Top and Bottom Retailers for Customer Experience

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Top and Bottom Retailers for Customer Experience

By Tim Denman - 03/16/2015
Customer satisfaction is the backbone of retail. Yes, quality products, competitive pricing, location, etc., all play a role in the overall success of a company, but without a satisfied customer base a retailer is doomed.

For the fifth consecutive year the Temkin Group has published its "Temkin Experience Ratings" report, examining 293 companies across 20 industries on three dimensions: success, effort and emotion. Over 10,000 U.S. consumers were asked to evaluate their experiences with different companies over the past 60 days on the three dimensions. All three scores were averaged together to uncover the Experience Rating, based on a perfect score of 100%.

Interestingly six of the top 10 were retailers, with three grocers finishing at the top of the chart. The report breaks out supermarket chains into their own category separate from retail, with grocers turning in the highest experience score among all of the industries examined.

Below are the top 6 retailers (grocers included) on the list, as well as the bottom 6 performing merchants:
Top 6

Publix. The employee-owned, supermarket chain took the overall top position in the survey, improving on its 5th place finish last year. The retailer's 85% rating was six percentage points higher than the average supermarket score. Temkin Experience Rating: 85%

Aldi. The discount supermarket chain tied for second place overall on the ranking thanks to its ability to routinely meet customer expectations with its discount pricing. The brand has expanded beyond its off-brand, off-price roots to offer meat, wine and beer and, and at some sites, organic produce. Temkin Experience Rating: 84%

H-E-B. The Texas and northern Mexico supermarket chain tied with Aldi for the number two overall position. In addition to coming in second in the overall metric, the chain also finished in second place in the success component of the ranking. Temkin Experience Rating: 84%

PetSmart. The first appearance of a non-grocer among the top retail performers was PetSmart which finished in a four-way tie for fourth place. The pet food and accessories retailer rocketed up the rankings this year improving on 2014's 115th place finish. Temkin Experience Rating: 82%

Amazon. The online giant tied for fourth place in this year's ranking, dropping from its second place finish last year. The retailer finished in the top 10 in both the success and effort component. Temkin Experience Rating: 82%

Trader Joe's. Another of the three retailers that finished tied for fourth position; the specialty grocer is delighting shoppers with its healthy and organic choices. The grocer finished near the top in all three categories examined for this report. Temkin Experience Rating: 82%

Bottom 6

RadioShack. The electronics retailer filed for Chapter 11, and has already come to terms to sell a large portion of its stores to General Wireless Inc., who plans to open Sprint store-within-a-store locations. With years of slumping sales on the books it is no surprise that the struggling retailer failed to satisfy customers. Temkin Experience Rating: 63%
Sears. The American institution has struggled in recent years and many believe its days are numbers, evidenced by its continued liquidation of its assets. No surprise that customers are not satisfied with the retailer. Temkin Experience Rating: 64%
Bi-Lo. The southeastern supermarket chain was the lowest ranking grocer on the survey with a 66% score, which was 12 percentage points below the supermarket average. The chain finished in 136th place. Temkin Experience Rating: 66%.
Gap. The specialty retailer finished tied with Bi-Lo for 136th place. Despite the low ranking in this report the retailer is still experiencing incremental growth, increasing both sales and revenue year over year.
Temkin Experience Rating: 66%
Best Buy. The electronics retailer dropped from 87th place in 2014 to 119th place in this year's ranking. The results are surprising considering the brand's improved financial performance, including a 34% rise is stock price over the past six months. Temkin Experience Rating: 68%
GameStop. The video game retailer finished tied for 119th place with Best Buy. The brand has made a conscious effort to increase customer engagement with the release of new a new mobile app and other assorted in-store digital technology. According to the survey results the new tech has had an impact, as GameStop jumped 40 positions over last year's results. Temkin Experience Rating: 68%