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Supers stand out in customer experience.

WABAN, Mass. -- Supermarket chains and other retailers rate high in terms of the experience they offer customers, a study has found, while health plans and Internet service providers do not.

Publix Super Markets, Aldi and H-E-B earned the highest scores in the 2015 Temkin Experience Ratings, which rank 293 companies across 20 industries.

Other retailers that were rated as "excellent" in the study, with a score of 80% or more, were PetSmart, Amazon.com, Trader Joe's, Walgreens, Hannaford Bros, and Hy-Vee.

Supermarket chains, fast food chains and retailers dominate the top of the Temkin Experience Ratings, while Internet service providers, television service providers and health plans earn the dubious distinction of defining poor performance, since none of those companies earned a "good" rating.

For the second straight year, Coventry Health Care earned the lowest spot in the ratings, followed by Fox Rent A Car, Comcast (for both TV service and Internet service), Fujitsu, Health Net, Spirit Airlines, Hitachi, Dollar, BCBS of FL, Time Warner Cable, Blackboard and Con Edison of New York.

"Customer experience drives loyalty, so it's a growing area of focus for most businesses," states Bruce Temkin, managing partner of Temkin Group. "Unfortunately, we still see chronically poor customer experience across TV service providers, Internet service providers and health plans."

Of the 19 industries that appeared in both the 2014 and the 2015 Temkin Experience Ratings, the scores of 14 of them declined between last year and this year. The hotel industry's average increased the most over the past year, going up by 6.2 percentage points. Meanwhile, Internet service providers dropped the most, decreasing by 4.3 points.

In its fifth year of publication, the 2015 Temkin Experience Ratings examines customer experience across 20 industries: airlines, auto dealers, banks, computer and tablet makers, credit card issuers, fast food chains, health plans, hotel chains, insurance carriers, Internet service providers, investment firms, major appliance makers, parcel delivery services, rental car agencies, retailers, software firms, supermarket chains, TV service providers, utilities, and wireless carriers.

Consumers were asked to evaluate each company on three areas of customer experience: success (Can customers do what they want to do?), effort (How easy is it to work with the company?) and emotion (How do consumers feel about their interactions?). Emotion turned toward an area where most companies were particularly weak, with supermarkets and other retailers (along with fast food chains and parcel delivery services) the only industries to receive an emotion rating of "okay" or better. Supermarkets topped the "success" component.

In all, 10,000 consumers were polled about their recent experiences with companies. (Only companies that were rated by at least 100 consumers were included in the final rankings.)

The supermarket industry was No. 1 in the overall experience ranking, while Internet service providers were at the bottom. Other retailers, considered a separate industry in the report, rated third.

The report can be accessed at www.TemkinRatings.com.

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Publication:MMR
Date:Mar 23, 2015
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