USAA, Costco, Apple,, Southwest Airlines, Trader Joe’s and Marriott Among the Highest in Customer Loyalty in the 2013 Satmetrix® Net Promoter® Benchmark Study

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Study unveils customer loyalty leaders for 22 U.S. industry sectors.

Satmetrix®, the leader in customer experience software and programs, released its 2013 Net Promoter Industry Benchmarks today. Reports cover the financial services, technology, online services, retailing, travel and hospitality, insurance and telecommunications industries. The Benchmark reports offer an expanded and enhanced view of customer experience, featuring performance metrics for loyalty drivers specific to each industry sector.

The study reached more than 24,000 U.S. consumers, with ratings for more than 200 brands across 22 industry sectors, including new ratings for online entertainment, tablet computers, smartphones and apps & software.

The Satmetrix Net Promoter Benchmarks are based on survey responses from U.S. consumers nationwide who rate their experience with the primary brands they use. The Net Promoter Score, or NPS®, for each brand is based on customers’ likelihood to recommend the company’s product or service in the sector being rated. NPS is calculated as the percentage of customers who are promoters, rating the company 9 or 10 on a 0 to 10 point scale, minus the percentage who are detractors, rating 6 or lower. Consumers also rate each brand on various aspects of customer experience, including product or service features, customer service and overall value, enabling Satmetrix to analyze drivers of loyalty and recommendation. The 2013 Benchmarks also provide an in-depth look at loyalty drivers tailored to each featured sector, providing a rich view for companies to examine specific performance measures against their peers.

“Net Promoter is the worldwide standard for customer experience management because it correlates strongly with organic growth in most industries,” said Deborah Eastman, chief customer officer at Satmetrix. “The annual benchmark offers invaluable insights for any organization seeking to understand their brand’s position with American consumers. This year, we’ve drilled even deeper into each industry sector to provide the specific intelligence executives need to identify how they perform against their competitors and pinpoint areas of opportunity. This understanding is a critical step in delivering exceptional brand experiences and growing customer loyalty.”

The study encompassed 22 specific competitive sectors across seven major industry groups.

Highlights include:

Financial Services
USAA continued to dominate its sectors, topping the banking sector with an NPS of 78%, second overall in the study only to itself in the home/contents insurance sector, where it earned an NPS of 80%. This represented the highest score across all brands and industry sectors, with a 9-point leap from 2012. HSBC Bank trailed the banking sector with a score of -13%. More broadly, 2013 NPS scores in the financial services industry group showed signs of a rebound in consumer confidence, with three-quarters of banks and brokerage firms seeing an increase in NPS, and all but one credit card provider. Bank of America led the rebound charge, with unprecedented increases of 34 and 25 points for their credit cards and banking ratings respectively. The jolt in Bank of America’s banking NPS provides a dramatic halt to a six-year downward trend in loyalty, but the company’s overall score remained below the average sector NPS of 29%. Significant retail banking NPS increases were also seen for Chase, Regions Bank, Wells Fargo, SunTrust and PNC, all of which showed increases of more than 10 points.

Vanguard ranked highest for the brokerage/investments sector with an NPS of 56%, with Charles Schwab coming in just behind. Morgan Stanley Wealth Management saw its second year at the bottom of the sector, earning an NPS of 28%, ranking lowest in the critical driver for return on investment. American Express (36%) topped the credit card sector for the sixth consecutive year, despite scoring lowest in the sector for the “card is widely accepted” driver. Citigroup ranked lowest overall in the credit card sector with an NPS of 6%. While the company ranked highest for “card is widely accepted,” it received the lowest rankings for “good rates for borrowing” and “fairness of fees for late payments,” the two measures customers deemed most important.

The updated Technology industry group included laptop computers, smartphones, software & apps and tablet computers sectors in 2013. Apple topped three of the four sectors for its iPad (NPS of 65%), iPhone (70%) and laptops (76%, up five points from 2012 and the third-highest brand score survey-wide). Competitors trailed Apple by a large margin in the laptops and smartphone sectors. Sony ranked second in the laptop sector, with average scores in most areas, but ranking below average for overall value and battery life. Scoring lowest for key drivers such as overall performance and reliability, Acer (27%) fell from fifth place in 2012 to ninth, the sector low. Apple’s nearest competitor in the smartphone sector was Samsung. While ranking lower than Apple in all key measures, Samsung came closest in the area of camera quality. Blackberry, Nokia and Motorola rounded out the bottom of the smartphone sector, with Blackberry scoring the lowest NPS of 27%. Each brand struggled in most key loyalty drivers, but Nokia scored above average for overall value, ranking above three higher-scoring competitors: HTC, LG and Motorola. The Kindle Fire/Kindle Fire HD kept pace with the Apple iPad in the tablet computers sector, but overall capabilities and availability of apps proved to be the differentiators between the two. The Blackberry Playbook and Microsoft Surface each earned an NPS of 26%, placing both products at the bottom of the sector. TurboTax dominated the software & apps category with an NPS of 54%. McAfee earned the lowest NPS in the sector (2%), ranking last for all loyalty drivers, including the two most important to customers, “provides a complete solution” and “ease of finding help and troubleshooting.”

Online Services
Netflix topped the new online entertainment sector with an NPS of 50%, a significant lead over the scores for Google Play, Amazon Prime/Amazon Instant Video, Apple iTunes and Microsoft Xbox Music/Xbox Video. While Netflix scored below average for the “everything I expect is available” loyalty driver, it scored at the top for most others, including the top online entertainment loyalty driver, “convenience of accessing entertainment.” Ranking below average for every loyalty driver, direct competitor Blockbuster On Demand earned the lowest sector NPS, with a score of 2%. saw a seven-point decrease over 2012, but remained at the top of the online services sector for the fourth consecutive year with an NPS of 69%. The company ranked highest in the sector for all loyalty drivers, including those its customers deemed most important: “useful reviews and ratings” and “breadth of products available.” Competitors eBay and rounded out the top three. Loyalty was down overall in the online shopping sector, with most retailers showing a modest decrease. The largest was Barnes & Noble, with an NPS decrease of over 20 points, rating lowest in the sector on price competitiveness. Google Shopping gained one point for an NPS of 21% but ranked lowest in the sector again in 2013.

The retailing industry group showed one of the widest discrepancies in its sector scores, with department/specialty stores earning an average NPS of 62%, while grocery/supermarkets came in at 36% and drug stores/pharmacies came in at 26%. Top performers Costco (78%), Dillards (75%) and Nordstrom (75%) not only topped the department/specialty stores sector, but also ranked in the top ten individual brand performers across all benchmarks. All four retailers in the drug stores/pharmacies sector – Wal-Mart, CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens – scored within three points of one another for a sector NPS average of 26%. While Walgreens came in lowest overall with an NPS of 25%, the company led in the sector’s two most important drivers: “make it easy to manage prescriptions” and “convenience of purchase.” The leaders in the grocery/supermarket sector saw changes from previous years, with Trader Joe’s taking the top spot despite a 10-point drop to an NPS of 63%; 2012’s sector leader, Wegman’s, dropped to fourth place with a 20-point decrease. The chain performed at the top of all drivers reflecting range and quality of both food and non-food items, but scored lower for overall value, a critical driver for recommendations.

Travel and Hospitality
Jumping nine points for an NPS of 66%, Southwest took the top spot in the airlines sector from Virgin America, which fell 15 points. American Airlines (9%) improved its score by 14 points but remained at the low end of the sector with an NPS of 9%, ranking below average for loyalty drivers such as the check-in process and the attitude and friendliness of cabin staff. United Airlines fell to last place in the sector with an NPS of 2%. In its second year as a benchmark, the hotel sector remained fairly consistent, with sector leader Marriott retaining its top spot and seeing a six-point increase for an NPS of 62%. Budget hotel chains Super 8 (-10%), Days Inn (-9%) and Motel 6 (-9%) struggled again in 2013, each earning an NPS more than 70 points below Marriott, the largest gap of any sector. Major contributing factors included overall reliability, features and comfort of rooms. TripAdvisor held on to its place atop the travel websites sector, moving up three points for an NPS of 36%, and Yahoo! Travel rated lowest with an NPS of 14% in its first appearance on the survey, ranking last for every loyalty driver, including price competitiveness and “trust in quality of options presented.”

Kaiser continued to lead the health insurance sector overall, with an NPS of 35%. Medicare saw the largest improvement over 2012, leaping 18 points into second place ahead of seven private insurance programs. The government plan scored lowest for reputation and highest for overall value. Ranking low for key drivers such as “act in my best interest” and “my policy gives me peace of mind,” CIGNA saw the lowest sector score, with an NPS of -1%.

USAA led the auto and home/contents insurance sectors, earning 76% and a study-leading 80%, respectively. USAA has held the top spot in these sectors in each of the four years since Satmetrix added the insurance industry group. Among competitors, Farmers ranked lowest in key areas such as online experience and the ease/convenience of finding the right policy for a sector-low NPS of 24%. Liberty Mutual saw similarly low rankings in these loyalty drivers for the home/contents insurance (25%) and life insurance (1%) sectors, also lagging behind in “convenience of the claims process.”

The telecommunications industry had the lowest industry group average in the 2013 study, coming in at just 16%. Tracfone (39%) jumped 12 points in 2013 to narrowly take the top spot in the cellular/wireless phone service sector from last year’s leader, U.S. Cellular. T-Mobile retained its last-place finish from 2012, scoring an NPS of 6% and ranking at the bottom of the sector in two critical loyalty drivers: value of service/bundles and network coverage. In the cable/satellite TV sector, AT&T and Comcast made significant gains in 2012, but neither improved enough to displace Verizon (32%) from the top spot, which ranked first in the sector in the critical measure of company reputation. Brighthouse Networks topped the internet services sector with an NPS of 29%, leading the sector for the key loyalty driver of “savings from packaged deals.” The sector earned the lowest sector average NPS (9%) and included the lowest-ranking brand for the second year, Mediacom (-27%). The company saw the lowest scores for all loyalty drivers, including the most important, connection reliability.

Full reports are available for purchase at

About Net Promoter and Satmetrix
Net Promoter is both a customer loyalty metric and a discipline for using customer feedback to fuel profitable growth. 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 of Satmetrix in Answering the Ultimate Question. Net Promoter has been embraced by leading companies worldwide as the standard for measuring and improving customer loyalty. Satmetrix is the leading provider of cloud-based customer experience software for companies worldwide. As co-developer of the Net Promoter® methodology, its applications deliver full process support to help companies reduce customer chum, mobilize loyal promoters, generate more powerful insights and drive customer obsession through accountability. Learn more at or

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