Sam’s, Amazon Tops In Customer Experience: Survey

By Alan Wolf On Mar 19 2013 - 11:42am

Sam's Club

Waban, Mass. — Sam’s Club and provide the best customer experience in retail, a survey of 10,000 shoppers revealed.

Conversely, RadioShack came in last place among retailers for the third consecutive year; T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T carrier stores were deemed only marginally better; and Best Buy, Walmart and, surprisingly, Apple Stores were given middling ratings of just “OK,” according to the online poll, conducted in January by The Temkin Group.

The retail sector itself tied for third place out of 19 industries evaluated, with 36 out of the 44 retailers included in the study earning a “good” or “excellent” rating.

The rankings, based on a 100-point scale, measure three components: functionality (customers’ ability to accomplish what they want), accessibility (ease of working with the company), and emotion (how consumers feel about their interactions).

“The retail industry remains one of the better sectors for customer experience, but RadioShack is a real black sheep in the industry,” observed managing partner Bruce Temkin.

Among the findings:

* Amazon and Sam’s Club each earned ratings of 81 percent, tying for fifth place across all industries.

* Six other retailers were in the top 20 of all industries, including Costco (tied for No. 13) and BJ’s Wholesale and Walgreens (tied for No. 20).

* RadioShack earned a “poor” rating of 58 percent, scoring lowest across all three metrics (functional, accessible and emotional).

* Amazon and Costco were top-rated for functionality.

* Office Depot (up 11 percentage points) and Barnes & Noble (up 8 percentage points) showed the largest improvement across all industries from 2012.

* Sam’s Club and Lowe’s, each down 4 percentage points, had the largest declines from last year.

* The average rating for the retail sector increased from 71 percent in 2012 to 74 percent this year.

* The top-ranked company across all industries was the Publix grocery chain, followed by Trader Joe’s.

The Temkin Experience Ratings are based on consumers’ evaluations of their interactions with companies over the prior two months. The full report can be accessed at

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