, Costco, and USAA Are The Most Recommended Companies

In the 2011 Temkin Loyalty Ratings, we examined three elements of loyalty that includes the likelihood of consumers to recommend U.S. companies to their friends and relatives. I decided to take a closer look at the companies with the most, and the least, percentage of consumers that are likely to recommend them.

Here are some observations of the results across the 143 companies we examined:

  •, Costco, and USAA are on top. No surprise; these companies do well in just about every measure of loyalty.
  • Southwest Airlines and Vanguard stand out. Besides USAA, Southwest Airlines and Vanguard are the only companies that aren’t retailers or hotel chains on the top 20 list.
  • Anthem, Blue Shield Of CA, and Charter Communications are on the bottom. Led by Anthem, Blue Shield Of California, and Charter Communications, 15 companies had less than 50% of consumers willing to recommend them.

We also looked at the level of consumer recommendations compared with industry averages. This analysis showed that:

  • USAA and Regions outperform the most. Led by USAA (credit cards and insurers) and Regions (banks), seven firms have 10 percentage points more consumers willing to recommend them compared with their industry average. The others: Southwest (airlines), (retailers), TriCare (health plans), and USAA (banks).
  • Gap and Radio Shack underperform the most. Led by Gap (retail) and Radio Shack (retailers), five companies fall at least 10 percentage points their industry average level of recommendations. The others: US Airways (airlines), Super 8 (hotels), and Anthem (health plans).

The bottom line: Recommendations are an asset that companies must cultivate.

Written by 

I'm an experience (XM) management catalyst; helping organizations improve results by engaging the hearts and minds of their employees, customers, and partners. I enjoy researching and speaking about leading-edge XM topics. I lead the Qualtrics XM Institute, which is the world's best job. We're igniting a global community of XM Professionals who are inspired and empowered to radically improve the human experience. To achieve this goal, my team focuses on thought leadership, training, and community building. My work is driven by a set of fundamental beliefs: 1) Everything starts and ends with human beings, so you need to understand how people think, feel, and behave; 2) XM is a discipline that needs to be woven throughout an organization's entire operating fabric; and 3) Building the XM discipline requires a combination of culture, competency, and technology.

One thought on “, Costco, and USAA Are The Most Recommended Companies”

  1. Great post–customer loyalty is indeed one of the keys to a thriving brand and increased profits.

    I’d like to add just a few thoughts on maintaining and fostering customer loyalty. (The companies with high loyalty scores pay close attention to all of these factors)

    1. Employees:
    Who you hire absolutely matters. Select candidates who have the necessary skills, the capacity to learn and grow, and above all, a great attitude. Customer-focused employees are one of a company’s most valuable assets.

    2. Training
    Develop an effective training program that gives employees the knowledge and skills to excel at their jobs. Insecure employees who don’t feel confident in what they’re doing will not serve your customers well.

    3. Create Incentive Programs for Employees
    Acknowledge and reward your employees! Employee of the Month-type programs are a great way to show your appreciation. Instead of focusing on numbers (if you have a sales department), try instead to focus on employees who receive the best feedback from customers.

    4. Loyalty Programs for Your Customers

    Show your customers you appreciate them, and offer incentives for them when they continue to reward you with business.
    Offer discounts or gifts if a customer refers business. Keep track of purchases and reward customers with a free product or service if they’re loyal to your company. Another great incentive? Free shipping! Customers tend to choose free shipping over a discount, even if the discount would have saved them more money.

    For a more complete discussion on this topic, please see

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