Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Are You Experienced?

Bruce Temkin is, according to his blog, a "customer service transformist" who examines "strategy, marketing, interaction design, customer service, and leadership practices." His organization, the Temkin Group recently released a study on the customer experiences of 143 top businesses during the first quarter of 2011.

His ratings are based on three questions:

  1. How well do experiences meet consumers’ needs?
  2. How easy is it for consumers to do what they want to do?
  3. How do consumers feel about the experiences?
Here are the companies at the top of his list.

Although 12 industries were represented, the top 20 are dominated by retailers (15 of 20), with three hotels, one bank and one credit card company rounding out the group. The bottom 13 includes six health care providers (Anthem is in last place). Cable companies Charter and Comcast both show up twice in the bottom.

My takeaway from this is that competition matters. Retailers recognize that customers vote with their feet. If they don't like the service, they will go elsewhere. When it comes to competition, retailers face a lot of it. They recognize that the customer experience can make or break their business.

The companies at the bottom of the list don't have nearly as much competition. They are used to being the only show in town. There isn't a lot of compeition among cable companies or health care plans. I think these companies have the luxury of being able to take the customer for granted and it shows in the customer experience.