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USAA, Kaiser Permanente, Amazon.com, Pandora, Costco, Wegmans, Apple, TracFone, Southwest and Westin Among the Highest in Customer Loyalty in the 2014 Satmetrix® Net Promoter® Benchmarks

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

SAN MATEO, Calif., March 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Satmetrix®, the leading provider of cloud-based Net Promoter® Software for companies of all sizes, released its 2014 Net Promoter Industry Benchmarks today. The reports rank more than 219 brands across 22 U.S. industry sectors, including financial services, insurance, technology, online services, retail stores, electronics, travel and hospitality, and telecommunications.  Now available for download at www.satmetrix.com/benchmarking, the full reports offer an expanded and enhanced view of customer experience, featuring information about the key factors that drive consumer loyalty (loyalty drivers) specific to each industry sector.

"Our 2014 reports provide not only company rankings according to Net Promoter Score, but also direct insight into which everyday customer experiences drive loyalty and are critical to a company's success," said Brendan Rocks, data scientist, Satmetrix. "The Net Promoter leaders in their respective industries have positioned themselves to outpace their competitors in the areas of increased customer retention and acquisition."  

The Satmetrix Net Promoter Benchmarks are based on survey responses from more than 23,000 U.S. consumers nationwide who rated 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 rated each brand on various aspects of customer experience, including product or service features, customer service and overall value, enabling Satmetrix to identify the key drivers of loyalty and recommendation. The 2014 benchmarks reports provide a detailed look at loyalty drivers tailored to each featured sector, providing a rich view for companies to examine specific performance measures against their peers.

Highlights from the 2014 reports include:

Financial Services

Consumer confidence in financial institutions continued to improve in the 2014 banking benchmarks, with 19 of the 22 banks represented showing increased scores from 2013. Notably, Bank of America's surge in loyalty continued for the second year in a row, with a 20 point increase in NPS in 2014, following a 25 point increase in 2013. This dramatic jump in loyalty has brought the bank up from worst performer in 2012 to sixth place out of the 14 banks included. The bank improved its ratings on important key drivers including company reputation, overall value for money, acting in customers' best interests, and safety and trustworthiness.

For the fifth year in a row, USAA led the loyalty rankings not only in the banking category (81 points), but also in the automotive insurance (81 points) and home/contents insurance (84 points) categories. SunTrust Bank's NPS came in at a distant second – just 45 points. For the second year in a row, HSBC trailed the category with a score of -14 points.

Vanguard led the brokerage/investment category for the second year in a row with an NPS of 65 points, increasing six points from the 2013 findings. Morgan Stanley Wealth Management trailed the group with a score of 29 points.

Discover took over the top NPS score in the credit card company category, increasing 8 points from last year to a score of 52 points and ending American Express' (45 points) six year run as the industry leader, as it dropped to second place. Customers found Discover to have the best company reputation of the companies measured and gave the company the highest marks in the category for making it easy to conduct their business. Citigroup was the industry laggard with an NPS of 18 points, despite an impressive 12 point increase over the last year.

Insurance

State Farm (60 points) had the biggest increase of any company in the auto insurance sector, increasing 15 points from last year and moving from fifth place to second place. The insurer has made improvements across all three of its categories, leading the life insurance benchmark and taking second place in both the auto insurance and home/contents insurance to USAA. For the fifth year in a row, USAA (81 points) maintained its status as loyalty leader in the auto insurance sector, beating competitors on every single loyalty driver measured on the survey, including products or service features, ease of doing business and the peace of mind they receive from the policy. Travelers (28 points) and 21st Century (29 points) were the bottom two companies in the category.

USAA also kept the top slot in the home/contents insurance benchmark with a score of 84 points, the highest score of the entire study. State Farm took second place in the category with 53 points. In contrast, Travelers (16 points) was the laggard on nearly every loyalty driver, ranking the lowest of all of the companies.

In the life insurance benchmark, State Farm was the leader with a score of 45 points, 11 points better than second place New York Life (34 points). State Farm led on all key loyalty drivers including company reputation, buying/sign-up experience, ease and convenience of finding policies and acts in customers' best interests. Liberty Mutual was the lowest-ranked company, with a score of 14 points.

Kaiser Permanente remained dominant in the health insurance sector, improving to an all-time high score of 40 points. The provider rated highest on a number of important key loyalty drivers, as patients appreciated its service features, company reputation and the feeling that Kaiser Permanente acts in their personal best interest. With a score of 32 points, Humana saw significant improvement from 2013, moving up 14 points to beat out last year's second place finisher, Medicare (27 points) for second place.

Technology

Apple led the technology and electronics industry benchmarks, receiving the top score in all three of the hardware categories: Laptop computers, smartphones and tablet computers. In the tablet computer sector, Apple iPad (66 points) led second-ranked Kindle (59 points). Microsoft (51 points) made the most impressive leap of any of the tablet companies, moving from last place (26 points) in 2013 up to the fourth position with a score increase of 25 points. Customers were impressed with Microsoft's innovative features, but still lamented the lack of available apps. Acer was the category laggard, with a score of 28 points.

In the laptop category, Apple continued to lead the pack with a score of 72 points, well above second place HP (46 points). Customers rated Apple the highest of all brands measured on every one of the loyalty drivers, including overall performance, speed and responsiveness, appearance and reliability. This is the seventh year the company has led the category. The Apple iPhone (67 points) dominated the smartphone category, with Samsung in second place (54 points). Apple led on nearly every single loyalty driver except for "overall value for money" (leader: LG) and "quality of screen viewing" (leader: Samsung).

TurboTax (58 points) led the software and apps benchmarks, with Adobe Creative Suite coming in at a distant second (36 points). TurboTax customers appreciated the ease of doing business, product reliability and ease of installation in comparison with competitors. McAfee trailed the group with a score of 7 points.

Online Services

Pandora, newly added to the benchmarks, usurped Netflix (54 points) to lead the online entertainment category in 2014 with a score of 56 points. The service led across all key industry drivers, as consumers appreciated the availability of songs and convenience of access. For the second year in a row, Blockbuster On Demand (11 points) was the lowest ranked in the category.

In the online shopping category, Amazon.com led the pack for the fifth year in a row with a score of 64 points, beating out its wholly owned subsidiary Zappos.com (60 points), which took over second place from eBay (54 points). BestBuy.com made the biggest improvements in the sector, with a 10 point increase. Google Shopping (19 points) took last place, and Target.com (32 points) came in second to last, ranking lowest on company reputation and safety of payments.

Retail Stores

Walgreens (42 points) saw a massive leap from 2013 to 2014, going from the drug store/pharmacy laggard in 2013 to the leader in 2014. Last year's leader, Walmart Pharmacy, moved down to second place in the category. Walgreens rated highly on important key drivers of loyalty, as customers appreciated the convenience of purchase and the staff's knowledge.

In the grocery store/supermarket category, Wegmans (61 points) vaulted into first place. Only four points separated the top four stores. Trader Joe's, the leader for the past four years, fell to fourth place.

For the fourth year in a row, Costco (82 points) ranked highest in the department/specialty stores category. Customers noted that they appreciated the buying/sign-up experience and value for money. They also rated Costco's reputation highest in the category. Kmart and Walmart trailed the category.

Travel and Hospitality

Southwest ranked highest in the airline category with a score of 62 points, with JetBlue coming in a close second. Southwest led on a number of important key loyalty drivers, as customers lauded the ease of doing business with the airline, overall value for money, and ease of booking baggage and extras. US Airways (-8 points) trailed the group, dropping significantly from last year by 14 points.

TripAdvisor (46 points) led the travel website category for the third year in a row, while Orbitz (20 points) was the industry laggard. Hotels.com (36 points) took second place, with a notable 17 point improvement in NPS compared to 2013, moving up from fifth place.

In the hotel category, previous leader Marriott fell to second place behind Westin (59 points). Motel 6 was the industry laggard with a score of -15 points, falling behind previous laggard, Super 8 (4 points). The hotel sector had the widest score spread of any category, 74 points.

Communications

Improving from third place in 2013, DirecTV took the top spot with a score of 34 points in the cable/satellite TV service benchmark. Last year's leader, Verizon (32 points), fell to second place. Comcast and Time Warner Cable, who recently announced a merger, both trailed the benchmark, with Net Promoter Scores of -3 points and -5 points, respectively.

TracFone maintained its position as leader in the 2014 cellular phone service benchmarks with an NPS of 39 points and the scoring best on the overall value for money rating. Cricket came in second place with a score of 34 points. The company's impressive three year trend of positive NPS increase continued, as the firm's NPS has moved up from sixth place in the rankings to second place since 2011. Last year's second place finisher, US Cellular, dropped 22 points down to 16 points and, after removing its unlimited data plans for new customers in 2013, customer ratings on value for money, ease of doing business, customer service, and the perception of treating customers fairly dipped sharply. Sprint was the category laggard with a score of 5 points.

Brighthouse Networks (20 points) maintained its first place ranking on the internet service benchmark, continuing to edge out Verizon. Industry laggard, Mediacom (-22 points) trailed the group.

Full Results of the 2014 Net Promoter Study Now Available

Full results from the annual Net Promoter study of more than 23,000 U.S. consumers are available now from Satmetrix. Twenty-two reports, covering each of the sectors featured are ready for download, with analysis of time trends and the drivers that affect customer loyalty (raw data also is available): www.satmetrix.com/benchmarking.

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 churn, mobilize loyal promoters, generate more powerful insights and drive customer obsession through accountability. Learn more at www.satmetrix.com or www.netpromoter.com.

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

Contact:
Rosalie Morton
PadillaCRT
626-862-7110

SOURCE Satmetrix

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