Southwest Airlines Earns Top Customer Experience Rating For Airlines, According To Temkin Group

WABAN, Mass., March 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Southwest Airlines delivers the best customer experience in the airline industry, according to the 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings, an annual ranking of companies based on a study of 10,000 U.S. consumers. Southwest Airlines took the top spot for the fourth year in a row, earning a rating of 71% and placing 83rd out of 268 companies across 19 industries. At the other end of the spectrum, US Airways received the lowest ratings of any airline for the third straight year, landing in 251st place overall with a 52% rating.

"Southwest does a great job with customer experience and continues to set the bar for airlines," states Bruce Temkin, managing partner of Temkin Group.

Here are some additional findings from the airline industry:

  • The ratings of all airlines in the 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings are as follows: Southwest Airlines (71%), Alaska Airlines (65%), Delta Airlines (63%), American Airlines (62%), United Airlines (61%), JetBlue Airlines (60%), AirTran Airways (56%), and US Airways (52%).
  • American Airlines (+8 points), US Airways (+7 points), and United Airlines (+6 points) improved the most between 2013 and 2014.
  • AirTran Airways (-9 points), JetBlue (-4 points), and Alaska Airlines (-3 points) were the only airlines whose ratings declined between 2013 and 2014.
  • Overall, the airline industry averaged a 61% rating in the 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings and tied for 13th place out of 19 industries. It is also one of the 15 industries to improve its rating over the past year, increasing its average by 1.2 percentage points.

Now in its fourth year of publication, the 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings examines the quality of the customer experience delivered by 268 organizations across 19 industries: airlines, appliance makers, auto dealers, banks, car rental agencies, computer makers, credit card issuers, fast food chains, grocery chains, health plans, hotel chains, insurance carriers, Internet service providers, investment firms, parcel delivery services, retailers, software firms, TV service providers, and wireless carriers.

To generate these ratings, Temkin Group asked consumers to evaluate their experiences with a company across three dimensions: functional (can you do what you want to do?), accessible (how easy is it to work with the company?), and emotional (how do you feel about the interactions?). Temkin Group then averaged these three scores to produce a company's Temkin Experience Rating.

In these ratings, a score of 70% or above is considered "good," and a score of 80% or above is considered "excellent." In this year's Temkin Experience Ratings, 37% of companies earned a "good" or "excellent" score, while 25% received a "poor" or "very poor" score. The percentage of companies that earned at least a "good" rating stayed steady from 2013, but has grown by 21 percentage points since 2011. 

The 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings, along with other ratings, can be accessed at the Temkin Ratings website, www.TemkinRatings.com.

The free report "2014 Temkin Experience Ratings" is available for download at the Customer Experience Matters®blog (ExperienceMatters.wordpress.com) and at the Temkin Group website, www.TemkinGroup.com.

About Temkin Group: Temkin Group is widely recognized as a leading customer experience research and consulting firm. Many of the world's largest brands rely on its insights and advice to steer their transformational journeys, and Temkin Group accelerates their results by combining customer experience thought leadership with a deep understanding of organizational dynamics. Rather than layering on cosmetic changes, Temkin Group helps companies embed practices within their culture by building four critical competencies: Purposeful Leadership, Employee Engagement, Compelling Brand Values, and Customer Connectedness. The firm's ongoing research identifies leading and emerging best practices for engaging the hearts and minds of customers, employees, and partners. For more information, contact Bruce Temkin at 617-916-2075 or send an email.

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