. The staff reviews guest situations at the beginning of every day, they call it “Stand Up” at Marriott and “Line Up” at the Ritz.

Vicky Stennes, VP of Inflight Experience, JetBlue:

  • Net Promoter Score (NPS) is one of the key measures that the company uses. It also uses J. D. Power which breaks measurements into “people-related” and “non people-related” categories.
  • A couple of years ago, the company noticed a slip in its “people-related” scores so it started a program called “Culture is Service” (CIS). [Note: CIS was discussed in the CEO’s letter to shareholders in JetBlue’s 2010 Annual Report]. As part of CIS, more than 1,000 “crew members” (across the organization) went through training focused on three areas: Inform: Educate everyone on JetBlue’s current state of service, the measurements that it tracks, and share insights on how crew member behaviors affect customer experience; Engage: Elicit an open dialogue with real-time cross-functional problem solving; and Inspire: Give them a sense of the concept of unexpected moments and recognize the great work of crew members over the company’s first 10 years of operations.
  • JetBlue sees success of the CIS program because of an improvement in employee NPS scores of training attendees.
  • Moving ahead, they are looking to add a few things to the CIS training: cross-functional design sessions and education on linking NPS to specific behaviors and to revenue.
  • Stennes shared data that showed correlation between pilot in-flight communications and NPS. They use this data to show pilots that the way they communicate with passengers plays an important role in passenger loyalty.
  • The company also tracks a “Net Helpfulness Score” along with NPS for each flight. They will start using these scores to define scores for crews across their different flights.
  • Stennes also shared some great data: Every 5 promoters leads to 2 new customers and every 16 detractors leads to the loss of 1 customer. A promoter is worth $33 extra dollars ($27 from referrals and $6 from loyalty) to JetBlue while a detractor is worth $104 less than average. One point change in JetBlue’s NPS is worth $5 to $8 million.

The bottom line: Great brands spend a lot of time focusing on their people

Kudos To Customer Service Leaders

The annual Customer Service Week starts today and goes through Friday (10/7). Given the occasion, it seems like a good opportunity to acknowledge some of the better performers in our 2011 Temkin Customer Service Ratings, which ranks 129 large companies across 12 industries.

First of all, kudos to the top 25 companies in the ratings. led by USAA, Edward Jones, Courtyard by Marriott, and Sam’s Club:

But, overall, companies aren’t very good at customer service and there is a wide difference across industries…

…so I want to give a shout out to companies that most outperformed their industry averages. Led by USAA, Southwest Airlines, Discover, American Express, and Edward Jones here are the top 25:

The bottom line: Happy customer service week!

Report: 2011 Temkin Customer Service Ratings

We just published a new Temkin Group report, 2011 Temkin Customer Service Ratings.

Companies are recognizing that customer service is more than a cost-center; it’s often a critical moment of truth that drives customer loyalty. But how effective are companies at delivering good customer service experiences?

Here’s the executive summary:

USAA and Edward Jones took the top spots in the 2011 Temkin Customer Service Ratings. We asked 6,000 US consumers to rate their recent customer service experience. This data allowed us to rate 129 companies across 12 industries. Only 12 of those companies received a “strong” customer service rating. Retailers, hotel chains, and investment firms have the highest average rating, while Internet and TV Service Providers are squarely at the bottom of the ratings. To improve customer service, companies should look at the experience holistically, using Temkin Group’s SLICE-B methodology.

Download report for $195

First of all, kudos to the top 10 firms in the ratings:

1. USAA (insurance)
2. Edward Jones (investments)
3. Courtyard By Marriott (hotels)
3. Sam’s Club (retail)
5. Kohl’s (retail)
5. Lowe’s (retail)
5. Marriott (hotels)
8. BJ’s Wholesale Club (retail)
8. Costco (retail)
8. Hyatt (hotels)

Here are the results across industries:

The report also looks at how companies perform relative to these industry averages. In that analysis, we find that USAA and Southwest Airlines are the most ahead of their industries while RadioShack and HSBC are the farthest behind.

Download report for $195

If you want to get access to all of the data in this ratings, check out the Temkin Ratings website

The bottom line: Customer service needs an experience makeover

Customer Experience Industry Leaders

In my previous post, I introduced the 2011 Temkin Experience Ratings and showed the top 20 firms. While that is the best way to identify overall leaders, I also want to give a shout-out to firms that are leading in their industries.

USAA, for instance, is the tops in two categories: credit card and insurance.  And Cox Communications may only be #82 on the list and have a “poor” rating, but at least it’s better than all of the other TV Service providers.

The bottom line: It’s better to be the best of the worst than the worst of the worst


The 2011 Temkin Experience Ratings

We just published a new Temkin Group report, 2011 Temkin Experience Ratings. Congratulations to the top five companies (out of 143 in the ratings):

1) Amazon.com
2) Kohl’s
3) Costco
4) Lowe’s
4) Sam’s Club

The ratings evaluate 143 large organizations across 12 industries based on feedback from 6,000 US consumers.

Download report for FREE

The Temkin Experience Ratings are based on evaluating three elements of experience:

  1. Functional: How well do experiences meet consumers’ needs?
  2. Accessible: How easy is it for consumers to do what they want to do?
  3. Emotional: How do consumers feel about the experiences?

Here are the top 20 companies in the ratings:

Here are the results for the 12 industries:

Here are some interesting findings from the report:

  • 15 of the top 20 firms are retailers. The exceptions are three hotel chains (Marriot, Hyatt, and Courtyard By Marriott), one bank (Regions), and an insurance company (USAA).
  • Anthem is at the bottom of the list along with six other health plans that are in the bottom 13. Comcast and Charter Communications each show-up twice in the bottom six spots.
  • Only 24 companies ended up with “excellent” or “good” ratings.
  • When we compare company ratings with their industry averages, three companies outperformed their peers by at least 10 points: TriCare (health plan), USAA (insurance and credit cards), and Regions (bank).

Download report for FREE

Are you interested in getting a deeper look at the data? Or do you want to see the differences across age, ethnicity, education, and income segments? Then you should visit Temkin Ratings at www.temkinratings.com.

The bottom line: Customer experience excellence is in short supply.

20 Companies Most Susceptible To Negative Comments Via 3rd Party Ratings Sites

In my previous two posts, I listed companies that were susceptible to negative feedback via Facebook and Twitter. Now it’s time to look at 3rd party ratings sites like TripAdviosr and Yelp.. In the report How Consumers Give Feedback, we analyzed what US consumers did after they had a very bad or a very good experience.

As a part of the analysis, we examined the difference in social media use across 141 companies. Our analysis looked at how often people that had interacted with those companies had also used social media to talk about a very bad experience in the previous 60 days. We then compared that data to the overall US average.

This chart shows the 20 companies that interact with consumers who are most likely to post a comment or rating about a very bad experience on a 3rd party site.

As you can see, Days Inn, Super 8, TD Ameritrade, United Airlines, Hyatt, Hilton, and AirTram Airways are more than the most susceptible to having a bad comment or rating show up on these sites.

The bottom line: These firms need to track third party rating sites more than their peers

20 Companies Most Susceptible To Negative Comments Via Facebook

In the recent Temkin Group Insight report, How Consumers Give Feedback, we analyzed what US consumers did after they had a very bad or a very good experience. One of the areas we examined was the use of social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter.

As a part of the analysis, we examined the difference in social media use across 141 companies. Our analysis looked at how often people that had interacted with those companies had also used social media to talk about a very bad experience in the previous 60 days. We then compared that data to the overall US average.

This chart shows the 20 companies that interact with consumers who are most likely to post a very bad experience on Facebook.

As you can see, Days Inn, E*TRADE, and Apple are twice as susceptible to having a bad experience show up on Facebook.

The bottom line: These firms need to think a bit more about Facebook than the average company

 

Customer Service Is The Worst Touchpoint

I recently published a report called Experiences Across the Customer Lifecycle that examines how satisfied US consumers are with four interactions (researching a product/service, purchasing a product/service, using a product/service, getting customer service) across 14 industries.

In 12 of the 14 industries, customer service was the lowest (or tied for lowest) rated interaction. Across all four touchpoints, hotels are at the top and health plans are at the bottom. Here are some of the highlights from the analysis:

I also examined how consumers rated individual companies. Here’s a shout-out to the companies that outperformed their industry averages by more than 10 percentage points:

  • Researching a product/service: Credit unions, American Express, AT&T, DirecTV, USAA, Amazon.com, Verizon, and Barnes & Noble.
  • Purchasing a product/service: Credit unions, American Express, Medicare, Vanguard, Visa, Apple, Aol, Southwest Airlines, and ING Direct.
  • Using a product/service: Credit unions, Apple, Medicare, USAA, and Toshiba.
  • Getting customer service: Credit unions, Kaiser, Apple, Cox Communications, American Express, Visa, USAA, Barnes & Noble, Marriott, Kohl’s, Southwest Airlines, and Verizon.

The bottom line: The entire customer lifecycle needs and upgrade, especially customer service.

In-Person Satisfaction Snapshot- Costco, Barnes & Noble, and Marriott Top The List

We asked more than 4,500 US consumers about their satisfaction with experiences across 12 different industries: airlines, banks, cell phone service providers, credit card providers, hotels, insurance firms, Internet service providers, investment firms, medical insurance companies, PC manufacturers, retailers, and TV service providers. Our analysis looked at phone, store/branch, and Web interactions.

Satisfaction with Store Interactions

Here are some highlights of consumer feedback on in-person interactions. The analysis looked at satisfaction rates at an industry level and changes from last year’s results, examined satisfaction for individual companies, and compared responses across generations of consumers.

  • Highest industry satisfaction: Retailers (88%)
  • Lowest industry satisfaction: Heath plans (69%) and TV service providers (69%)
  • Most improved industry: Credit card providers (improved 6%)
  • Least improved industry: Internet service providers (declined 7%) and health plans (declined 7%)
  • Highest company satisfaction: Costco (94%), Barnes & Noble (94%), Marriott (94%), Old Navy (93%), credit unions (93%), and Sam’s Club (93%) 
  • Lowest company satisfaction: Time Warner Cable (61%), Road Runner (63%), Sprint (64%), and Comcast (66%)
  • Most satisfied generation: Seniors and Gen Y were most satisfied for four of the industries
  • Least satisfied generation: Gen Yers were least satisfied for six of the industries
  • Largest generation gap: Banks (Gen Y at 86% versus Younger Boomers at 68%)

The bottom line: What’s it like when customers come to see you?

Gen Y Brands Gain, Financial Brands Lose

Interbrand just published its annual ranking of the 100 best global brands. Here are the top 10 brands on the list:

  1. Coca Cola
  2. IBM
  3. Microsoft
  4. GE
  5. Nokia
  6. Totota
  7. Intel
  8. McDonald’s
  9. Disney
  10. Google

Here’s some of the other interesting details from the rankings:

  • Google is the only new entry to the top 10; it was 20th last year. Which company dropped out? Mercedes-Benz was 10th last year and is 11th this year.
  • The listing also provides the change in value of the brands since last year. Here are the biggest changes in brand value:
    • Top gainers: Google (+43%), Apple (+24%), Amazon (+19%), ZARA (+15%), SAP (+13%), and Nintendo (+13%)
    • Top losers: Merrill Lynch (-21%), Gap (-20%), Morgan Stanley (-16%), Citi (-15%), Ford (-12%), and UBS (-11%).
    • The top gainers are what I call “Gen Y brands,” they came to age during the early adulthood of 20 year-olds, while the losers are dominated by large financial institutions.
  • There were 7 new brands on the top 100 list this year: H&M (#22), Blackberry (#73), Ferrari (#93), Giorgio Armani (#94), Marriott (#96), FedEx (#99), and Visa (#100).
  • The highest ranked company on last year’s list that did not make this year’s top 100 was Kodak (#82 in 2007).
  • For fun, I went back and looked at the top 10 brands from 2001. Here they are:
    1. Coca Cola
    2. Microsoft
    3. IBM
    4. GE
    5. Nokia
    6. Intel
    7. Disney
    8. Ford
    9. McDonald’s
    10. AT&T

The bottom line: Just about everyone recognizes this: 

AOL, Comcast Headline Customer Service Hall of Shame

I ran across a MSN Money-Zogby survey that lists “the 10 companies Americans love to hate.” Based on an online survey of 7,000 consumers who rated 140 firms in March, the article anoints the following 10 “winners” to its 2008 customer service hall of shame:

MSN Hall Of Shame

At the other end of the spectrum, the 10 firms that scored the best in the survey were: Marriott, Sheraton, Amazon.com, Hilton, Trader Joe’s, Google, Hampton Inn, Nordstrom, Whole Foods Market, and Holiday Inn.

The bottom line: Each of the firms on the hall of shame need to improve how it C.A.R.E.S!

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