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 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 “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.

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