USAA,, Costco, Virgin America, Apple, Trader Joe's and Wegmans Among the Highest in Customer Loyalty in the 2012 Satmetrix® Net Promoter® Benchmark Study

PR Newswire
Wednesday, March 14th 2012

Study unveils customer loyalty leaders for 22 U.S. industry sectors

SAN MATEO, Calif., March 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Satmetrix®, the Net Promoter® software company and leader in customer experience programs, today released its 2012 Net Promoter Industry Benchmarks for the financial services, insurance, online services, retailing, technology, telecommunications, and travel and hospitality industries. This year's study was expanded to reach more than 30,000 U.S. consumers, with ratings for more than 200 brands across 22 industry sectors. This year's study includes new coverage for auto service and repair, drug stores and pharmacies, hardware and home supply stores, hotels, and travel websites. Winners include admired brands such as USAA,, Costco, Virgin America, Apple, Trader Joe's and Wegmans.


The Satmetrix Net Promoter Benchmarks are based on survey responses from U.S. consumers nationwide who rate their experience with the primary brands they use. The Net Promoter Score, or NPS®, for each brand is based on customers' likelihood to recommend the company's product or service in the sector being rated. NPS is calculated as the percentage of customers who are promoters, rating the company 9 or 10 on a 0 to 10 point scale, minus the percentage who are detractors, rating 6 or lower. Consumers also rate each brand on various aspects of customer experience, including product or service features, customer service and overall value, enabling Satmetrix to analyze drivers of loyalty and recommendation.

"Net Promoter has become the industry standard for customer experience management because it correlates strongly with organic growth in most industries," said Deborah Eastman, general manager of consulting at Satmetrix. "The annual benchmark is an important guidepost for executives to understand which brands are truly winning the loyalty of American consumers. It also presents a challenge to many companies, to understand how they can be more effective at listening to the voice of their customers and delivering experiences that are worthy of recommendation."  

The study encompassed 22 specific competitive sectors across seven major industry groups. Highlights include:

  • Financial Services: USAA's direct banking operation led the banking sector again this year with an NPS of 83%, the highest NPS recorded across all brands and industry sectors. Seven banks had more detractors than promoters, with the Wachovia brand (acquired in 2009 by Wells Fargo) trailing the list with an NPS of negative 15%. In the brokerage and investment category, Scottrade moved into the top spot at 54% thanks to a combination of low cost, ease of use and responsive customer service. Among major credit card issuers, American Express (43%) was in top position for the fifth year, having maintained this lead through the financial downturn, despite sector-wide tightening of consumer credit.


  • Insurance: The insurance industry was marked by some of the lowest and highest customer loyalty performance, depending on the line of business and company. USAA dominated both the auto insurance sector at 74% and homeowners insurance at 71%. By contrast, most major health insurers had nearly as many detractors as promoters, tallying up an industry average NPS of just 4% (0% if sector leader Kaiser Permanente is not included). Kaiser Permanente stood out again this year with an NPS of 33% thanks to its innovative business model combining insurance coverage with health care delivery in one coordinated service. For life insurance, State Farm led again this year at 28%.