retail news in context, analysis with attitude

A new study says that only eight major companies - out of 206 evaluated - deliver what consumers would call an “excellent customer experience” - Sam's Club, Publix, Starbucks, Subway, Chick-fil-A, Aldi, Winn-Dixie, and H.E.B. And, at the other end of the spectrum, “ 76 companies (37% of the total) earn ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ ratings” from those polled.

This is the second annual customer service study released by Temkin Group, based on a survey of 10,000 US shoppers conducted last month.

According to the report, “The research examines customer experience across 18 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.

“Grocery chains, fast food chains and retailers are the top three industries, earning an average rating of ‘good.’ At the bottom of the ratings, TV service providers, Internet service providers, and health plans earn an average rating of ‘poor.’ Health plans show up in seven of the bottom 14 spots in the ratings.”

The report goes on: “This analysis uncovers eight companies with double-digit leads over their industry average: Kaiser Permanente (health plans), credit unions (banks), Sam's Club (retailers), USAA (credit cards), TracFone (wireless carriers), Southwest Airlines (airlines), PNC (banks), and Alamo (car rental services).

“Seven companies are 10 or more percentage points below their industry average: DHL (parcel delivery services), RadioShack (retailers), Citibank (banks), Days Inn (hotels), EarthLink (Internet service providers), Charter Communications (TV service providers and Internet service providers), and Bank of America (banks).”
KC's View: