African Americans Rate Experiences Higher

We recently published the 2011 Temkin Experience Ratings which examines how 6,000 US consumers view their recent experiences with 143 companies. We further analyzed the feedback from consumers based on their self-reported ethnicity and here’s what we found:

  • African Americans give companies the highest experience ratings in eight of the 12 industries
  • Hispanics give companies the lowest ratings in seven of the 12 industries
  • The largest ethnic gaps, 11%, are with health plans (African Americans/Hispanics) and investment firms (Caucasians/Hispanics)

I will be posting about other demographic segments and also about our analysis of the Temkin Loyalty Ratings data. If you want to get access to the data, go to the Temkin Ratings website.

Research note: There is a known bias in this type of research on Hispanics; it does not include responses from non English speaking consumers and likely underweights those consumers that use English as a secondary language.

The bottom line: It’s important to know your target customer segments

Written by 

I am a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers. I am also the co-founder and Emeritus Chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (, a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

2 thoughts on “African Americans Rate Experiences Higher”

  1. Hi Bruce. This is fascinating to me, and again just emphasises the importance of proper sampling, especially across these demographic variables that vary so much. I know race is always sensitive, but it is found over and over that it does influence the way people see the world.

    In Africa (South Africa), we find the exact same trend, with African respondents generally being more satisfied and giving higher scores than Caucasians. Could it be that it is in people’s genes to give certain ratings? Does this not correlate with income levels? In Africa, due to our sad history, this is unfortunately the case. I have always thought that income might be the ‘driver’ of this phenomenon, but with what you found I might have to rethink my theory. I know that in America the income gap (genie coefficient) is a lot smaller than in Africa, and it definitively does not coincide with race, as much as it does in Africa.



    1. Kobus: Thanks for the feedback; I shared these results to raise the dialogue. I have not done the analysis to figure out if the drivers of the difference across ethnic groups is based on other demographic differences (age, income, education, etc.) versus a fundamental difference in how ethnic groups rate their experience. Keep an eye opened for the differences in loyalty which I am about to publish.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.