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Supermarkets once again lead the way in customer experience, while TV/Internet Services collectively represent the worst-rated industry, according to the 8th annual customer experience ratings [download page] from the Temkin Group. Indeed, of the 318 companies measured across 20 industries, Supermarkets occupied 3 of the top 5 positions this year, while TV/Internet Services took 4 of the bottom 8.

The Temkin Experience Ratings are determined via a survey of 10,000 US consumers, who are asked to rate their experiences with companies.

Which Companies and Industries Performed Best?

This year sees a new leader at the top of the list of 318 companies: Wegmans. The supermarket averaged a high score of 86% across the success, effort and emotion components of the ratings, which subtract the percentage of consumers giving each company a low score (bottom-3 box on a 7-point scale) from those giving it a high score (top-3 box).

Wegmans took over from Publix, which had taken top honors from 2015 through 2017. Publix nonetheless performed well in coming second, tied with H-E-B, Citizens, credit unions (unnamed) and Subway.

Looking at specific components of the customer experience, the Temkin Group report reveals that Wegmans was the top-rated company for the “Success” component, which measures the extent to which customers were able to accomplish what they wanted to do during their most recent interaction with a company. Wegmans also led the way in the “Effort” component, which looks at the ease with which customers are able to interact with companies, and in the “Emotion” component, which measures how customers felt about their interactions (ranging from “Upset” to “Delighted”).

Supermarkets performed so well that they occupied 5 of the top 11 scores overall and more than a third (13) of the top 33. Their average Temkin Experience Rating (TxR) of 78.5% neared the threshold of Excellence (80% and above), with Fast Food (76.1%), Retail (74.4%) and Banks (73.1%) following in the ranks.

Which Companies and Industries Were the Worst Performers?

For once it wasn’t an Airline, TV/Internet Service provider, or Health Plan at the bottom of the list. No, this time it’s CarMax, the Auto Dealer, with a Temkin Experience Rating of just 43%.

Four other companies joined CarMax in having an overall “Very Poor” score of less than 50%: Spirit Airlines (45%), Optimum (49%), Medicaid (49%) – to the extent it can be considered a “company” – and Comcast (49%).

CarMax had the worst rating by a long shot for the “Success” component of the ratings, with just a 37% score. Hitachi was the next-worst, with a “Success” score of 48%. Spirit Airlines had the worst “Effort” rating (43%), while Cox Communications had the lowest “Emotion” score, of just 32%.

None of the 20 industries measured averaged a “very poor” rating of less than 50%, but a couple fell into the “poor” bucket, with composite scores between 50 and 59%. Those were the perennial losers: TV/Internet Service providers (54%) and Health Plans (57.4%).

Overall Experience Ratings Decline

This year 6% of the companies measured achieved an overall rating in the “Excellent” category, on par with last year’s results. On a discouraging note, the proportion of companies with a “Good” rating of 70-79% fell from 45% to 38%. That decline was made up by an increase in the share of companies with a “Poor” rating, up from 6% last year to 13% this year.

The drop this year seems to be the result of a decline in the “Emotion” component ratings, with just 44% of companies this year earning a rating in this component of “Good” or better, down from 51% last year.

Overall, 11 of the 20 industries experienced a decline in aggregate rating, though for most the decline was very minor.

Among the companies that were measured in both 2017 and 2018, the largest improvements in Temkin Experience Rating were reserved for Airbnb (+11.1), MetroPCS (+10.9) and Avis (+10.3). CarMax (-17.2) topped the list of largest decliners, followed by HSBC (-16.7).

The full report can be downloaded here.

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