Chick-fil-A Leads Fast Food Industry in 2013 Temkin Experience Ratings

We recently released the 2013 Temkin Experience Ratings that ranks the customer experience of 246 companies across 19 industries based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers. Here are highlights from the fast food industry:

  • The average rating for fast food industry places it at number two out of 19 industries, only behind grocery chains.
  • The average rating for the fast food industry increased from 74.0% in 2012 to 76.3% in 2013.
  • Chick-fil-A is the top scoring fast food chain for the second straight year, with a rating of 82%. That score puts the fast food chain at #3 across all industries. It also earned the top marks for functional and emotional components in fast foods.
  • Three other fast food chains are in the top 10 in the overall ratings; Dunkin’ Donuts, Little Caesar’s, and Sonic Drive-In are all tied at #7.
  • Arby’s earned the top rating for the accessible component.
  • KFC is the lowest-ranked fast food chain with a rating of 67%. That’s four points below the next lowest rated fast food chain, McDonalds.
  • Hardees showed the largest improvement between 2012 and 2013, gaining 10 percentage points. Next on the list, Jack in the Box increased nine percentage points and Domino’s increased eight percentage points.
  • While no firm declined by very much, three fast food chains dropped three percentage points between 2012 and 2013: Starbucks, Taco Bell, and KFC.
  • Here’s a link to industry results from the 2012 ratings.

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Report: 2013 Temkin Experience Ratings

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We published the 2013 Temkin Experience Ratings. The report analyzes feedback from 10,000 U.S. consumers to rate 246 organizations across 19 industries. Congratulations to the top firms in this year’s ratings: Publix, Trader Joe’s, Aldi, Chick-fil-A, Amazon.com, and Sam’s Club.

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You can also download the data for $395.

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

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

Here are the top and bottom companies in the ratings:

2013TER_BestWorstHere’s how the industries compare with each other:

(NOTE: We have published posts on the detailed results for all 19 industries)

2013TER_IndustriesHere are the companies that are leaders and laggards across the 19 industries:

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In this year’s ratings, 37% of companies earned “good” or “excellent” scores, while 28% are rated as “poor” or ”very poor.” Companies with at least a “good” rating grew by nine-percentage points since 2012 and by 21-points since 2011. Of the 203 companies that are included in both the 2012 and 2013 Temkin Experience Ratings, 57% firms had at least a modest increase. The companies that made the largest improvement over 2012 are Citibank, TriCare, TD Ameritrade, Office Depot, EarthLink, Hardees, and Regions Bank.

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To view all of our ratings (experience, loyalty, trust, forgiveness, customer service, and web experience), visit the Temkin Ratings website

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The bottom line: Customer experience is improving, but there’s still a long way to go

Report: Net Promoter Score Benchmark Study, 2012

We just published a Temkin Group report, Net Promoter Score Benchmark Study, 2012. It provides NPS data on 175 U.S. companies across 19 industries. Here’s the executive summary:

USAA took the top two spots for its banking and insurance businesses while HSBC came in at the bottom for banking and credit cards. Our analysis of differences across consumer demographic segments showed that NPS tends to go up with age, doesn’t vary much by income levels, and is often highest with Asians. We also asked consumers what would make them more likely to recommend the companies and found that promoters are more likely to select lower prices and detractors are more likely to select better customer service. While there is some debate about the efficacy of NPS, our analysis shows that promoters are much more likely than detractors to purchase more in the future across all industries. To help you implement a successful NPS program, we’ve included eight tips such as don’t believe in an “ultimate question” and use control charts, not pinpointed goals. The industries included in this report are airlines, auto dealers, banks, computer makers, credit card issuers, fast food chains, grocery chains, health plans, hotel chains, insurance carriers, Internet service providers, investment firms, major appliance makers, parcel delivery services, rental car agencies, retailers, software firms, TV service providers, and wireless carriers.

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(includes the data)

The industries included in this report are airlines, auto dealers, banks, computer makers, credit card issuers, fast food chains, grocery chains, health plans, hotel chains, insurance carriers, Internet service providers, investment firms, major appliance makers, parcel delivery services, rental car agencies, retailers, software firms, TV service providers, and wireless carriers.

The report contains the following components:

  • NPS for 175 companies across 19 industries
  • NPS differences based on age, income, and ethnicity of consumers
  • Improvement areas selected by promoters and detractors by industry
  • Connection between NPS and future purchases by industry
  • Eight tips for implementing a successful NPS program

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The bottom line:  Companies need to give customers a reason to recommend them

Chick-fil-A Customers Are Young, Wealthy, Educated, And Healthy

Chick-fil-A has been in the news lately because of the company’s stance on gay marriage. Don’t worry, I’m not going to use this blog as a sounding board for that controversy. But all of that attention made me think about Chick-fil-A. It’s quite a fast food company. Compared with other fast food companies that we’ve examined, Chick-fil-A is:

Consumers seem to really love Chick-fil-A. So I took a look at their customers along with Burger King, KFC, McDonald’s, and Wendy’s. As the title of this blog states, Chick-fil-A customers are the youngest, wealthiest, most educated, and healthiest.

The bottom line: Politics aside, there’s no denying Chick-fil-A’s popularity

2012 Temkin Customer Service Ratings

Temkin Group has just released the 2012…The 2012 Customer Service Ratings covers 174 companies from 18 industries and is based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers in January 2012.

Congratulations to the 2012 customer service leaders:

1) Publix
1) Hy-Vee
1) Credit unions
4) Chick-fil-A
5) H.E.B
5) Sam’s Club
7) Winn-Dixie
8) ShopRite
8) Aldi
8) Starbucks
8) Giant Eagle
8) JCPenney

At the other end of the spectrum, consumers gave the lowest ratings to Charter Communications, Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Citibank, Qwest, Road RunnerCigna, and Bank of America.

The ratings covers the following industries: Airlines, appliance makers, auto dealers, banks, car rental agencies, computer makers, credit card issuers, fast food chains, grocery chains, health plans, hotel chains, insurance carriers, Internet service providers, investment firms, parcel delivery services, retailers, TV service providers, and wireless carriers.

Temkin Group examined industry averages and found that grocery chains were the only industry to earn a “strong” rating. Retailers, fast food chains, appliance makers, and investment firms round out the top five. But consumers gave very low ratings to TV service providers and Internet service providers.

The research also examines how individual companies are rated relative to their industry peers. Led by credit unions (banks), Kaiser Permanente (health plans), Bright House Networks (TV service), and American Express (credit cards), 15 companies outperformed their industry average Temkin Customer Service Ratings by 10 percentage points or more.

Sixteen firms fell below their industry average by 10 or more percentage points, with Charter Communications (TV service & Internet service), Citibank (banks), Hyundai (auto dealers), Bank of America (banks), and Super 8 (hotels) falling the farthest behind.

Temkin Group also analyzed changes from the 2011 Temkin Customer Service Ratings. Led by computer makers and health plans, 10 of the 12 industries that were in both the 2011 and 2012 ratings improved since last year.

Seventy-five percent of companies that were in the 2011 and 2012 Temkin Customer Service Ratings showed improvement. Fifteen organizations improved by at least 10 percentage points, with these five firms leading the way with improvements of at least 20 percentage points: PNC, Gateway, Toshiba, Farmers, and HSBC. Only two companies had double-digit declines: Edward Jones and Old Navy.

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: Web experience is not good enough for how important it is

2012 Temkin Forgiveness Ratings

Temkin Group has just released the 2012
Every company makes mistakes now and then, but how willing are customers to forgive the company when it happens? Forgiveness is a valuable asset that companies earn by consistently meeting customers’ needs.

We introduced the Temkin Forgiveness Ratings last year to gauge which companies are earning this important element of loyalty. The 2012 Temkin Forgiveness Ratings include 206 companies from 18 industries and is based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers.

Congratulations to the top firms in this year’s ratings: USAA, Hyatt, credit unions, H.E.B., Hy-Vee, Dollar Rent A Car, Chick-fil-A, PublixCostco, and Amazon.com. Of course, not every company enjoys such a high degree of forgiveness from their customers, especially the companies at the bottom of the 2012 ratings: Citigroup, Charter Communications, HSBCChrysler dealers, EarthLink, Bank of America, Comcast, Quest, and US Airways.

We also examined industry averages and found that grocery chains have earned the most forgiveness from consumers followed by retailers, appliance makers, and parcel delivery services. But consumers are not very likely to forgive mistakes by credit card issuers, Internet service providers, and TV service providers.

We examined how individual companies are rated relative to their industry peers. USAA holds the top two spots, outpacing its credit card and banking peers by more than 30 percentage points. USAA also outpaces the insurance industry by more than 20 percentage points. Credit unions, Hyatt, US Cellular, Dollar Rent A Car, Chick-fil-A, and Bright House Networks are also more than 15 percentage points above their industry averages. Five companies fall 15 or more percentage points below their industry’s average Temkin Forgiveness Ratings: Chrysler dealers, Citigroup, Travelers, Charter Communications, and RadioShack.

We also analyzed changes from the 2011 Temkin Forgiveness Ratings. The research shows that consumers are more forgiving this year than they were last year. Led by banks and insurance carriers, all 12 industries that were in both the 2011 and 2012 Temkin Forgiveness Ratings showed improvement.
Sixty-eight of the 139 companies that were in the 2011 and 2012 Temkin Forgiveness Ratings earned double-digit improvements and four companies improved by more than 25 percentage points: TD Ameritrade, Lenovo, USAA, and credit unions. Ten companies lost ground over the last year with the biggest drops coming for Citigroup, Continental Airlines, Travelers, Sears, Holiday Inn Express, and The Hartford.

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: To err is possible, to earn forgiveness is divine

Sam’s Club Is Easiest To Work With, Health Plans Are Most Difficult

We recently published the 2012 Temkin Experience Ratings that ranks the customer experience of 206 companies across 18 industries based on a survey of 10,000 U.S., companies. The ratings are based on three components of experience: functional, accessible, and emotional.

I examined the results for one of those element, accessible, to see which companies are the easiest and least easy to work with. As you can see below, Sam’s Club is the easiest company to work with, but there are several other firms like Publix, Subway, Lowe’s, and Aldi with excellent ratings in this area.

At the other side of the easiness spectrum, Medicaid, Charter Communications (TV and internet service), Empire BCBS, Earthlink, Highmark BCBS, Health Net, and MSN all receive “very poor” ratings. Four out of the eight hardest companies to work with are health plans.

The bottom line: There’s no excuse for being difficult to work with

Report: 2012 Temkin Loyalty Ratings

Access the data from all Temkin Ratings research at the Temkin Ratings website.

We just published a new Temkin Group report, 2012 Temkin Loyalty Ratings. The report analyzes feedback from 10,000 U.S. consumers to rate their loyalty to 206 organizations across 18 industries. Congratulations to the top firms in this year’s ratings: Sam’s ClubAldi, USAA, Publix, credit unions, and Amazon.com.

We added six industries (fast food chains, grocery chains, major appliances, car rental agencies, auto dealers, and parcel delivery services) and 63 companies compared with the 2011 Temkin Loyalty Ratings.

Here is the executive summary from the report:

Sam’s Club, Aldi, and USAA earned the top spots in the 2012 Temkin Loyalty Ratings while Citigroup (banking and credit cards) and Charter Communications (TV service and Internet service) each show up twice in the bottom four. We asked 10,000 U.S. consumers to rate their loyalty to companies across three dimensions: likely to recommend, reluctant to switch, and willing to repurchase. Their responses allowed us to rate the loyalty of customers to 206 companies across 18 industries. One-quarter of companies have “strong” or “very strong” ratings while 50% have “weak” or “very weak” ratings. At an industry level, grocery chains and retailers have the most loyal customers while internet service providers and TV service providers have the least loyal customers. USAA has the most loyal customers across three industries, banking, insurance, and credit cards. When comparing the results from the 2011 and 2012 Temkin Loyalty Ratings, we find that PNC and USAA improved the most and Kohl’s and Hyatt declined the most.

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The Temkin Loyalty Ratings are based on evaluating three components of loyalty:

  1. Recommending: How likely are consumers to recommend the company to friends and colleagues?
  2. Switching: How reluctant are consumers to switch business away from the company?
  3. Repurchasing: How willing are customers to purchase additional products and services from the company?

Here are the ratings for all 206 companies:

Here’s how the industries compare with each other:

Here are some other highlights from the research:

  • USAA (in their banking and credit card divisions) as well as credit unions (banking) outpaced their industry peers by more than 25 percentage points.
  • DHL and RadioShack are the furthest behind their peers, falling more than 20 percentage points below their industry averages.
  • Across the 12 industries we examined in both years, nine earned higher loyalty scores in 2012 and three showed a decline. Computer makers are at the top of the list of gainers while retailers had the largest decline.
  • Of the 139 companies that are included in both the 2011 and 2012 Temkin Loyalty Ratings, 84 firms made at least a small improvement in their scores. Led by PNC and USAA, 19 companies earned double-digit improvements over the last year.
  • Kohl’s and Hyatt are the only companies that declined by more than 10 percentage points over the previous year.

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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: Consumer loyalty remains up for grabs across most industries.

Chick-fil-A, Starbucks, and Subway Are CX Leaders in Fast Food

This post examines the 17 fast food chains included in the 2012 Temkin Experience Ratings.

Chick-fil-A, Starbucks, and Subway earned the top customer experience ratings in the industry and are tied for third spot across all 206 companies. The three leading fast food chains are the only ones in the industry to earn “excellent” customer experience ratings. Eleven of the 17 fast food chains earned “good” ratings while the bottom three—Hardees, Domino’s, and Jack in the Box—earned “okay” ratings.

The overall fast food industry earned the second spot out of 18 industries, slightly behind grocery chains but well ahead of other industries.

Other highlights from the research include:

  • Starbucks and Subway received the highest Functional ratings while Domino’s and Jack in the Box received the lowest.
  • Subway received the highest Accessible ratings while Hardees and Jack in the Box received the lowest.
  • Chick-fil-A and Starbucks received the highest Emotional ratings while Hardees received the lowest.

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: Most fast food chains deliver solid CX

Report: 2012 Temkin Experience Ratings

Access the data from all Temkin Ratings research at the Temkin Ratings website.

We just published a new report, 2012 Temkin Experience Ratings. The report analyzes feedback from 10,000 U.S. consumers to rate 206 organizations across 18 industries. Congratulations to the top firms in this year’s ratings: Sam’s ClubPublix, Starbucks, Subway, Chick-fil-A, Aldi, Winn-Dixie, H.E.B, and credit unions.

We added six industries (fast food chains, grocery chains, major appliances, car rental agencies, auto dealers, and parcel delivery services) and 63 companies compared with the 2011 Temkin Experience Ratings.

Here is the executive summary from the report:

Sam’s Club and Publix earned the top two spots in the 2012 Temkin Experience Rankings, with three fast food chains rounding out the top five. We asked 10,000 U.S. consumers to rate their recent interactions with companies across three dimensions of their experience: functional, accessible, and emotional. Their responses allowed us to rate 206 companies across 18 industries. Only 28% of those companies received at least a “good” rating. Grocery chains earned the highest average scores and health plans dominated the bottom of the ratings. Kaiser Permanente and credit unions most outperformed their industries while DHL and RadioShack fell the farthest behind their peers. None of the companies earned an “excellent” rating for the emotional component, while Charter Communications and Earthlink lead 10 companies falling below the “very poor” threshold in that area. Compared with last year’s ratings, most industries improved, led by a 5.3 point average increase by insurance carriers. When it comes to changes over the past year by individual firms, PNC and Lenovo improved the most while Regions Bank had the sharpest decline.

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

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

Here are the ratings for all 206 companies:

Here’s how the industries compare with each other:

Here are the companies that are leaders across the 18 industries:

Download report for FREE

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: Customer experience is improving, but there’s a long way to go

Starbucks Brews A Comeback With Purpose

Starbucks recently announced excellent results for Q4 2009. Earnings more than tripled and it posted its first quarterly same-store-sales gain in two years, up 4%. Here’s what CEO Howard Schultz said about the results:

I am pleased to report continued progress in our efforts to transform Starbucks and return the company to sustainable, profitable growth while at the same time [remaining] true to our core values and guiding principles

How does Schultz explain the turnaround?

We lost our way. We went back to start-up mode, hand-to-hand combat every day. And with the kind of discussion and focus that probably we had not had as a company since the early days — the fear of failure, the hunger to win.

My take: Starbucks’ turnaround was not accidental. It came from a multi-year effort to rediscover the essence of the company’s brand.

Nearly two years ago I wrote that Starbucks had lost its soul. That’s why Schultz returned to his role as CEO in January 2008. Shortly after his return, Shultz took the unprecedented action of closing 7,100 stores for three hours to “retrain” employees on the Starbucks experience.

Unfortunately, many companies go through this loss of identity when their initial leaders move on. The new executive team often lacks the same clarity and unrelenting commitment to a clear mission.

Shultz said many years ago:  “Customers must recognize that you stand for something.” That sense of purpose was key to Starbucks’ initial expansion as well as its recent recovery. It’s also a great example of what I call Purposeful Leadership, which is one of the four key ingredients of great organizations.

The bottom line: Does your organization have enough purpose?

Congrats To Groundswell Award Winners

For those of you who don’t know, Forrester analysts Josh Bernoff and Charlene Li (she’s no longer with Forrester) published a great book on social computing called Groundswell. In conjunction with that book, Forrester created the Groundswell Awards to recognize firms that accomplish business goals with social applications. Well, the 2008 award winners were just announced and here are this year’s winners across eight categories:

  • Embracing: MyStarbucksIdea.com by Starbucks
  • Energizing: Hershey’s Bliss House Party by House Party
  • Listening: Mattel’s “The Playground” Community by Communispace
  • Managing: Borderless Workplace by Accenture
  • Social Impact: Artshare, Click Exposition, and Posse by Brooklyn Museum
  • Supporting: Nerd Network by National Instruments
  • Talking: Young & Free Alberta by Common Wealth Credit Union
  • Company transformation: Intuit

My take: First of all, congratulations to all of the winners! My research into voice of the customer best practices has pushed me to increasingly look at social technologies. While many of these activities are currently isolated inside of companies and are considered standalone “social computing” activities, I see them getting blended into more comprehensive voice of the customer (VoC) and voice of the employee (VoE) programs. This will become even more important as firms adopt the new management imperative to make listening an enterprisewide skill

The bottom line: Companies should resist being anti-social.

Biggby Coffee Takes On Starbucks

Biggby Coffee, a chain based in Michigan, just opened it’s 100th coffee shop. While this franchise-based company isn’t about to displace Starbucks’ 11,000 US locations, it has an attitude that should help it continue to grow; even while Starbucks closes down some of its newer locations.

I really like what the Biggby Coffee CEO had to say (from an article in the Lansing State Journal):

  • Customer engagement is exactly what the folks at Biggby strive for
  • The culture is what makes us successful. The Biggby way is a way of looking at customers as people, and that kind of engagement we have at our stores makes it a personal experience. People love our coffee, but the reason they come to our stores is it makes them feel good.”
  • We are a franchise company and Starbucks is not. Most of our operators are people from the community. There’s a big difference between an owner running the store and any other restaurant chain with many, many units. They’re not just an employee; they own the business. It adds energy, excitement and enthusiasm.”
  • The most effective thing I can do is go out and spend time at the stores, just hang out and engage. What I’m trying to do is make sure people have that heart that it takes.”

One of the larger franchise owners added this: “One of their philosophies is every customer must leave the store in a better mood than when they arrived.”

The bottom line: Seattle doesn’t have a monopoly on great coffee experiences; or good moods

Insights From Starbucks’ Marketing Chief

I just read an interesting Q&A with Terry Davenport, Senior VP-Marketing at Starbucks. Here are some of the lessons that many companies can learn from his comments:

  • The internet still skews pretty young, especially with MyStarbucksIdea.com.” The company’s online suggestion box gets input from mostly a younger audience, so they can’t assume that it’s fully representative of their audience. My take: Make sure that you understand this phenomena for any online feedback mechanism that you use.
  • There’s another new tool we put in place… the customer passion panel. Starbucks uses this demographically representative online panel to test ideas. My take: All firms should think of developing a standing panel like this to lower the hurdle for getting ongoing customer feedback on a wide range of product and marketing ideas.
  • It’s <the cup> one of the best marketing tools we have.” Starbucks switched the logo on its cup from green to brown and will be switching it back to green again. My take: Don’t underestimate the potential of branding on all of your packaging: product containers, shopping bags, and shipping boxes.
  • Vivanno has been in the innovation stream almost a year now… Davenport talked almost nonchalantly about the company’s stream of innovations. My take: Companies should have pipelines of innovations and a consider a reinvention goal like having 30% of revenues come from products that have been introduced in the previous 3 years.
  • Sorbetto we saw from a couple of different angles in Italy. Sorbetto is a new product that is currently being launched in Los Angeles; it was developed during a trend-spotting trip to Italy last year. My take: Make sure you develop some approaches for innovation that get people in your company to periodically think outside of the box.

The bottom line: Keep an eye on Starbucks’ reinvention efforts

A Double-Tall, Decaff, Skim Blog From Starbucks?

I just read an article in last week’s Advertising Age called Starbucks Gets Web 2.0 Religion, but Can It Convert Nonbelievers? that describes some new social networking efforts at Starbucks. These include the launch of My Starbucks Idea, a site for posting ideas and Ideas in Action, a blog for tracking what Starbucks is doing with the ideas. This announcement comes on the heels of Starbucks’ highly publicized shut-down for staff retraining.

The article raises the question: Is this foray into social networking a good move for Starbucks?

My take: I have no idea. Why not? Because Starbucks’ blog and idea site are neither good nor bad moves on their own. If they are being viewed as part of a standalone “Web 2.0 strategy,” then they are likely bad ideas. If they are viewed as tactics for gaining deeper feedback from customers about their needs and wants, then they might be good ideas.

As I discussed about innovation in the post Don’t Mistake Innovation For Strategy and specificially about Web 2.0 in Web 2.0 (a.k.a. Web And Weberer), Web 2.0 is not a strategy (unless you are a vendor who delivers Web 2.0 capabilities and services). It represents a set of tactics that can be used (in some cases) to more deeply engage customers. So instead of thinking about a “Web 2.0 strategy,” Starbucks should be asking themselves how they can reinforce their brand and if some Web 2.0 tactics may help.

The bottom line: As a customer, I’d much prefer that Starbucks get better pastry than write a blog.

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