The 2011 Temkin Experience Ratings surveyed 6,000 different consumers from 143 different companies which included retailers, banks, hotels, and financial institutions. Customers were polled mainly on their opinions regarding customer assistance and problem resolution - whether by Twitter, Facebook, corporate websites, telephones, or in person. Amazon.com, Kohl's Costco, and Lowe's scored the highest ratings.
Author Bruce Temkin stated the ratings concentrated on direct interactions, and not necessarily on the product ownership. It was more to do with how a customer's needs were met, how easy a customer could do what they needed to do, and how that customer felt about their overall experience. In other words, consumers rated the functional aspects of doing business, the accessible elements of interacting with the business and employees, and then finally the emotional results and how the customer felt when all was said and done.
So what makes a company measure up on customer service? Amazon.com boasts of having 130 million active accounts. Their customer service is constantly measured and evaluated by user-generated reviews and software that has been specifically designed to help the company and provide feedback on "better customer experience through price, selection, and convenience."
Amazon.com has expanded from once just selling books and magazines to appliances, videos, and even groceries. Where many companies lose something of themselves when they branch out too far on products or geographic areas, Amazon seems to be doing great at all of it.
Kohl's secret to their expanding success is combining their own thrifty labels with "exclusive" brands. Kohl's uses great value, savings, and value messages to amp up their customer service promises. In turn, Costco, states it simplifies members lives by helping them to make smart choices.
So what do we learn from the top four scoring companies? They all provide great value, they all provide a great selection, and they care how their customers feel about their businesses. While it is true that Amazon.com rarely does personal interviews with customers about their particular experiences, the bells and whistles that consumers find important and relevant to their particular sales are being fulfilled.
When doing business and doing it well, consumers just want the best products, and the best way you can deliver the product to them with the promise that you will stand behind that product and your word.