The rankings measure customer loyalty using Net Promoter Score (willingness to recommend). They are based on survey responses from more than 22,000 U.S. consumers nationwide, and include ratings for 170 individual brands across a large variety of industry sectors (insurance, financial services, airline, telecommunications, technology, retail and online services).
Industry leaders in this year's rankings also include well-known brands such as Costco, Apple, Google, Symantec, Trader Joe's, Vanguard and Amazon.
San Mateo, Calif.-based Satmetrix surveyed consumers, who rated 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. The benchmarks allow companies to compare their performance to industry peers based on an industry-standard measure of customer loyalty.
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.
The big challenge for most companies is to figure out how to use customer feedback to drive improvements in their customer experience, says John Abraham, general manager of Net Promoter programs at Satmetrix, in a release. "Measuring is just the first step," he adds. "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."
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.
JetBlue (60%) and Southwest (59%) once again dominated the airline rankings, scoring nearly 45 points above the industry average. U.S. Airways trailed the segment at negative 12%.