The Best and Worst Retailers for Customer Experience

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The Best and Worst Retailers for Customer Experience

By Tim Denman - 03/13/2017

Consumers have a seemingly endless amount of shopping options at their disposal, and have little patience for an unrewarding experience. Just one unsatisfactory customer experience can send shoppers headed over to the competition never to return again.

In its annual cross-industry ranking of customer experience, Temkin Ratings surveyed 10,000 U.S. consumers on their most recent interactions. It examined 331 companies and asked consumers to rank their experience with them on a seven-point scale in three distinct categories: success, effort and emotion.

For each component, Temkin took the percentage of consumers that gave a rating of 6 or 7 and subtracted the percentage that gave a rating of 1, 2, or 3. This results in a “net goodness” rating for each of the three components. The overall Temkin Experience Rating is an average of the three “net goodness” percentages. In this year’s study the highest ranked company was Publix which earned a 84% rating. Conversely, health insurance provider BCBS of Florida finished in last place with a rating of 53%.

Four of the top five highest ranked retailers on the list were grocers, the same percentage uncovered last year. The grocery market continues to be redefined by the healthy and organic craze and shoppers overall are satisfied with their supermarket of choice ― very encouraging news for the segment.

Grocers Publix (84%, 1st overall), H-E-B (83%, 3rd overall), Hannaford (82%, 4th overall) and Food Lion (81%, 8th overall) all continue to meet shopper expectations. Joining the grocers in the top 5 was QVC. The shop-at-home retailer is a veteran of the omnichannel game and its relaxed, engaging experience continues to connect with its loyal shopping base.

When grocers are removed a different picture emerges. The top five non-grocery retailers on the ranking are QVC, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Ace Hardware, Sam’s Club, True Value. Two bulk shopping clubs ― BJ’s and Sam’s Club ― made the top five, indicative of shoppers’ continued loyalty to the warehouse, discount experience. In addition, two hardware stores were among the highest ranking retailers ― Ace Hardware and True Value. These smaller-format chains are delivering a rewarding and personalized experience and scored higher than the large-format Home Depot and Lowe’s which both finished tied for 47th place overall.

While shoppers are satisfied generally with the grocery shopping experience, they are far less enamored with the apparel experience. Sears (67%, 206th overall), Gap (66%, 224th overall) and Foot Locker (64%, 256thoverall) all turned in near-the-bottom rankings. When you factor in the overall struggles of the apparel segment the performance of these retailers in the ranking is not surprising. Rounding out the bottom five from the retail perspective were Kmart (66%, 224th overall)  and RadioShack (64%, 256th overall) ― two brands that are only a shadow of their former selves.

Top 5 Retailers in Temkin’s Annual Customer Experience Ranking:
1.       Publix
2.       H-E-B
3.       Hannaford
4.       QVC
5.       Food Lion
Bottom 5 Retailers in Temkin’s Annual Customer Experience Ranking:
1.       Sears
2.       Gap
3.       Kmart
4.       Foot Locker
5.       RadioShack