March 21st, 2016 by Oren Smilansky

Customers are most satisfied with their local supermarkets, and least pleased with their healthcare providers, according to the Temkin Group’s Experience Ratings, released earlier this month.

The survey, now in its sixth year, draws from the feedback of 10,000 U.S. consumers called upon to rate 294 organizations across 20 industries, and according to three components. These are:

  • Success: The extent to which customers can achieve their goals;
  • Effort: The degree of ease or difficulty customers face when attempting to achieve their goals; and
  • Emotion: How the interaction makes the customer feel.

pexels-cartSupermarket chains H-E-B and Publix topped the list, while another four supermarket chains were featured among the top 11. On the opposite end of the spectrum were healh plan providers, who made up six of the bottom 11 companies.

But while health may be in bad shape, this year was a subpar year for customer experience in general. In fact, the decline from 2015 to 2016 is the worst decline Temkin has ever seen. In the last year, the percentage of good and excellent companies dropped from 37 percent to 18 percent. Of the 271 firms in both the 2015 and 2016 rankings, 85% declined by one point or more, while only six percent improved by a point or more.

It’s to be expected that some companies get better CX ratings than others,  but what isn’t, Bruce Temkin, founder and managing partner of the Temkin Group, wrote in a blog post, is “the severe decline in scores across industries.”

Because Temkin’s data points to the fact that companies are investing more heavily in CX, it’s unlikely that they are actually getting worse at it. Rather, what is happening, Temkin believes, is that customer expectations are rising “at a pace that is faster than the speed at which companies are improving their CX.”

Further, Temkin suspects that the ratings are potentially being affected by a decline in the attitudes of U.S. Consumers, as they feel less happy, healthy, and financially secure. “Consumers,” Temkin wrote, “are just not as content as they have been in previous years.”

But while companies shouldn’t be too disheartened by the decline, or dwell on factors that are out of their hands, that doesn’t mean they should take a rest. “As the gap between customer expectations and existing CX grows,” Temkin reminds us, “there will be more opportunities for you (or your competitors) to radically improve the level of CX and grab new customers.”

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