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Supermarkets continue to lead the way in customer experience, while health plans are again among the worst-rated, according to the 7th annual customer experience ratings from the Temkin Group. Indeed, of the 331 companies measured across 20 industries, supermarkets occupied 2 of the top 3 positions this year, while health plans took 3 of the bottom 5.

Publix led the way once again – it was also last year’s leader and the leader in 2015. Chick-fil-A and H-E-B rounded out the top 3. Health Net dropped to the last spot from second-last in 2016, though its “very poor” score of 42% was actually an improvement from last year’s rating.

Overall, supermarket chains scored the highest average ratings (78%) of the 20 industries; recent data from the American Customer Satisfaction Index also notes that supermarkets have improved considerably this year. Following supermarkets were fast food chains (76%), retailers (74%), parcel delivery services (73%) and banks (72%), the latter of which have been enjoying a resurgence in positive perception in recent years.

By contrast, 2 of the 20 industries averaged a “poor” rating, with TV/internet service providers at 54% and health plans at 57%. A closer look at customer satisfaction in the telecommunications sector shows only marginal changes over the last few years.

The Temkin Experience Ratings are determined via a survey of 10,000 US consumers, who are asked to rate their experiences with companies across 3 components: success, effort and emotion. The percentage of consumers who rated a company poorly was subtracted from the percentage of consumers who rated it highly.

A rating of 80% and above is considered “excellent,” while a rating of 70-80% is considered “good.” On the other end of the spectrum, a rating of 60-50 is measured as “poor” and below 50% is determined to be “very poor.”

This year 21 companies achieved an overall rating in the “excellent” category. On an encouraging note, some 38% of the 331 companies measured scored in the “good” or “excellent” categories, more than double the proportion (18%) from last year. The average scores for all 20 industries likewise increased over the previous year.

Among the 281 companies that were measured in both 2016 and 2017, the largest improvements were for Fujitsu, Volkswagen, Fairfield Inn, Columba Natural Gas and Advantage Rent-A-Car. Fairfield Inn and Volkswagen had experienced the biggest rate drops in 2015. All five firms improved their scores by at least 25% points.

Only 7 companies declined between 2016 and 2017. While Consumers Energy Company and Residence Inn experienced the greatest decline, Taco Bell, Symantec, MetroPCS, Cox Communications and JCPenney also scored worse this year. Even so, these declines were marginal at best, with none falling by more than 3% points.

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