Publix, Hy-Vee, Chick-fil-A top in customer service, according to research

Waban, Mass. -- Research results released Wednesday by Temkin Group put grocers Publix and Hy-Vee along with credit unions and Chick-fil-A at the top of its 2012 Temkin Customer Service Ratings, which examines how U.S. consumers rate the customer service of 174 large companies across 18 industries.

Other high marks were given by consumers to H.E.B., Sam's Club, Winn-Dixie, ShopRite, Aldi, Starbucks, Giant Eagle and J.C. Penney.

At the other end of the spectrum, consumers gave the lowest ratings to Charter Communications, Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Citibank, Qwest, Cigna, and Bank of America.
 
The 2012 Temkin Customer Service Ratings is based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers in January 2012 that covers the following 18 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, TV service providers, and wireless carriers.

“Customer service is a critical moment of truth for many customers,” said Bruce Temkin, author of the research and managing partner of Temkin Group. “It’s nearly impossible to deliver an overall great customer experience if you don't get customer service right.”

Temkin Group examined industry averages and found that grocery chains were the only industry to earn a “strong” rating. Retailers, fast-food chains, appliance makers and investment firms round out the top five.

Temkin Group also analyzed changes in Temkin Customer Service Ratings between 2011 and 2012. Only one retailer had double-digit declines: Old Navy.