USAA, JetBlue Airways, Symantec, Trader Joe’s, Vanguard & Amazon.com Among the Highest in Customer Loyalty in Satmetrix 2011 Net Promoter® Benchmarks

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Study Unveils Customer Loyalty Leaders for 17 Industry Sectors

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Satmetrix, the Net Promoter® company and leader in customer experience programs, today released its 2011 Net Promoter Industry Benchmarks for the insurance, financial services, airlines, telecommunications, technology, retail and online services industries. This year’s winners included well-known brands such as USAA, JetBlue Airways, Symantec, Trader Joe’s, Vanguard, Amazon.com, Apple, Google, Costco and American Express.

The rankings are based on survey responses from more than 22,000 U.S. consumers nationwide, and include ratings for 170 individual brands across 17 industry sectors. Each consumer rates up to two companies from whom they have purchased products or services within the previous 12 months. A company’s Net Promoter Score, or NPS®, is based on customers’ likelihood to recommend the company. NPS is calculated as the percentage of customers who are Promoters, rating the company 9 or 10 on a zero-to-ten point scale, minus the percentage who are Detractors, rating 6 or lower. Consumers also rated each company on various aspects of customer experience, including product or service features, customer service and overall value, allowing Satmetrix to analyze drivers of loyalty and performance gaps for each company.

“Having a great customer experience is critical to a company’s financial performance because it impacts both customer retention and new customer acquisition through word of mouth,” said John Abraham, general manager of Net Promoter programs at Satmetrix. “These benchmarks allow companies to compare their performance to industry peers based on an industry-standard measure of customer loyalty. But the big challenge for most companies is to figure out how to use customer feedback to drive improvements in their customer experience. Measuring is just the first step.”

The study encompassed 17 specific competitive sectors across seven industries. Highlights include:

  •     Financial Services: USAA’s direct banking operation led the banking sector again this year with an NPS of 87%, the highest NPS recorded across all brands and industry sectors. Citigroup and HSBC Bank were the only two banks profiled with more Detractors than Promoters, earning an NPS of negative 6% and negative 13% respectively. In the brokerage and investment category, newcomer Vanguard took the top spot at 56%. The credit card sector average moved up 9 points over last year, with American Express remaining in top position at 41%, 61 points ahead of sector laggard Citigroup.
  •     Insurance: The average score in the health insurance category climbed 7 points from last year but remained the lowest of all sectors profiled. A new addition this year, Kaiser Permanente, led the category with a positive NPS of 28% compared to the sector average of negative 5%. CIGNA once again ranked last among major health insurers with an NPS of negative 24%. The average NPS for life insurers dropped 7 points compared to last year, with State Farm still leading at 19%. USAA dominated both the auto insurance sector at 73% and homeowners insurance at 78%.
  •     Airlines: JetBlue Airways (60%) and Southwest (59%) once again dominated the airline rankings, scoring nearly 45 points above the industry average with similar scores. U.S. Airways trailed the segment at negative 12%. JetBlue Promoters referenced the in-flight experience, extra legroom, quality snacks and television, while Southwest Promoters praised the airline for its friendly service and for not charging baggage fees.
  •     Telecommunications: Metro PCS took the top spot in the cellular phone service sector with a score of 41%. TracFone and Sprint saw the biggest improvements with increases of 8 and 10 points respectively. In Internet service, Verizon led with an NPS of just 13%, highlighting that providers in this sector continue to struggle to build positive connections with the customer. Verizon also led in the cable & satellite TV category at 28%, 12 points higher than last year’s winner, DIRECTV.
  •     Technology: Apple continued as the top performer in the computer hardware sector with an NPS of 72%. Sony made the biggest jump in the category, increasing 12 points to an NPS of 46%. In the consumer software sector, Symantec earned top position with an NPS of 44%, increasing its score by 8 points compared to last year’s benchmark.
  •     Online Services: Amazon.com led the online shopping sector with an NPS of 70%, edging out other leading online sites such as eBay and the Amazon.com subsidiary Zappos.com. In the online search and information category, Google and Facebook led again with scores of 53% and 52% respectively.
  •     Retail: The grocery and supermarket sector achieved the highest average NPS of all industries examined, with Trader Joe’s increasing its score by 14 points to 82%. Costco led again among department, wholesale and specialty retailers with an NPS of 77%, while Target outpaced Wal-Mart by 29 points. Among the 30 retailers profiled, drugstore chain Rite Aid lagged behind all other brands with an NPS of just 4%.

Full reports are available for purchase at http://www.netpromoter.com/benchmarks.

About Net Promoter
Net Promoter® is both a customer loyalty metric and a discipline for using customer feedback to fuel profitable growth in your business. Developed by Satmetrix, Bain & Company, and Fred Reichheld, the concept was first popularized through Reichheld’s book The Ultimate Question, and further explored by Richard Owen and Dr. Laura Brooks in Answering the Ultimate Question, which takes an in-depth look at how leading companies are using Net Promoter to drive business improvements around the customer experience. Net Promoter has been embraced by leading companies worldwide as the standard for measuring and improving customer loyalty.

About Satmetrix
Satmetrix® is the leading provider of successful customer experience management programs and the co-developer of Net Promoter®. The company offers a winning combination of software (SaaS) and best-practices consulting that deliver actionable customer feedback to drive growth, fuel innovation and amplify positive word-of-mouth. Satmetrix has a proven track record of accelerating the success of large-scale, integrated customer experience programs with more than 700 enterprise deployments in 40 languages. Its clients include some of the world’s most customer-centric companies, including Experian, Symantec, ING, HP, Lenovo and SONY. In addition, Satmetrix offers Net Promoter Customer Loyalty Certification for professionals responsible for customer experience, customer loyalty and customer feedback and maintains the online community netpromoter.com. For more information, visit http://www.satmetrix.com, or call 1-888-800-2313 in the United States or +44 (0) 845-371-1040 in Europe.

Net Promoter, NPS, and Net Promoter Score are trademarks of Satmetrix Systems, Inc., Bain & Company, Inc., and Fred Reichheld.

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