April 25th, 2013 by Leonard Klie

Satmetrix yesterday released its 2013 Net Promoter Industry Benchmarks covering the financial services, technology, online services, retail, travel and hospitality, insurance, and telecommunications industries.

The Satmetrix Net Promoter Benchmarks are based on survey responses from U.S. consumers nationwide who rate their experience with the primary brands they use. Consumers also rate each brand on aspects of customer experience, including product or service features, customer service, and overall value. The study reached more than 24,000 U.S. consumers, with ratings for more than 200 brands.

Here’s a breakdown of how those brands fared:

Financial Services

USAA topped the banking sector with an NPS of 78 percent. HSBC Bank trailed the banking sector with a score of -13 percent.

Bank of America had the largest increases, (34 and 25 points for its credit card and banking ratings respectively) but its overall score remained below the average sector NPS of 29 percent. Significant retail banking NPS increases were also seen for Chase, Regions Bank, Wells Fargo, SunTrust, and PNC, all of which showed increases of more than 10 points.

Vanguard ranked highest for the brokerage/investments sector with an NPS of 56 percent, with Charles Schwab coming in just behind. Morgan Stanley Wealth Management saw its second year at the bottom of the sector, earning an NPS of 28 percent. American Express (36 percent) topped the credit card sector for the sixth consecutive year. Citigroup ranked lowest overall in the credit card sector with an NPS of 6 percent.


Apple topped three of the four sectors for its iPad (NPS of 65 percent), iPhone (70 percent) and laptops (76 percent, up five points from 2012 and the third-highest brand score survey-wide). Competitors trailed Apple by a large margin in the laptops and smartphone sectors. Sony ranked second in the laptop sector. Acer (27 percent) fell from fifth place in 2012 to ninth, the sector low. Apple’s nearest competitor in the smartphone sector was Samsung. BlackBerry, Nokia, and Motorola rounded out the bottom of the smartphone sector, with BlackBerry scoring the lowest NPS of 27 percent.. Amazon’s Kindle Fire/Kindle Fire HD kept pace with the Apple iPad in the tablet computers sector. The BlackBerry Playbook and Microsoft Surface each earned an NPS of 26 percent, placing both products at the bottom of the sector. TurboTax dominated the software & apps category with an NPS of 54 percent. McAfee earned the lowest NPS in the sector (2 percent).

Online Services

Netflix topped the new online entertainment sector with an NPS of 50 percent, a significant lead over Google Play, Amazon Prime/Amazon Instant Video, Apple iTunes, and Microsoft Xbox Music/Xbox Video. Ranking below average for every loyalty driver, Blockbuster On Demand earned the lowest sector NPS, with a score of 2 percent.

Amazon.com saw a seven-point decrease over 2012, but remained at the top of the online services sector for the fourth consecutive year with an NPS of 69 percent. eBay and Zappos.com rounded out the top three. The largest decrease was from Barnes & Noble, which dropped more than 20 points. Google Shopping gained one point for an NPS of 21 percent but ranked lowest in the sector again in 2013.


Department/specialty stores earned an average NPS of 62 percent, while grocery/supermarkets came in at 36 percent, and drug stores/pharmacies came in at 26 percent. Top performers Costco (78 percent), Dillards (75 percent) and Nordstrom (75 percent) not only topped the department/specialty stores sector, but also ranked in the top 10 individual brand performers across all benchmarks. All four retailers in the drug stores/pharmacies sector – Wal-Mart, CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens – scored within three points of one another for a sector NPS average of 26 percent. Walgreens came in lowest overall with an NPS of 25 percent.

The leaders in the grocery/supermarket sector saw changes from previous years, with Trader Joe’s taking the top spot in the grocery/supermarket sector despite a 10-point drop to an NPS of 63 percent. 2012’s sector leader, Wegman’s, dropped to fourth place with a 20-point decrease.

Travel and Hospitality

Jumping nine points for an NPS of 66 percent, Southwest took the top spot in the airlines sector from Virgin America, which fell 15 points. American Airlines improved its score by 14 points but remained at the low end of the sector with an NPS of 9 percent. United Airlines fell to last place in the sector with an NPS of 2 percent.

In the hotel sector, Marriott retainied its top spot and saw a six-point increase for an NPS of 62 percent. Budget hotel chains Super 8 (-10%), Days Inn (-9%) and Motel 6 (-9%) struggled again in 2013,

TripAdvisor held on to its place atop the travel Web sites sector, moving up three points for an NPS of 36 percent, and Yahoo! Travel rated lowest with an NPS of 14 percent.


Kaiser continued to lead the health insurance sector overall, with an NPS of 35 percent. Medicare saw the largest improvement over 2012, leaping 18 points into second place ahead of seven private insurance programs. CIGNA saw the lowest sector score, with an NPS of -1 percent.

USAA led the auto and home/contents insurance sectors, earning 76 percent and 80 percent, respectively. Farmers and Liberty finished at the bottom of the pack.


Tracfone (39 percent) jumped 12 points in 2013 to narrowly take the top spot in the cellular/wireless phone service sector from last year’s leader, U.S. Cellular. T-Mobile retained its last-place finish from 2012, scoring an NPS of 6 percent

In the cable/satellite TV sector, AT&T and Comcast made significant gains in 2012, but neither improved enough to displace Verizon (32 percent).

Brighthouse Networks topped the internet services sector with an NPS of 29 percent, Mediacom finished last with -27 percent.

In explaining this year’s ratings, Deb Eastman, chief customer officer at Satmetrix, called Net Promoter “the worldwide standard for customer experience management because it correlates strongly with organic growth in most industries.”

The annual benchmark, she added, “offers invaluable insights for any organization seeking to understand their brand’s position with American consumers.”

Still, I can’t help but wonder why some brands have consistently scored at the bottom of the list in their market segments year after year. Are they not concerned with their Net Promoter Score, which basically gauges how likely consumers are to recommend a brand to friends and family? Are they using other metrics to determine how well they’re meeting their customers’ needs? There certainly are enough other metrics out there, so it is a real possibility. But, I would have to think that NPS is—or at least should be—right up there at most companies, and is certainly worthy of consideration. Shame on those firms that have overlooked it year after year.

The Satmetrix Net Promoter Benchmarks are based on survey responses from U.S. consumers nationwide who rate their experience with the primary brands they use. The Net Promoter Score, or NPS®, for each brand is based on customers’ likelihood to recommend the company’s product or service in the sector being rated. NPS is calculated as the percentage of customers who are promoters, rating the company 9 or 10 on a 0 to 10 point scale, minus the percentage who are detractors, rating 6 or lower. Consumers also rate each brand on various aspects of customer experience, including product or service features, customer service and overall value, enabling Satmetrix to analyze drivers of loyalty and recommendation. The 2013 Benchmarks also provide an in-depth look at loyalty drivers tailored to each featured sector, providing a rich view for companies to examine specific performance measures against their peers.

Comment by Erick G. Hansen — — May 25, 2013 @ 12:08 pm

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