Report: 2011 Temkin Forgiveness Ratings

We just published a new Temkin Group report, 2011 Temkin Forgiveness Ratings.

All companies make mistakes, so they need customers to give them a second chance. But companies have built-up considerably different levels of goodwill. This research shows how willing consumers are to forgive 143 companies.

Here’s the executive summary:

USAA, Costco, and Amazon.com took the top spots in the 2011 Temkin Forgiveness Ratings. We asked 6,000 US consumers how likely they were to forgive companies if they made a mistake. This data allowed us to rate 143 companies across 12 industries. Only 18% of those companies received a “strong” or “very strong” forgiveness rating. The results show that retailers have the highest level of goodwill while credit card issuers and TV service providers have the lowest. While all companies make mistakes, customers are more willing to give Forgiveness Ratings leaders a second chance.

Download report for $195

Here are the top ranked companies in the 2011 Temkin Forgiveness Ratings:

Here are the industry results in the 2011 Temkin Forgiveness Ratings:

Here are some additional findings in this report which is loaded with data contained in 20 figures:

  • The top 25 companies include 15 retailers and five hotel chains and one of each of these types of firms: insurance carrier, health plan, bank, airline, and credit card issuer.
  • Retailers are the only industry with an average score of “strong.” TV service providers and credit card issuers, on the other hand, have average scores that are “very weak.”
  • Led by USAA and TriCare, 10 firms have Forgiveness Ratings that are 10 percentage points or more their industry averages.
  • Led by Radio Shack and Super 8, 15 firms have Forgiveness Ratings that are at least 10 points below their industry averages.

Download report for $195

To get access to the data, visit the Temkin Ratings website:

The bottom line: To err is human, to earn forgiveness is divine.


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 (CXPA.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

One thought on “Report: 2011 Temkin Forgiveness Ratings”

  1. Building the trust and goodwill to earn forgiveness is complex but it often comes back to customer service. Companies need to make sure their contact channels are integrated so that mistakes are recognised quickly and escalated to the right person through workflow to sort out the issue. Smart responses to mistakes can actually increase a company’s standing with a customer as they see them going the extra mile to rebuild the relationship.

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