Customer Service Ratings and Employee Listening
September 2013



Kudos to USAA for taking the two top spots in the 2013 Temkin Customer Service Ratings. As you can see below, both the company's insurance and banking businesses stood out in our evaluation of 235 companies across 19 industries. 


A key component to USAA's success is outstanding employee engagement. In our recently published report Best Practices for Actively Listening to Employees, we provide case studies from USAA along with Adobe, Fidelity, Microsoft, and TELUS. Aimee Lucas will present highlight of the research during a free webinar on September 17 at 1:00 ET. 


Another company that earned a shout out is VMware, which received the highest scores in our new report Tech Vendors: Benchmarking Product and Relationship Satisfaction of IT Clients, 2013.This report evaluates 54 tech vendors based on a survey of more than 800 IT decision makers.


We're also preparing for the first annual Customer Experience Day on October 1st. I've been publishing a series of 50 CX Tips on my blog which will be completed on CX Day. See more of our plans for CX Day below.


If this all sounds like fun, then you might want to join our team. We're looking to hire a CX Transformist to propel leading-edge practices on customer insights and VoC.

2013 Temkin Customer Service Ratings

USAA earned the top two spots in the third annual Temkin Customer Service Ratings of 235 companies across 19 industries based on a survey of 10,000 U.S consumers.

Other companies at the top of the ratings include credit unions, Ace Hardware, Charles Schwab, Dollar Tree, Chick-fil-A, Sonic Drive-In, Hy-Vee, Costco, Trader Joe's, Advantage, Publix, and H.E.B.


TV service providers and Internet service providers collected nine out of ten of the bottom spots in the ratings. For the second straight year, Charter Communications took the bottom spot. The rest of the firms in the bottom five are Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Optimum (i/o), and CareFirst

Best Practices for Actively Listening to Employees
Employees are a valuable asset, not only for what they do but also for what they know. Unfortunately, companies regularly underuse or outright ignore their insights. In the report Best Practices for Actively Listening to Employees we uncovered four key areas of listening: employee satisfaction and engagement, customer experience engagement, customer experience improvement, and employee experience improvement. 
This report outlines case studies from five companies with robust employee listening programs: Adobe, Fidelity, Microsoft, TELUS, and USAA. Here are some of the highlights.
We released the second annual Benchmarking Product and Relationship Satisfaction of IT Clients which evaluates 54 vendors based on a survey of 800 IT decision-makers in large North American companies. 
Microsoft servers and VMware earned the top scores for their products while Deloitte Consulting and Trend Micro scored the lowest in this category. VMware and SAP Analytics were the highest rated in the relationship category while Deloitte Consulting and Fujitsu fell to the bottom.


Here are the top performers in the products categories:

  • Product Features: IBM SPSS and Microsoft servers
  • Product Quality: VMware, Apple, SAP Analytics, and Intel
  • Product Flexibility: VMware and Microsoft servers
  • Product Ease of Use: Apple, Microsoft desktop, and Dell

Here are the top performers in the relationships category:

  • Technical Support: VMware and IBM IT Services
  • Account Team Support: VMware, SAP Analytics, and IBM SPSS
  • Cost of Ownership: VMware and SAP Analytics
  • Vendor Innovation: VMware and Google
Customer Experience Day (October 1st)
This October 1st will be the first annual CX Day-a global celebration of the companies and people who are creating great experiences for customers. Check out the website to see all of the exciting things planned, including local networking events in 20+ cities across five countries and a series of live online events.
If you know someone who is doing great CX work, nominate him/her for a CX Impact Award which will be announced on CX Day. Nominations are due by Friday, September 13th.
Temkin Group is celebrating CX Day as well. I've been publishing a series of 50 CX Tips on my blog as we count down to the big day. In addition, we'll be giving away some free research with a download coupon code that we'll reveal on my twitter feed that day. We will also mark this key day by launching the 2013 CX Excellence Awards.
I'll also be participating in a blog carnival on the site and hosting a free webinar with Sprint CEO Dan Hesse at 11:00 ET.
Customer Experience Matters Blog
Here are some recent posts from the CX Matters blog:
  • 50 CX Tips: Simple Ideas, Powerful Results: I've published more than half of the tips so far, including innovate around customer lifecycle events, create a mission that inspires employees, obsess about customers, not competitors, map your customer's journey and test for cultural fit before you hire
  • Design Experiences to Nudge Consumers: This post discusses techniques for "encouraging" consumers to make healthier decisions in grocery stores by influencing their subconscious decision-making processes.
  • Who's Worried About Security of Personal Information? Our large-scale consumer data shows that concerns about personal information have declined since last year and that consumers with low levels of education are the most worried.
  • PCxD Principle #1: Align Through Purpose: This post highlights the first principle of an important new concept from Temkin Group: People-Centric Experience Design (PCxD).  
Temkin Group Research Plans and Update 

Our upcoming research includes a report on CX organizational structures and the state of VoC programs.
Here's a link to all of our published research.
We have also created resource pages for NPS programs and for employee engagement. Check out our tools and insights that will accelerate your success.
If you want to propel your organization's CX efforts, then make sure to register for our workshop in South Beach Miami on December 10 & 11CX Reality: Learn, Experience, Transform.
If you're looking to accelerate your CX efforts, here are a number of ways that Temkin Group can help:
  • Interactive training workshops for executive teams or other groups either to align around key customer experience principles and priorities or to develop plans in key areas such as voice of the customer programs.
  • Assessments of customer experience efforts to identify gaps and opportunities to accelerate your transformation efforts.
  • Speeches and webinars on a wide range of customer experience and leadership topics.
  • Educational curricula to establish and reinforce an understanding of proven customer experience principles across an organization.
  • Strategy reviews of marketing and product plans for vendors who want to help companies transform their customer experience.
Corporate Subscriptions to Temkin Group Research

Temkin Group research and advisory services can be a great resource for your CX efforts. The insights will help you implement best practices, benchmark your performance, identify mistakes to avoid and provide you with guidance along the way. Our corporate subscriptions include: 
  • Unlimited access to all Temkin Group research and Temkin Ratings data for all of your employees for 12 months (for internal use only)
  • Up to 10 inquiries (questions that Temkin group can answer in a short email or during a phone conversation of up to 20 minutes)
  • One advisory call (phone discussion up to 90 minutes)
Please send us an email if you are interested in pricing or in receiving more details about our research subscriptions.
If you're interested in Temkin Group's research or services, then drop me a line at, visit our website at, or give us a call at (617) 916-2075.


Bruce Temkin
Customer Experience Transformist
& Managing Partner
Temkin Group

Chair, Customer Experience Professionals Association

Customer Experience Professionals Association

Follow me on Twitter  

In This Issue
> Temkin Customer Service Ratings
> Best Practices for Actively Listening to Employees
> Product and Relationship Satisfaction of IT Clients
> CX Day
> CX Matters Blog
> Temkin Group Update
Temkin Group
We are a research and consulting firm that combines thought leadership with a deep understanding of the dynamics of large organizations to accelerate their customer experience transformational efforts
Key Upcoming Dates 

Oct 1: CX Day

Four CX Competencies
CX is not a veneer; organizations must master these CX competencies
1) Purposeful Leadership
2) Compelling Brand
3) Employee Engagement
4) Customer
Quick Links

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10 Common CX Mistakes


From eBook: 10 CX Mistakes to Avoid
1) Faking Executive Commitment 
2) Over-Relying on Customer Surveys 
3) Neglecting Experience Design 
4) Treating All Customers the Same 
5) Un-Engaging New Customers 
6) Ignoring Employees 
7) Obsessing About Detractors 
8) Forgetting to Celebrate Success 
9) Falling in Love with a Metric 
10) Mapping Internal Touchpoints
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