Lexus and Kia Earn Top Customer Experience Ratings for Auto Dealers

Temkin Experience RatingsWe recently released the 2017 Temkin Experience Ratings that ranks the customer experience of 331 companies across 20 industries based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers.

Lexus and Kia deliver the best customer experience across auto dealers, according to the 2017 Temkin Experience Ratings, an annual customer experience ranking of companies based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers.

Lexus took the top spot out of the 21 auto dealers included in this year’s ratings, earning a score of 77% and coming in 38th place overall out of 331 companies across 20 industries. Kia came in second place with a score of 74% and an overall rank of 74th, only narrowly ahead of both Chevrolet and Toyota, each of which received a rating of 73% and came in 90th place overall.

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Toyota and Mercedes-Benz Earn Top Customer Experience Ratings for Auto Dealers

Temkin Experience Ratings

We recently released the 2016 Temkin Experience Ratings that ranks the customer experience of 294 companies across 20 industries based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers.

Toyota and Mercedes-Benz deliver the best customer experience amongst auto dealers, according to the 2016 Temkin Experience Ratings, an annual ranking of companies based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers.

Out of the 20 auto dealers included in this study, Toyota earned the highest customer experience score with a rating of 66%, which put it in 89th place overall out of 294 companies across 20 industries. Mercedes-Benz came in a close second with a 65% rating and an overall rank of 100th.

Toyota is no stranger to the top; it has been the highest-scoring auto dealer for three out of the past five years and come in second place the other two years. Mercedes-Benz, on the other hand, has historically stayed in the middle of the pack, ascending to the top this year by virtue of being one of only three companies whose scores improved over the past year. The other two companies whose ratings went up since 2015 are Kia and Audi.

At the other end of the spectrum, Volkswagen received the lowest score in the industry with a rating of 44%, which put it in 278th place overall. Volkswagen’s score tumbled a dramatic 17 percentage points over the last year—the biggest decline of any company in any industry.

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Off Topic: Sheraton, Mercedes & GM Customers Will Watch The Super Bowl

Tomorrow is Super Bowl Sunday. While my Patriots aren’t playing, I’m still planning to watch the game, as will many, many more people. I tapped onto our research of 10,000 U.S. consumers to look at the popularity of the NFL.

Football is clearly America’s primary sport. Nearly 56% of the US populations likes to watch professional football, dwarfing the next sport on the list, baseball (35%). Over the last year, however, the NFL has lost a bit of its popularity, dropping almost 2 %-points. The only sports to increase their fan bases over the previous year were hockey and soccer, and they were both very small gains.

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One of the exciting parts of the Super Bowl Sunday is the television ads. It made me wonder about which companies would get the most value from buying those expensive commercial spots. So I looked at the degree to which different companies’ customer bases are NFL fans. My analysis spanned 318 companies across 20 industries, and the range of NFL fandom went from 48% to 74%.

At the top of the list are Sheraton (74%), Mercedes-Benz (72%), GM (70%), Hertz (69%), Alabama Power Company (69%), Quiznos (69%), Travelers (69%), and Merrill Lynch (69%).

At the bottom of the list are Empire BCBS (48%), DTE Gas Company (50%), Cablevision Optimum (51%), Subaru (51%), Cablevision (52%), Orange Julius (52%), Consolidated Edison of NY (52%), Southern California Gas (52%).

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Download the entire list of 318 companies 

Lexus and Toyota Lead Auto Dealers in Customer Experience

We recently released the 2015 Temkin Experience Ratings that ranks the customer experience of 293 companies across 20 industries based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers.

Here are some highlights from the auto dealer results between 2012 and 2015:

  • Auto dealers’ average rating dropped from 66.3% in 2014 to 63.7% in 2015, the lowest score they’ve had since 2012. This is also the first year that the industry average has declined for auto dealers.
  • Despite dropping one percentage-point from last year, Lexus is still the highest-rated auto dealer, with a score of 73%. Lexus also boasts the highest score in the emotion component, as its 70% rating is 12.6 percentage-points above industry average. Toyota dealers were close behind at 71%, but dropped 3 points from last year.
  • Subaru not only experienced the sharpest decline of any auto dealer, but it actually experiences the sharpest decline of any company in the Ratings. Between 2014 and 2015, Subaru’s rating dropped 16 percentage-points, from 73% down to 57% over the past year.
  • Audi received the lowest rating of any auto dealer, scoring 53% and coming in 261st place out of 293 companies.
  • Auto dealer’s ratings decreased more dramatically than any other industry’s. Of the five companies in the entire Ratings whose scores declined the most between 2014 and 2015, three of the companies are auto dealers. Subaru’s rating went down by 16 percentage-points, Buick’s went down by 12 percentage-points, and Audi’s went down by 11 percentage-points. At the other end of the spectrum, Dodge saw one of the largest score increases over the past year, going up 8 percentage points between 2014 and 2015.
  • Of the twenty auto dealers that we evaluated both in 2014 and in 2015, only five improved their scores over the past year: Dodge (+8 points), Chrysler (+4 points), Nissan (+3 points), Kia (+3 points), and Honda (+2 points).

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CX in the C-Suite: Webinar With Mercedes-Benz CEO

1410_CXfromCSuiteMBUSAAs part of Customer Experience Day, I interviewed Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) CEO Steve Cannon on a CXPA.org webinar called Customer Experience from the C-Suite. Cannon was energetic and informative in describing how MBUSA has infused a strong sense of CX across its organization as well as across the company’s network of 375 dealership franchisees.

One of the highlights of the webinar was when Cannon said that “customer experience is the new marketing” and is critical for fulfilling MBUSA’s brand promise, The Best or Nothing.

Here are some other highlights and lessons from the webinar:

  • The CEO plays a critical role in CX. Cannon was clear on the role of the CEO in driving CX across the organization. “If the CEO doesn’t take CX personally, he’s not going to be able to convince people that it isn’t just the flavor of the month.” He called himself the “Chief conversation starter” and “Chief Evangelist.” Cannon mentioned that CX is a topic in every single town hall and when he visits a facility, he says, “Don’t give me a facility tour, give me a customer experience tour.” (Related: CX Mistake #1: Faking Executive Commitment).
  • Change takes focused leadership. Cannon pointed out that historically; CX resided in too many siloes (sales, marketing, presales, etc) across MBUSA. One of the first thing Steve did was reorganize around CX, carve CX out of different business units and put them together in one unit with a General Manager who reports directly to him. (Related: State of CX Management, 2014).
  • Alignment is well worth the investment of time. When CX became the MBUSA’s main objective, the executive team went offsite and spent two days debating and critically examining the organization’s CX—where they were coming from and where they were going. This meeting incorporated the voices of General Managers into MBUSA’s CX plans, making them what Cannon called “co-architects.” Afterwards, Cannon held similar meeting with the next two levels of leaders across the company. (Related: WL Gore Succeeds Without Employees).
  • It all starts with employee engagement. Cannon said that Employee Engagement is a precursor to CX. Cannon stated that “MBUSA is committed to investing in people because they are the only ones who can create great CX.” And Cannon is investing in this area. He discussed the company’s Immersion Program. Over the next few years, 26,000 employees will visit the MBUSA plant in Alabama and go through a learning journey that includes driving cars and visiting the company’s brand center. (Related: The Untapped Value of Employee Engagement (Infographic)).
  • CX is about culture, not a veneer. Cannon mentioned that great leaders create culture that creates great customer experience. That’s why Cannon is so proud of MBUSA leadership academy. He said that CX is in the DNA of the MBUSA, and is its higher calling. (Related: Driving Customer Experience Transformation, Made Simple).
  • Satisfaction isn’t enough.” Cannon stated that any company can satisfy customers just by operational excellence and performing a transaction right. Instead of satisfaction, MBUSA wants to delight its customers. To measure this objective, MBUSA is changing its metrics to include Net Promoter Score within a basket of other metrics. (Related: Customer Effort, Net Promoter, And Thoughts About CX Metrics).
  • Engage your channel partners. Cannon was clear that dealers have the ability to amplify, accentuate, or marginalize everything MBUSA does. He explained that 2.5 points out of the 5.5 points of performance bonus that dealers can earn are related to delivering great customer experience, which results in a $40 million customer experience payout across dealers. Cannon was proud of the “Drive a Start Home” program that provides dealer employees with a Mercedes-Benz to drive for two days. (Related: Our B2B content plus an upcoming report on B2B2C CX).

Check out last year’s webinar with Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint.

The bottom line: CX leaderships requires executive leaders like Steve Cannon.

Toyota, Buick, and Lexus Lead Auto Dealers in 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings

We recently released the 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings that ranks the customer experience of 268 companies across 19 industries based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers.

Toyota, Buick, and Lexus all earned a 74% rating—only narrowly surpassing Subaru—and tied for 59th place overall out of 268 companies across 19 industries. While this is both Buick’s and Lexus’s first time evaluated in the Ratings, this is Toyota’s second straight year in the top spot.

At the other end of the spectrum, Chrysler tumbled down the rankings from its “okay” rating in 2013 to a “poor” rating this year, finishing as the lowest-ranking auto dealer with a score of 50% and a ranking of 256th place. Kia and Dodge also declined in the ratings and received “poor” scores of 57% and 55% respectively, both hovering near the bottom of the auto industry rankings for the third year in a row.

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Here are some additional findings from the auto industry: Read More …

Report: What Happens After a Good or Bad Experience, 2014

1402_WhatHappensAfterGoodBadExperiences_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, What Happens After a Good or Bad Experience, 2014. The report, which includes 19 data charts, examines which companies and industries provide the most bad experiences, what impact those experiences have on spending, and how the negative impacts of bad experiences can be mitigated by good service recovery. The report also examines how consumers share their good and bad experiences with companies as well as with other people. Here’s the executive summary:

To understand the effect of good and bad experiences, we asked 10,000 U.S. consumers about their recent interactions with 268 companies across 19 industries. Results show that Internet services and TV services are the industries most likely to deliver a bad experience to their customers, while grocery chains are the least likely to. At the company level, Scottrade had the smallest percentage of customers reporting a recent bad experience with the company and Time Warner Cable had the highest. More than half of the customers who encountered a bad experience at a fast food chain, credit card issuer, grocery store, or hotel either decreased their spending with the company or stopped altogether. However, our data shows that a good service recovery effort can help mitigate a bad experience. Unfortunately, many firms—especially in the banking, Internet services, and TV services sectors—aren’t very good at service recovery. In addition to the consequences of bad interactions, we also examined which channels customers use to share their good and bad experiences and how these changed across age groups. We then compared these results to survey responses from the past two years. We also uncovered a negative bias inherent in how customers provide feedback. ING Direct, Residence Inn, and Fairfield Inn have the most negative bias in the feedback they receive directly from customers, while Hy-Vee and Hyundai have the most negative bias on Facebook. 

Click link to see full list of industries and companies covered in this report (.pdf).

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One of the most interesting analyses in the report is the look at how service recovery after a bad experience affects the spending pattern of consumers. Here’s a summary of one of the charts showing just how important it is for a company to recover well after making a mistake:

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Here are some other insights from the research:

  • Sixteen percent of consumers who have interacted with TV service and Internet service providers report having a bad experience over the previous six months. Next on the list are wireless carriers, with 12% of their customers reporting a bad experience. At the other end of the spectrum, only 3% of consumers report a bad experience with grocery chains and 4% report having a bad experience with fast food chains.
  • The five companies with the most customers reporting bad experiences are Time Warner Cable (25%), Motel 6 (22%), Coventry Health Care (21%), and Comcast (21%). There were 10 companies with only 1% or less of their customers reporting bad experiences: Scottrade, Chick-fil-A, H.E.B., Whole Foods, ShopRite, ING Direct, Starbucks, Trader Joe’s, Vanguard, and True Value.
  • More than one-quarter of consumers who have a bad experience stop spending with computer makers, car rental agencies, credit card issuers, hotel chains, and software companies. The impact of bad experiences is less costly for parcel delivery services, wireless carriers, health plans, TV service providers, Internet service providers, and grocery chains, as less than 15% of their customers with bad experience stopped spending.
  • The industries that are the best at responding to a bad experience are investment firms, major appliances, retailers, and car rental agencies. The industries that are the worst at responding to a bad experience are TV service providers, wireless carriers, Internet service providers, parcel delivery services, and health plans.
  • Thirty-two percent of consumers give feedback directly to companies after a very bad experience and 23% give feedback after a very good experience.
  • Overall, 25- to 34-year-olds are the most likely to share feedback about their experiences. After a good experience 57% tell a friend directly, 28% share on Facebook, and 18% put a comment or rating on a review site. After a bad experience, 60% tell a friend directly, 31% share on Facebook, and 20% write a review.

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The bottom line: Make sure to recover quickly after a bad experience

Gen Y Brands Gain, Financial Brands Lose

Interbrand just published its annual ranking of the 100 best global brands. Here are the top 10 brands on the list:

  1. Coca Cola
  2. IBM
  3. Microsoft
  4. GE
  5. Nokia
  6. Totota
  7. Intel
  8. McDonald’s
  9. Disney
  10. Google

Here’s some of the other interesting details from the rankings:

  • Google is the only new entry to the top 10; it was 20th last year. Which company dropped out? Mercedes-Benz was 10th last year and is 11th this year.
  • The listing also provides the change in value of the brands since last year. Here are the biggest changes in brand value:
    • Top gainers: Google (+43%), Apple (+24%), Amazon (+19%), ZARA (+15%), SAP (+13%), and Nintendo (+13%)
    • Top losers: Merrill Lynch (-21%), Gap (-20%), Morgan Stanley (-16%), Citi (-15%), Ford (-12%), and UBS (-11%).
    • The top gainers are what I call “Gen Y brands,” they came to age during the early adulthood of 20 year-olds, while the losers are dominated by large financial institutions.
  • There were 7 new brands on the top 100 list this year: H&M (#22), Blackberry (#73), Ferrari (#93), Giorgio Armani (#94), Marriott (#96), FedEx (#99), and Visa (#100).
  • The highest ranked company on last year’s list that did not make this year’s top 100 was Kodak (#82 in 2007).
  • For fun, I went back and looked at the top 10 brands from 2001. Here they are:
    1. Coca Cola
    2. Microsoft
    3. IBM
    4. GE
    5. Nokia
    6. Intel
    7. Disney
    8. Ford
    9. McDonald’s
    10. AT&T

The bottom line: Just about everyone recognizes this: