Which Brands Are the Most Functional, Accessible, and Emotional?

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If you want to know the strength of a brand, then ask some customers. We went one step further and asked 10,000 consumers to rate their recent experiences with companies in three areas:

Functional: Are customers able to do what they wanted to do?

Accessible: How easy is the company to work with?

Functional: How do customers feel about the interactions?

This large-scale of feedback provides the basis for the 2013 Temkin Experience Ratings, which ranks the customer experience of 246 companies across 19 industries. Let's start with kudos to the top 12 companies in the overall ratings:

  • Aldi
  • Chick-fil-A
  • Amazon.com
  • Sam's Club
  • H.E.B.
  • Dunkin' Donuts
  • Save-a-Lot
  • Sonic Drive-In
  • Little Caeser's
  • Ace Hardware



While grocery chains, fast food chains, and retailers dominate the top of the Temkin Experience Ratings, health plans earn the dubious distinction of defining poor performance, taking seven of the 15 lowest spots. As you can see in the chart below, the five lowest scoring organizations are: US Airways, Time Warner Cable, Days Inn, Empire BCBS, and 21st Century.

There's a large customer experience gap across industries. Groceries, fast foods, parcel delivery, and retailers earned an average rating of “good” while TV service providers, health plans, Internet service providers, and appliance makers received an average rating of “poor.” Having said that, we found a considerable span of scores within the industries, as well.

Since this is the third year of the Temkin Experience Ratings, we can examine changes over time. And the news is positive: Customer experience is on the rise! Companies with at least a “good” rating grew by nine percentage points since 2012 and by 21 points since 2011. Of the 203 companies that are included in both the 2012 and 2013 Temkin Experience Ratings, 57% had at least a modest increase.

With that in mind, let's celebrate some of the successes in the ratings. Here are some additional brands that have reason to be proud:

The companies that most outperformed their industry are TriCare (health plans), USAA (insurance and banks), credit unions (banks), Kaiser Permanente (health plans), Advantage (car rentals), AOL (Internet service), Marriott (hotel chains), Charles Schwab (Investments), and Alaska Airlines (airlines).

The companies that made the largest improvement over 2012 are Citibank, TriCare, TD Ameritrade, Office Depot, EarthLink, Hardees, and Regions Bank.

The leaders in functional experience are Publix, Trader Joe's, Costco, Amazon.com, Chick-fil-A, and Aldi.

The leaders in accessible experience are Ace Hardware, Arby's, Trader Joe's, Aldi, Save-a-Lot, and Publix.

The leaders in emotional experience are Publix, Trader Joe's, Chick-fil-A, Aldi, Piggly Wiggly, Little Caeser's, Sonic Drive-In, and H.E.B.

The bottom line: Most brands are delivering better experiences.

  Bruce Temkin, managing partner and customer experience transformist at Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting company. He is widely viewed as a leading expert in customer experience.
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