Knowledge is power. Understanding how customers are behaving can be help shape everything from product development to product launch. The American Customer Satisfaction Index is a national economic indicator of customer evaluations of the quality of products and services available to household consumers in the United States. The Index uses data from interviews with roughly 500,000 customers annually as inputs to an econometric model for analyzing customer satisfaction with more than 400 companies in 46 industries and 10 economic sectors, including various services of federal and local government agencies.
Index results are released throughout the year, with all measures reported on a scale of 0 to 100. Index data have proven to be strongly related to several essential indicators of micro and macroeconomic performance. For example, firms with higher levels of customer satisfaction tend to have higher earnings and stock returns relative to competitors. Stock portfolios based on companies that show strong performance in customer satisfaction deliver excess returns in up markets as well as down markets. At the macro level, customer satisfaction has been shown to be predictive of both consumer spending and GDP growth.
The full report can be accessed here but we have pulled out some excerpts that especially pertain to our market:
Barnes & Noble is steady at 81 for the fourth consecutive year. Third place is crowded, with six retailers posting scores of 80. Ascena, which shed its Maurices brand and is closing all Dressbarn stores, shows stable customer satisfaction, as does Cabela’s and Menards. Likewise, Ulta Beauty keeps its score of 80, but a small 1% improvement for Sephora puts the two beauty chains in a tie. Sephora has made changes to its Beauty Insider program and while the company has improved its ability to provide sales and promotions, customers still give Ulta Beauty significantly higher marks in this area. Bed Bath & Beyond completes the six-way tie, up 1% to 80 despite ongoing store closings.
Consumers are happier with their online shopping experiences in 2019 as customer satisfaction for internet retail gains 1.3% to 81. As such, internet retail stands out as the only industry in the Retail sector to show improvement year over year. Moreover, with a satisfaction score of 81, the category far outpaces its brick-and-mortar counterparts.
Only three companies turn in scores that are above the industry average in 2019 and just one, Nordstrom, comes from traditional retail. Internet giant Amazon gains 1% to retake the lead at 83, followed by Etsy and the online business of Nordstrom, both up 1% to scores of 82. Amazon wrapped up 2019 by beating its own estimated revenue high, with Prime membership reaching a record 150 million.
No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the data and information in this report without the express prior written consent of ACSI LLC.