Who is King of the CX Hill? Interesting question.


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I have this geeky habit of comparing CX ranking data across different analyst groups and publications to garner insight. Last year, I compared Forrester and Business Week’s CX rankings against Forbes “Best Companies to Work for List” looking for threads of continuity.  It didn’t produce a blog post but gave me great food for thought.

Today, I compared Business Week’s top companies for customer experience in 2010 (released February 18th) with Forrester’s Customer Service Experience Rankings, released on January 28th.

Of course, the methodologies and rigor used in both the studies are really different.  Business Week partnered with JD Power, to conduct analysis of 200 firms — starting with an initial high level survey that yielded “over 1,000 responses.”  It then used those survey responses to target companies and conduct more specific research using through JD Power’s database and audience (an unspecified number of people – I hate that!). Companies are ranked by overall score — and sorted a number of ways.  The Forrester Study covered 92 large companies and 4,600 people were surveyed.  Companies are ranked by a “Net Satisfaction Score”  (I like this method!) which should not be confused by Net Promoter score.

I loaded the top companies into a spreadsheet, and this is how they stacked against each other:

The results were interesting … as USAA, Barnes and Noble, Marriott / The Ritz Carlton, Amazon and Southwest Airlines are the only companies shared between lists – but it’s interesting that they are consistentlly ranked within 10 points of each other. Furthermore, all of these companies have consistently scored high in CX in past years.

However, Forrester’s top leaders (defined as the top 80% net satisfaction score) did not include experience darlings like Apple (scoring only 79%) or American Express (scoring 74%).  There was also no mention of Starbucks or the other companies on Business Week’s list.  I’m also unclear as to why Forrester masked banks, credit unions and insurance agents in their listings.  It’d be interesting to compare the companies reviewed alphabetically… but I have client work get to.  

So now that I’ve summarized — here the links for you!

While I didn’t love the lack of crisp description of the methodology
Business Week used… but I loved the way they packaged the findings:

Forrester‘s full report is $499….However, here’s a link to free preview data from Author Bruce Temkin  that includes some additional analysis as well as a list of those who belong in the naughty chair.


Leigh Durst
Leigh (Duncan) Durst is the principal of Live Path. She is a 19 year veteran in business, operations and customer strategy, ecommerce, digital and social media. As an active consultant, writer, speaker and teacher, she is an advocate for creating remarkable customer experiences that harness digital media and improving business outcomes.


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