The Most Useful Firms: Costco And Sam’s Club

In the previous post, I looked at the most enjoyable firms from Forrester’s customer experience rankings of 112 firms across 9 industries: Banks, Credit Card Providers, Health Plans, Insurance Firms, Internet Service Providers, Investment Firms, Retailers, TV Service Providers, Wireless Phone Carriers. In that research, we asked nearly 5,000 consumers how they felt about the companies they work with.

Now let’s look at the organizations that consumers felt were best at meeting their needs:

Top 15 Firms That Meet Consumers’ NeedsTop 15 Firms That Meet Consumers’ NeedsTop 15 Firms That Meet Consumers’ Needs

Not all of the 9 industries were represented in the top 15. Here are the firms that came out on top of other industries (along with their overall ranking):

  • Wireless carriers: Virgin Mobile (16th overall)
  • Investment firms: Vanguard (24th overall)
  • Internet service providers: Bell South (40th overall)
  • Medical insurers: Kaiser (43rd overall)
  • TV service providers: DirecTV (58th overall)

The bottom line: “I have found that all ugly things are made by those who strive to make something beautiful, and that all beautiful things are made by those who strive to make something useful.” (Oscar Wilde)

Written by 

I am an experience management transformist, helping organizations improve business results by engaging the hearts and minds of their customers, employees, and partners. My "job" is Head of the Qualtrics XM Institute. The Institute is still being established, but our goal is to help organizations around the world thrive by mastering Experience Management (XM). As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. Prior to joining Qualtrics, I was managing partner of Temkin Group (leading CX research, advisory, and training firm), co-founder and chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (, and a VP at Forrester Research. I'm a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Check out my LinkedIn profile:

2 thoughts on “The Most Useful Firms: Costco And Sam’s Club”

  1. Don’t know how you could have DirecTV listed. I have had nothing but horrific experiences with them the past 3 months and when I finally called to cancel after they couldn’t resolve my issues, they pulled out a $400 cancellation fee for the cost of the box that they sent me as a replacement, and specifically told me there would be no fee or committment for sending it to me. How you handle a customer on the way out the door shows how a company is really committed to customer experience, and they have a history of this issue. Its around the whole owned-to-lease clause in their contract they have really stuck it to lots of customers on this over the past several years as the old Tivo boxes have started to fail. They offer to send out a free replacement with no extended committment, but when you call to cancel, they state that its in you original Customer Agreement that if you ever switch from owned to leased equipment, it triggers a 2-year commitment extension (regardless of what you were told on the phone or when you activated the box). That’s why they have had 21,000 complaints to the Better Business Bureau in the past three years ( )

  2. Chris: Sounds like a lousy experience. The rating actually comes from customer survey responses. Even the best companies dissatisfy some customers while even the worst have some happy customers. We have another survey in the field right now, so we’ll see if experiences like yours will drag down DirecTV in the 2009 rankings.

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