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The US Customer Experience Index, 2018


How Brands Build Loyalty With The Quality Of Their Experience

by Rick Parrish
June 19, 2018

Why Read This Report Key Takeaways


How well do leading brands build loyalty with Customer Experience Quality Languished
the quality of their customer experience (CX)? About the same number of brands rose as fell
This year, we reveal the complete rankings of in our rankings, and score gains were about the
all 287 brands across 19 industries in the US same size as losses. These moves caused the
Customer Experience Index (CX Index). We also number of good and poor scores to decline, while
unveil surprising trends in CX quality and the role the number of OK scores increased. Four industry
that emotion plays in CX. Customer experience averages dipped, and three climbed.
professionals can use this report to inform their
Stagnation Among Elite Brands Again Left A
ongoing improvement efforts.
Leadership Gap
No brand has risen to the top of our rankings
and continued to improve — the mark of a true
CX leader. Scores among elite brands — the
top 5% of brands in the entire CX Index — were
static again this year. Most industry frontrunners
were repeats, and all were stagnant. As a result,
we see no CX leaders, only languishers, lapsers,
locksteppers, and laggards.

Focus On Emotion To Achieve CX Leadership


Emotion has a bigger impact on brand loyalty
than effectiveness or ease in every industry. Elite
brands provided about 22 emotionally positive
experiences for each negative one; the bottom
5% of brands provided only two emotionally
positive experiences for each negative one.

forrester.com
For Customer Experience Professionals

The US Customer Experience Index, 2018


How Brands Build Loyalty With The Quality Of Their Experience

by Rick Parrish
with Harley Manning, Roxana Strohmenger, William Willsea, Meredith McCreight, Ben
Salamin, and Rachel Birrell
June 19, 2018

Table Of Contents Related Research Documents


2 Customer Experience Quality Languished In Answers To Common Questions About Forrester’s
2018 Customer Experience Index

32 Torpor At The Top Means There Are No Real The Five Essential Steps To Plan Your CX
CX Leaders Transformation

Without Real Leaders, Only Four Types Of Gauge Your CX Management Maturity
Brands Remain

36 Emotion Holds The Key To Achieving CX


Differentiation
Share reports with colleagues.
38 How Forrester Can Help
Enhance your membership with
39 Supplemental Material Research Share.

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For Customer Experience Professionals June 19, 2018
The US Customer Experience Index, 2018
How Brands Build Loyalty With The Quality Of Their Experience

Customer Experience Quality Languished In 2018


Customer experience leaders grow revenue faster than CX laggards, drive higher brand preference,
and can charge more for their products.1 Based on a survey of over 110,000 US adult customers in
2018, Forrester’s Customer Experience Index (CX Index™) methodology measures how well a brand’s
customer experience strengthens the loyalty of its customers so it can reap these benefits (see Figure
1). We used this methodology to benchmark CX quality at 287 US brands. Between 2017 and 2018, our
benchmark shows the overall quality of the US customer experience stagnating — and differentiation
on the basis of CX evaporating — as more brands become mediocre (see Figures 2 to 20).

›› Gains and losses at the brand level were a wash. About the same number of brands rose as
fell: Of the 287 brands in the CX Index, 37 had statistically significant score increases while 40
had statistically significant score decreases. What’s more, brands that rose gained an average
of just over 4 points, while brands that fell lost an average of just under 4 points. Twelve brands
gained 5 or more points, and nine brands lost 5 or more points. This is a better performance than
in 2017, when half as many brands improved as declined and the average gain was smaller than
the average loss. However, this year’s results are weaker than 2016’s, when over five times as many
brands rose as sank and the average gain was larger than the average loss.

›› The number of good and poor scores dipped, while the number of OK scores rose. The
percentage of brands in the good category diminished from 16% to 15% as the quality of some
brands’ CX fell (see Figure 21).2 Similarly, the percentage of brands at the poor level shrank from
23% to 21% as the quality of their CX rose. As a result, the percentage of brands in the OK
category swelled from 59% to 62%. With more than three-fifths of brands clustered in the middle,
there’s a greater opportunity for firms to gain a competitive advantage by moving up to the good
and excellent categories.

›› Four industry averages fell, and three climbed. The average score in the direct brokerage,
multichannel brokerage, internet service provider (ISP), and digital retailer industries dipped (see
Figure 22). Meanwhile, the bar for the auto/home insurer, luxury auto manufacturer, and mass-
market auto manufacturer industries inched up.3 That’s better than in 2017, when three industry
averages fell and none rose. The result of this year’s changes? The luxury automobile manufacturer
industry rose from 6th to 2nd place, knocking the digital retailer industry down from 2nd to 5th.
Also, the auto/home insurance industry landed in 6th, up from 10th, and the mass-market auto
manufacturer industry moved up to 7th from 13th. Meanwhile, the multichannel brokerage industry
fell from 5th to 9th, and the direct brokerage industry dropped from 8th to 11th. The ISP industry
cemented its last-place position with an even lower score than in 2017.

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For Customer Experience Professionals June 19, 2018
The US Customer Experience Index, 2018
How Brands Build Loyalty With The Quality Of Their Experience

FIGURE 1 Forrester’s CX Index Measures Drivers Of CX Success Across Six Categories

Forrester’s CX Index score measures how successfully a company


3
delivers customer experiences that create and sustain loyalty.
4
CX QUALITY CUSTOMER LOYALTY

5
Effectiveness Retention
The experience Likelihood of
delivers value keeping existing
6 to customers. business.

7 Ease Enrichment
It’s not difficult CX INDEX Likelihood of buying
to get value from SCORE additional products
the experience. and services.
8
Emotion Advocacy
Customers feel Likelihood of
good about recommending
their experience. to others.

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The US Customer Experience Index, 2018
How Brands Build Loyalty With The Quality Of Their Experience

FIGURE 2 Forrester’s US CX Index, 2018: Rankings Of Airlines

Airlines

2018 2017 BRAND PERFORMANCE

1 1 JetBlue Airways

2 2 Southwest Airlines

3 5 Alaska Air

4 3 Hawaiian Airlines

5 9 Allegiant Air

6 7 Delta Air Lines

7 6 Air Canada

8 8 American Airlines

9 10 United Airlines

10 11 Frontier Airlines

11 12 Spirit Airlines

Very poor (0-54) Poor (55-64) OK (65-74) Good (75-84) Excellent (85-100)

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The US Customer Experience Index, 2018
How Brands Build Loyalty With The Quality Of Their Experience

FIGURE 3 Forrester’s US CX Index, 2018: Rankings Of Auto/Home Insurers

Auto/home insurers

2018 2017 BRAND PERFORMANCE

1 1 USAA

2 9 Erie Insurance

3 2 The Hartford

4 15 American Family Insurance

5 10 Travelers Insurance

6 4 State Farm Insurance

7 6 MetLife

8 3 Nationwide Mutual Insurance

9 5 Geico

10 11 Allstate

11 12 Safeco Insurance

Very poor (0-54) Poor (55-64) OK (65-74) Good (75-84) Excellent (85-100)

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The US Customer Experience Index, 2018
How Brands Build Loyalty With The Quality Of Their Experience

FIGURE 3 Forrester’s US CX Index, 2018: Rankings Of Auto/Home Insurers (Cont.)

Auto/home insurers

2018 2017 BRAND PERFORMANCE

12 8 Farmers Insurance

13 14 Liberty Mutual

14 7 Progressive

15 18 Auto-Owners Insurance

16 13 AAA

17 17 Esurance

18 19 21st Century Insurance

19 16 National General Insurance

Very poor (0-54) Poor (55-64) OK (65-74) Good (75-84) Excellent (85-100)

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For Customer Experience Professionals June 19, 2018
The US Customer Experience Index, 2018
How Brands Build Loyalty With The Quality Of Their Experience

FIGURE 4 Forrester’s US CX Index, 2018: Rankings Of Auto Manufacturers (Luxury)

Auto manufacturers (luxury)

2018 2017 BRAND PERFORMANCE

1 1 Lexus

2 2 Mercedes-Benz

3 3 Infiniti

4 6 Cadillac

5 7 Audi

6 4 BMW

7 5 Acura

Very poor (0-54) Poor (55-64) OK (65-74) Good (75-84) Excellent (85-100)

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For Customer Experience Professionals June 19, 2018
The US Customer Experience Index, 2018
How Brands Build Loyalty With The Quality Of Their Experience

FIGURE 5 Forrester’s US CX Index, 2018: Rankings Of Auto Manufacturers (Mass Market)

Auto manufacturers (mass market)

2018 2017 BRAND PERFORMANCE

1 1 Subaru

2 13 Buick

3 9 Mazda

4 11 Ford Motor

5 5 Kia Motors

6 3 Honda

7 8 Chevrolet

8 7 GMC

9 2 Toyota

10 4 Hyundai

11 6 Jeep

12 14 Dodge

13 12 Volkswagen

14 10 Nissan

15 15 Chrysler

Very poor (0-54) Poor (55-64) OK (65-74) Good (75-84) Excellent (85-100)

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The US Customer Experience Index, 2018
How Brands Build Loyalty With The Quality Of Their Experience

FIGURE 6 Forrester’s US CX Index, 2018: Rankings Of Banks (Direct)

Banks (direct)

2018 2017 BRAND PERFORMANCE

1 1 USAA

2 5 Ally Bank

3 4 Fidelity Cash Management

4 2 Capital One 360

5 10 Charles Schwab Bank

6 3 Discover Bank

7 9 American Express Bank

8 6 State Farm Bank

9 8 Synchrony Bank

10 7 Goldman Sachs Bank

Very poor (0-54) Poor (55-64) OK (65-74) Good (75-84) Excellent (85-100)

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The US Customer Experience Index, 2018
How Brands Build Loyalty With The Quality Of Their Experience

FIGURE 7 Forrester’s US CX Index, 2018: Rankings Of Banks (Multichannel)

Banks (multichannel)

2018 2017 BRAND PERFORMANCE

1 1 Navy Federal Credit Union

2 8 Huntington National Bank

3 2 Regions Bank

4 4 PNC Bank

5 6 SunTrust Banks

6 11 Citizens Bank

7 5 TD Bank

8 3 BB&T

9 9 Chase

10 13 M&T Bank

Very poor (0-54) Poor (55-64) OK (65-74) Good (75-84) Excellent (85-100)

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The US Customer Experience Index, 2018
How Brands Build Loyalty With The Quality Of Their Experience

FIGURE 7 Forrester’s US CX Index, 2018: Rankings Of Banks (Multichannel) (Cont.)

Banks (multichannel)

2018 2017 BRAND PERFORMANCE

11 7 U.S. Bank

12 10 Capital One Bank

13 14 Fifth Third Bank

14 16 Wells Fargo

15 12 KeyBank

16 15 Citibank

17 17 Bank of America

18 18 Bank of the West

Very poor (0-54) Poor (55-64) OK (65-74) Good (75-84) Excellent (85-100)

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The US Customer Experience Index, 2018
How Brands Build Loyalty With The Quality Of Their Experience

FIGURE 8 Forrester’s US CX Index, 2018: Rankings Of Brokerages (Direct)

Brokerages (direct)

2018 2017 BRAND PERFORMANCE

1 1 USAA

2 4 Charles Schwab

3 2 The Vanguard Group

4 7 Fidelity Investments

5 6 State Farm

6 10 Merrill Edge

7 12 Capital One Investing

8 9 E-Trade

9 5 TD Ameritrade

10 N/A Ally Invest

11 N/A Interactive Brokers

12 11 Firstrade

Very poor (0-54) Poor (55-64) OK (65-74) Good (75-84) Excellent (85-100)

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The US Customer Experience Index, 2018
How Brands Build Loyalty With The Quality Of Their Experience

FIGURE 9 Forrester’s US CX Index, 2018: Rankings Of Brokerages (Multichannel)

Brokerages (multichannel)

2018 2017 BRAND PERFORMANCE

1 1 Edward Jones

2 5 Ameriprise Financial

3 8 JPMorgan Chase

4 2 Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

5 3 T. Rowe Price

6 7 Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

7 9 Wells Fargo Advisors

8 10 PNC Investments

9 6 U.S. Bank

10 11 Citi Personal Wealth Management

11 4 AXA Advisors

Very poor (0-54) Poor (55-64) OK (65-74) Good (75-84) Excellent (85-100)

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The US Customer Experience Index, 2018
How Brands Build Loyalty With The Quality Of Their Experience

FIGURE 10 Forrester’s US CX Index, 2018: Rankings Of Credit Card Issuers

Credit card issuers

2018 2017 BRAND PERFORMANCE

1 1 USAA

2 2 Discover

3 4 PNC Financial Services

4 5 U.S. Bank

5 3 SunTrust Banks

6 7 American Express

7 10 Barclaycard

8 6 Capital One

9 8 Chase

10 11 Wells Fargo

11 14 Bank of America

12 13 Citi

13 9 Citizens Bank

14 15 Synchrony Financial

15 12 HSBC

Very poor (0-54) Poor (55-64) OK (65-74) Good (75-84) Excellent (85-100)

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The US Customer Experience Index, 2018
How Brands Build Loyalty With The Quality Of Their Experience

FIGURE 11 Forrester’s US CX Index, 2018: Rankings Of US Federal Government Agencies

Federal government

2018 2017 BRAND PERFORMANCE

1 1 National Park Service (NPS)

2 2 United States Postal Service (USPS)

3 3 Tricare

4 9 Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

5 4 Medicare

6 8 Bureau of Consular Affairs

7 6 US Citizenship and Immigration Services

8 10 Medicaid

9 7 Social Security Administration (SSA)

10 5 Small Business Administration (SBA)

11 12 Transportation Security Administration

12 11 Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

13 13 Department of Education (ED)

14 14 Healthcare.gov

15 15 USAJobs.gov

Very poor (0-54) Poor (55-64) OK (65-74) Good (75-84) Excellent (85-100)

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The US Customer Experience Index, 2018
How Brands Build Loyalty With The Quality Of Their Experience

FIGURE 12 Forrester’s US CX Index, 2018: Rankings Of Health Insurers

Health insurers

2018 2017 BRAND PERFORMANCE

1 1 Kaiser Permanente Health Plan

2 2 Humana

3 3 Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield

4 9 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

5 16 Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield

6 5 Florida Blue

7 7 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas

8 14 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois

9 11 Blue Shield of California

10 6 UnitedHealthcare

11 8 CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield

12 12 Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield

13 13 Cigna

14 4 Health Net

15 17 Anthem Blue Cross

16 10 Other Blue Cross Blue Shield

17 15 Aetna

Very poor (0-54) Poor (55-64) OK (65-74) Good (75-84) Excellent (85-100)

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The US Customer Experience Index, 2018
How Brands Build Loyalty With The Quality Of Their Experience

FIGURE 13 Forrester’s US CX Index, 2018: Rankings Of Hotels

Hotels

2018 2017 BRAND PERFORMANCE

1 1 Homewood Suites by Hilton

2 3 Residence Inn by Marriott

3 4 Hampton Inn & Suites

4 6 InterContinental Hotels & Resorts

5 11 Holiday Inn Express

6 8 W Hotels

7 12 Hyatt Place

8 16 Embassy Suites Hotels

9 14 Westin Hotels & Resorts

10 10 Hilton Garden Inn

11 17 Hilton Hotels & Resorts

12 2 Omni Hotels & Resorts

13 7 Hyatt Hotels & Resorts

14 9 Hyatt Regency

15 5 Marriott Hotels & Resorts

Very poor (0-54) Poor (55-64) OK (65-74) Good (75-84) Excellent (85-100)

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How Brands Build Loyalty With The Quality Of Their Experience

FIGURE 13 Forrester’s US CX Index, 2018: Rankings Of Hotels (Cont.)

Hotels

2018 2017 BRAND PERFORMANCE

16 20 Courtyard by Marriott

17 18 Grand Hyatt

18 15 Sheraton Hotels & Resorts

19 13 Fairfield Inn & Suites

20 21 Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

21 24 La Quinta Inn & Suites

22 23 Fairmont Hotels and Resorts

23 25 Comfort Inn

24 31 Best Western

25 19 Radisson Hotels

Very poor (0-54) Poor (55-64) OK (65-74) Good (75-84) Excellent (85-100)

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How Brands Build Loyalty With The Quality Of Their Experience

FIGURE 13 Forrester’s US CX Index, 2018: Rankings Of Hotels (Cont.)

Hotels

2018 2017 BRAND PERFORMANCE

26 27 Crowne Plaza

27 29 Clarion Hotels

28 22 Holiday Inn

29 28 Ramada Worldwide

30 26 Quality Inn & Suites

31 33 Days Inn

32 32 Super 8

33 30 Travelodge

34 34 Econo Lodge

35 35 Motel 6

Very poor (0-54) Poor (55-64) OK (65-74) Good (75-84) Excellent (85-100)

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The US Customer Experience Index, 2018
How Brands Build Loyalty With The Quality Of Their Experience

FIGURE 14 Forrester’s US CX Index, 2018: Rankings Of Internet Service Providers

Internet service providers

2018 2017 BRAND PERFORMANCE

1 3 Verizon Fios

2 4 Verizon High Speed Internet

3 8 AT&T U-verse

4 7 AOL

5 6 Cablevision Optimum

6 9 Cox Communications

7 10 Windstream Communications

8 N/A Spectrum

9 1 Suddenlink Communications

10 13 Xfinity by Comcast

11 12 CenturyLink

12 14 Frontier Communications

Very poor (0-54) Poor (55-64) OK (65-74) Good (75-84) Excellent (85-100)

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The US Customer Experience Index, 2018
How Brands Build Loyalty With The Quality Of Their Experience

FIGURE 15 Forrester’s US CX Index, 2018: Rankings Of OTT Providers

OTT providers

2018 2017 BRAND PERFORMANCE

1 1 Netflix

2 3 Hulu

3 2 Showtime

4 4 HBO Now

5 6 Amazon Prime Video

6 5 CBS All Access

Very poor (0-54) Poor (55-64) OK (65-74) Good (75-84) Excellent (85-100)

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The US Customer Experience Index, 2018
How Brands Build Loyalty With The Quality Of Their Experience

FIGURE 16 Forrester’s US CX Index, 2018: Rankings Of Rental Car Providers

Rental cars

2018 2017 BRAND PERFORMANCE

1 2 Enterprise Rent-A-Car

2 1 National Car Rental

3 4 Avis Rent A Car

4 3 Alamo Rent A Car

5 6 Hertz Car Rental

6 10 Advantage Rent A Car

7 8 Thrifty Car Rental

8 9 Budget Rent A Car

9 7 Dollar Rent A Car

10 5 Payless Car Rental

Very poor (0-54) Poor (55-64) OK (65-74) Good (75-84) Excellent (85-100)

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How Brands Build Loyalty With The Quality Of Their Experience

FIGURE 17 Forrester’s US CX Index, 2018: Rankings Of Retailers (Digital)

Retailers (digital)

2018 2017 BRAND PERFORMANCE

1 6 Home Shopping Network

2 2 QVC

3 3 Zappos.com

4 1 Etsy

5 5 Newegg

6 4 Wayfair

7 12 Amazon

8 11 Overstock

9 7 eBay

10 8 Rue La La

11 13 Gilt

Very poor (0-54) Poor (55-64) OK (65-74) Good (75-84) Excellent (85-100)

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FIGURE 18 Forrester’s US CX Index, 2018: Rankings Of Retailers (Multichannel)

Retailers (multichannel)

2018 2017 BRAND PERFORMANCE

1 N/A Trader Joe’s

2 7 Costco Wholesale

3 4 Neiman Marcus

4 5 Hobby Lobby

5 6 BJ’s Wholesale Club

6 N/A Sephora

7 19 Barnes & Noble

8 1 PetSmart

9 2 Nordstrom

10 10 IKEA

11 11 Walgreens

12 13 Sam’s Club

13 8 Bed Bath & Beyond

14 12 Petco

15 N/A Aldi

Very poor (0-54) Poor (55-64) OK (65-74) Good (75-84) Excellent (85-100)

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How Brands Build Loyalty With The Quality Of Their Experience

FIGURE 18 Forrester’s US CX Index, 2018: Rankings Of Retailers (Multichannel) (Cont.)

Retailers (multichannel)

2018 2017 BRAND PERFORMANCE

16 22 Kohl’s

17 9 Michaels

18 N/A Kroger

19 14 Lowe’s

20 N/A Ulta

21 25 The Home Depot

22 16 Best Buy

23 29 Macy’s

24 32 T.J.Maxx

25 21 CVS

26 N/A Save-A-Lot

27 20 J.C. Penney

28 28 Gap

29 24 Target

30 26 Staples

Very poor (0-54) Poor (55-64) OK (65-74) Good (75-84) Excellent (85-100)

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How Brands Build Loyalty With The Quality Of Their Experience

FIGURE 18 Forrester’s US CX Index, 2018: Rankings Of Retailers (Multichannel) (Cont.)

Retailers (multichannel)

2018 2017 BRAND PERFORMANCE

31 18 Rite Aid

32 23 Old Navy

33 N/A Whole Foods

34 27 Marshalls

35 17 Saks Fifth Avenue

36 33 Office Depot

37 N/A Albertsons

38 N/A Safeway

39 34 Sears

40 35 Walmart

41 30 H&M

42 36 Kmart

Very poor (0-54) Poor (55-64) OK (65-74) Good (75-84) Excellent (85-100)

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The US Customer Experience Index, 2018
How Brands Build Loyalty With The Quality Of Their Experience

FIGURE 19 Forrester’s US CX Index, 2018: Rankings Of TV Service Providers

TV service providers

2018 2017 BRAND PERFORMANCE

1 2 Dish Network

2 6 DirecTV

3 3 Verizon Fios

4 N/A Spectrum

5 9 AT&T U-verse

6 4 Cablevision Optimum

7 8 Cox Communications

8 1 Suddenlink Communications

9 12 Xfinity by Comcast

10 10 CenturyLink

Very poor (0-54) Poor (55-64) OK (65-74) Good (75-84) Excellent (85-100)

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How Brands Build Loyalty With The Quality Of Their Experience

FIGURE 20 Forrester’s US CX Index, 2018: Rankings Of Wireless Service Providers

Wireless service providers

2018 2017 BRAND PERFORMANCE

1 2 MetroPCS Communications

2 1 Cricket Wireless

3 3 Boost Mobile

4 5 Straight Talk

5 8 TracFone Wireless

6 4 Virgin Mobile

7 6 US Cellular

8 7 T-Mobile

9 9 Verizon Wireless

10 10 AT&T Mobility

11 11 Sprint

Very poor (0-54) Poor (55-64) OK (65-74) Good (75-84) Excellent (85-100)

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The US Customer Experience Index, 2018
How Brands Build Loyalty With The Quality Of Their Experience

FIGURE 21 The Distribution Of US CX Index Scores, 2017 And 2018

2017 62%
59%
2018

23% 21%
16% 15%

2% 2% 0% 0%
Very poor Poor OK Good Excellent

Base: 110,828 US online consumers (18+) who interacted with a specific brand within the past 12 months
Source: Forrester Analytics Customer Experience Index Online Survey, US Consumers 2018

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The US Customer Experience Index, 2018
How Brands Build Loyalty With The Quality Of Their Experience

FIGURE 22 The Distribution Of Industry Scores In Forrester’s US CX Index, 2018

Very poor Poor OK Good Excellent

Banks (multichannel)

Auto manufacturers (luxury)

Wireless service providers

Banks (direct)

Retailers (digital)

Auto/home insurers

Auto manufacturers (mass market)

Credit card issuers

Brokerages (multichannel)

OTT providers

Brokerages (direct)

Retailers (multichannel)

Hotels

Rental cars

Health insurers

Airlines

TV service providers

Federal government

Internet service providers

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

Lowest score 2018 industry average Highest score

Base: 110,828 US online consumers (18+) who interacted with a specific brand within the past 12 months
Source: Forrester Analytics Customer Experience Index Online Survey, US Consumers 2018

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FIGURE 22 The Distribution Of Industry Scores In Forrester’s US CX Index, 2018 (Cont.)

Very poor Poor OK Good Excellent

Banks (multichannel)

Auto manufacturers (luxury)

Wireless service providers

Banks (direct)

Retailers (digital)

Auto/home insurers

Auto manufacturers (mass market)

Credit card issuers

Brokerages (multichannel)

OTT providers

Brokerages (direct)

Retailers (multichannel)

Hotels

Rental cars

Health insurers

Airlines

TV service providers

Federal government

Internet service providers

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

= 2018 industry average = 2017 industry average = Significant change

Base: 110,828 US online consumers (18+) who interacted with a specific brand within the past 12 months
Source: Forrester Analytics Customer Experience Index Online Survey, US Consumers 2018

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Torpor At The Top Means There Are No Real CX Leaders


Not a single brand has managed to rise to the top of our rankings and continue to move upward — the
mark of a true CX leader. Instead:

›› Elite brands’ scores remained static. We refer to the top 5% of brands across all industries in
the CX Index as the “elite brands” (see Figure 23). Of the 15 elite brands that were in the CX Index
last year, 12 showed no statistically significant score change.4 In fact, of the 11 elites that were
repeats from 2017, only USAA’s direct banking business displayed any change — a small drop
that reverses a gain it made last year. Additionally, three of the five new elite brands had no score
change and achieved their status only because some of 2017’s elites dropped out, leaving room for
new entrants.5 Only Huntington National Bank rose into its slot, thanks to a modest point gain that
nearly erased last year’s decline.

›› Most industry frontrunners were repeats; all were stagnant. Thirteen of 19 industry frontrunners
were repeats from 2017 (see Figure 24). In three of the six industries with new top brands —
the digital retail, wireless service provider, and rental car industries — neither the old nor new
frontrunners showed statistically significant score changes. The new top brands in these industries
earned their spots due only to tiny score variations, not any real change in CX quality. The new top
brands in the ISP and TV service provider industries were stagnant, too. They achieved frontrunner
status because the 2017 leader — which was Suddenlink Communications in both industries —
suffered larger-than-average declines. Last year’s frontrunner in the multichannel retail industry,
PetSmart, also remained stable: It lost its first-place status because Trader Joe’s debuted in our
study with a higher score and then dropped several more places due to small changes in other
brands’ scores — all but one statistically insignificant.

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FIGURE 23 The Top 5% Of Brands In Forrester’s US CX Index, 2018

Overall Industry
rank Brands Industry rank

1 Navy Federal Credit Union Banks (multichannel) 1

2 USAA Credit card issuers 1

3 USAA Auto/home insurers 1

4 USAA Banks (direct) 1

5 USAA Brokerages (direct) 1

6 Trader Joe’s Retailers (multichannel) 1

7 Edward Jones Brokerages (multichannel) 1

8 Lexus Auto manufacturers (luxury) 1

9 Home Shopping Network (HSN) Retailers (digital) 1

10 Huntington National Bank Banks (multichannel) 2

11 MetroPCS Communications Wireless service providers 1

12 QVC Retailers (digital) 2

13 Mercedes-Benz Auto manufacturers (luxury) 2

14 Cricket Wireless Wireless service providers 2

15 Boost Mobile Wireless service providers 3

16 Zappos.com Retailers (digital) 3

Base: 110,828 US online consumers (18+) who interacted with a specific brand within the past 12 months
Source: Forrester Analytics Customer Experience Index Online Survey, US Consumers 2018

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FIGURE 24 The Highest-Scoring Brands By Industry In Forrester’s US CX Index, 2017 And 2018

INDUSTRY TOP BRAND 2018 TOP BRAND 2017

Airlines JetBlue Airways JetBlue Airways

Auto/home insurers USAA USAA

Auto manufacturers (luxury) Lexus Lexus

Auto manufacturers (mass market) Subaru Subaru

Banks (direct) USAA USAA

Banks (multichannel) Navy Federal Credit Union Navy Federal Credit Union

Brokerages (direct) USAA USAA

Brokerages (multichannel) Edward Jones Edward Jones

Credit card issuers USAA USAA

Federal government National Park Service (NPS) National Park Service


(NPS)

Health insurers Kaiser Permanente Health Kaiser Permanente Health


Plan Plan

Hotels Homewood Suites by Hilton Homewood Suites by


Hilton

Internet service providers Verizon Fios Suddenlink


Communications

OTT providers Netflix Netflix

Rental cars Enterprise Rent-A-Car National Car Rental

Retailers (digital) Home Shopping Network Etsy


(HSN)

Retailers (multichannel) Trader Joe’s PetSmart

TV service providers Dish Network Suddenlink


Communications

Wireless service providers MetroPCS Communications Cricket Wireless

Base: 110,828 US online consumers (18+) who interacted with a specific brand within the past 12 months
Source: Forrester Analytics Customer Experience Index Online Survey, US Consumers 2018

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Without Real Leaders, Only Four Types Of Brands Remain

In the absence of real leaders that rise to the top of the pack and continue to improve, there are only
four types of brands (see Figure 25).

›› Languishers: brands that rose high and then stalled. These relatively high-scoring brands have
remained stuck, without a statistically significant score change, for at least two years. Overall, 10%
of brands in the entire US CX Index are languishers — as are 10 of the 16 CX Index elite brands
and 10 of the 19 industry frontrunners. A full 45% of wireless service providers are languishers,
giving that industry the highest percentage of brands in this category.

›› Lapsers: brands that rose and then fell back. Lapsers’ CX Index performance has declined for
one or two years. Across the entire US CX Index, 20% of brands are lapsers — among them are
two elite brands and two industry frontrunners. Among digital retailers, 45% of brands are lapsers,
making that the industry with the highest percentage of lapsers.

›› Locksteppers: brands that move up and down with the pack. Even when these brands improve,
they fail to differentiate themselves because the quality of their CX remains roughly on par with that
of their competitors. A full 48% of CX Index brands are locksteppers, including three elite brands,
four industry frontrunners, and all six over-the-top (OTT) service providers. And a huge 93% of
mass-market auto manufacturers are locksteppers, giving this industry the least differentiation
among brands outside the OTT service provider industry.

›› Laggards: brands that have stayed at or near the bottom. Although some laggards have
improved the quality of their CX, their scores remain consistently at the low end of the rankings.
Overall, 23% of CX Index brands, two industry frontrunners, and 80% of brands in the TV service
provider industry are laggards.

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FIGURE 25 The Four Types Of Brands In Forrester’s US CX Index, 2018

PERCENT
OF BRANDS:

Languishers
These relatively high-scoring brands
10% have remained stuck, without a
statistically significant score
change, for at least two years.

Lapsers
These brands’ CX Index
20% performance has declined for
one or two years.

Locksteppers
The quality of these brands’ CX
48% remains roughly on par with that
of their competitors.

Laggards
These brands’ CX Index scores
23% remain consistently at the low
end of the rankings.

Base: 110,828 US online consumers (18+) who interacted with a specific brand within the past 12 months
Note: Percentages do not total 100 because of rounding.
Source: Forrester Analytics Customer Experience Index Online Survey, US Consumers 2018

Emotion Holds The Key To Achieving CX Differentiation


Brands that want to break away from the pack should focus on emotion: How an experience makes
customers feel has a bigger influence on their loyalty to a brand than effectiveness or ease in every
industry. Brand performance in the US CX Index, 2018 reflects this: Elite brands provided an average of
22 emotionally positive experiences for each negative experience, while the lowest-performing 5% of
brands provided only two emotionally positive experiences for each negative experience.

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We uncovered which emotions boost loyalty most powerfully and which do the most harm to customer
retention, willingness to increase their spending with a brand, and willingness to recommend a brand
(see Figure 26).

›› Six emotions boost loyalty the most. Contrary to conventional wisdom, making customers happy
is not the single best way to achieve loyalty. In fact, happiness is only one of the six emotions that
most often appear among the top three that are most important in any industry we studied. The
other five are appreciated, confident, grateful, respected, and valued. The impact of these emotions
is clear and strong. For example, in the digital retail industry, among customers who felt valued,
92% plan to stay with the brand, 88% plan to increase spending with the brand, and 91% will
advocate for the brand. This matters to the bottom line because a 1-point improvement in its CX
Index score can lead to an incremental $244 million in revenue for a big-box retailer.6

›› Annoyance, disappointment, and frustration always drive customers away. Angering


customers isn’t as harmful to their loyalty as making them feel annoyed, disappointed, or
frustrated. For example, among multichannel bank customers who felt annoyed, just 18% plan
to remain with the brand, 14% plan to spend more with the brand, and 13% will advocate for the
brand. These negative emotions hurt revenues: A multichannel bank leaves $124 million on the
table for every 1-point decline in its CX Index score.7

FIGURE 26 Positive And Negative Emotions Drive A Customer’s Experience

Positive emotions Negative emotions


Appreciated Annoyed
Confident Disappointed
Grateful Frustrated
Happy
Respected
Valued

Base: 110,828 US online consumers (18+) who interacted with a specific brand within the past 12 months
Source: Forrester Analytics Customer Experience Index Online Survey, US Consumers 2018

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How Forrester Can Help


Even a minor improvement to a brand’s customer experience quality can add tens of millions of
dollars of revenue by reducing customer churn and increasing share of wallet.8 What’s more, happier
customers are more willing to pay a premium price for the same products and services.9 When you
add in other benefits of superior CX — like reduced service costs and low-cost customer acquisition
through word of mouth — the ROI of even small-scale CX transformations can be jaw-dropping.10 CX
pros can earn these benefits for their brands via a disciplined approach to envisioning, designing, and
delivering a consistently high-quality experience. Forrester can help you:

›› Understand the drivers of great CX for your brand with CX Index data. Forrester collects CX
Index data from over 200,000 consumers on almost 600 brands in 20 industries across seven
markets: Australia, Canada, France, India, Singapore, the UK, and the US. Underlying data behind
the CX Index can help brands identify the key drivers of a great CX for their customers. This allows
you to focus on improving the aspects of experiences that matter most for driving revenue and
avoid wasting time and money on those that don’t move the needle.

›› Prove the ROI of CX transformation. To get the benefits of improved CX, companies need
to invest in areas like training, technology, and professional services. Do the benefits of CX
transformation outweigh the costs and result in a positive ROI? And how can you determine that for
your company? Forrester analysts working in concert with our Total Economic Impact (TEI™) group
can calculate the benefits, costs, and ROI of an enterprisewide CX transformation. You can use the
resulting ROI model to fuel a winning business case for CX transformation.

›› Partner with us to develop breakaway CX. Work with Forrester’s experts to create your
customized road map to CX that drives top-line growth. We tailor our data, frameworks, and best-
practice research to accelerate your success.

To learn more about how Forrester can help, contact your account manager or email us at forrestercx@
forrester.com.

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Engage With An Analyst


Gain greater confidence in your decisions by working with Forrester thought leaders to apply
our research to your specific business and technology initiatives.

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Supplemental Material

Survey Methodology

Forrester conducted an online survey fielded in February through May 2018 of 110,828 US individuals
ages 18 to 88. For results based on a randomly chosen sample of this size (N = 110,828), there is 95%
confidence that the results have a statistical precision of plus or minus 0.01% of what they would
be if the entire population of US adults who are online weekly or more often had been surveyed. The
final data set was stacked by brand (287 US brands) and weighted by age, gender, region, income,
and broadband adoption to represent 215,540 weighted respondents answering for all brands.
(Note: Weighted sample sizes can be different from the actual number of respondents to account for
individuals generally underrepresented in online panels.) Please note that respondents who participate
in online surveys generally have more experience with the internet and feel more comfortable
transacting online.

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Bases: For each industry in 2018, the number of US online adults (18+) who interacted with a specific
brand within the past 12 months is as follows: airlines: 8,450; auto and home insurers: 14,046; auto
manufacturers (luxury): 5,493; auto manufacturers (mass market): 10,824; banks (direct): 7,421;
banks (multichannel): 13,229; brokerages (direct): 9,088; brokerages (multichannel): 8,215; credit card
issuers: 11,155; federal government agencies: 11,649; health insurers: 12,696; hotels: 26,218; internet
service providers: 8,995; OTT providers: 4,605; rental cars: 7,701; retailers (digital): 8,148; retailers
(multichannel): 31,620; TV service providers: 7,529; wireless service providers: 8,457.

For the Forrester Analytics Customer Experience Index Online Survey, US Consumers 2017, Forrester
conducted an online survey fielded in February through May 2017 of 118,992 US individuals ages 18 to
88. For results based on a randomly chosen sample of this size (N = 118,992), there is 95% confidence
that the results have a statistical precision of plus or minus 0.01% of what they would be if the entire
population of US adults who are online weekly or more often had been surveyed. The final data set
was stacked by brand (314 US brands) and weighted by age, gender, region, income, and broadband
adoption to represent 234,889 weighted respondents answering for all brands.

Bases: For each industry in 2017, the number of US online adults (18+) who interacted with a
specific brand within the past 12 months is as follows: airlines: 9,123; auto and home insurance
providers: 14,097; auto manufacturers: 16,118; credit card providers: 11,137; digital-only retailers:
10,275; direct banks: 7,367; direct or discount brokerages: 8,786; full-service investment firms:
7,915; health insurance providers: 12,598; hotels: 25,860; internet service providers: 10,439; mobile
device manufacturers: 9,167; OTT providers: 4,529; parcel shipping/delivery providers: 2,394; PC
manufacturers: 7,757; rental car providers: 7,396; traditional retail banks: 13,345; traditional retailers
(stores and digital): 27,236; TV service providers: 9,014; US federal government agencies: 11,665;
wireless service providers: 8,673.

(Note: Weighted sample sizes can be different from the actual number of respondents to account for
individuals generally underrepresented in online panels.) Please note that respondents who participate
in online surveys generally have more experience with the internet and feel more comfortable
transacting online.

How To Get Access To Forrester’s CX Index Data Analysis And Insights

Forrester’s CX Index helps companies do three things. It: 1) arms you with a deep and actionable
understanding of the quality of your customer experience; 2) provides competitive benchmark
data so you know how you stack up against your peers; and 3) enables the ability to model which
improvements will have the biggest impact on revenue and other key business metrics.

Forrester collects CX Index data on almost 600 brands in 20 industries across seven key markets
(Australia, Canada, France, India, Singapore, the UK, and the US). If you wish to find out more
regarding Forrester’s CX Index data and services or how you can leverage the methodology, please
contact your account manager or email data@forrester.com.

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External citations, unauthorized reproduction, and distribution of any parts of this report are prohibited
without prior written consent from Forrester.

Endnotes
See the Forrester report “Improving CX Through Business Discipline Drives Growth.”
1

In 2018, we added and removed some brands from our rankings. The net result of these changes was four additional
2

brands in the OK category and one additional brand in the good category. This contributed to, but does not fully
explain, the shift toward the middle, which was primarily caused by score changes.

In 2018, we divided the automotive industry into luxury auto and mass-market auto, turning it into two industries to
3

better reflect their competitive dynamics. We also dropped the PC manufacturer and parcel shipping/delivery provider
industries. In order to get a true year-over-year comparison between the 2017 and 2018 industry rankings, we cut the
2017 automotive data into the current two groupings, eliminated the dropped industries, and created a new (albeit
retroactive) order for 2017.

One of the new elite brands, Trader Joe’s, is new to the CX Index for 2018.
4

The brands that held elite status in 2017 but lost it this year are Homewood Suites By Hilton, Regions Bank, Etsy, The
5

Hartford, BB&T, and The Vanguard Group. However, only BB&T saw a statistically significant point loss.

Forrester used data from its CX Index methodology to model how changes in customer experience affect revenue
6

potential for 13 industries. The models take into account industry-specific dynamics like barriers to switching and
recommendation effectiveness. See the Forrester report “The ROI Of CX Transformation.”

See the Forrester report “The ROI Of CX Transformation.”


7

See the Forrester report “Drive Revenue With Great Customer Experience, 2017.”
8

Our models showed that improving CX indirectly drives willingness to pay by increasing brand preference and trust.
9

Other factors like elements of the price experience, exceeding customers’ expectations, membership in a loyalty
program, and willingness to forgive also influence willingness to pay a premium. See the Forrester report “The Price
Premium Of Customer Experience.”
10
See the Forrester report “The ROI Of CX Transformation.”

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For more information, visit forrester.com. 142377
US Brands
(Brands are subject to change.)

AIRLINES
Air Canada American Airlines Hawaiian Airlines Spirit Airlines
Alaska Air Delta Air Lines JetBlue Airways United Airlines
Allegiant Air Frontier Airlines Southwest Airlines

AUTO AND HOME INSURANCE PROVIDERS


21st Century Auto-Owners Geico National General State Farm
Insurance Insurance Insurance Insurance
The Hartford
AAA Erie Insurance Nationwide Mutual Travelers Insurance
Liberty Mutual Insurance
Allstate Esurance USAA
MetLife Progressive
American Family Farmers Insurance
Insurance Safeco Insurance

AUTO MANUFACTURERS
Acura Chevrolet Honda Lexus Toyota
Audi Chrysler Hyundai Mazda Volkswagen
BMW Dodge Infiniti Mercedes-Benz
Buick Ford Motor Jeep Nissan
Cadillac GMC Kia Motors Subaru

CREDIT CARD PROVIDERS


American Express Capital One Citizens Bank PNC Financial U.S. Bank
Services
Bank of America Chase Discover USAA
SunTrust Banks
Barclaycard Citi HSBC Wells Fargo
Synchrony Financial

DIGITAL-ONLY RETAILERS
Amazon Gilt Overstock Wayfair
eBay HSN QVC Zappos.com
Etsy Newegg Rue La La

DIRECT BANKS
Ally Bank Capital One 360 Discover Bank Goldman Sachs Bank Synchrony Bank
American Express Bank Charles Schwab Bank Fidelity Investments State Farm Bank USAA

© 2018 Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Forrester and CX Index™ are registered trademarks of Forrester Research, Inc. FORRESTER.COM
2
DIRECT BROKERAGE FIRMS
Ally Invest E-TRADE Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade
Capital One Fidelity Investments Merrill Edge USAA
Investing
Firstrade State Farm The Vanguard
Charles Schwab Group

HEALTH INSURERS
Aetna Blue Cross Blue CareFirst BlueCross Health Net Kaiser Permanente
Shield of Michigan BlueShield
Anthem Blue Cross Highmark Blue Other Blue Cross
Blue Cross and Blue Cigna Cross Blue Shield or Blue Shield
Anthem Blue Cross Shield of Texas Highmark Blue
and Blue Shield Empire Blue Cross Shield UnitedHealthcare
Blue Shield of Blue Shield
Blue Cross and Blue California Humana
Shield of Illinois Florida Blue

HOTELS
Best Western Fairfield Inn & Suites Holiday Inn Express Marriott Hotels & Sheraton Hotels &
Resorts Resorts
Clarion Hotels Fairmont Hotels & Homewood Suites
Resorts by Hilton Motel 6 Super 8
Comfort Inn
Grand Hyatt Hyatt Hotels & Omni Hotels & Travelodge
Courtyard by Resorts Resorts
Marriott Hampton Inn & W Hotels
Suites Hyatt Place Quality Inn & Suites
Crowne Plaza Westin Hotels &
Hilton Garden Inn Hyatt Regency Radisson Hotels Resorts
Days Inn
Hilton Hotels & InterContinental Ramada Worldwide Wyndham Hotels
Econo Lodge Resorts Hotels & Resorts and Resorts
Residence Inn by
Embassy Suites Holiday Inn La Quinta Inn & Marriott
Hotels Suites

INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS


AOL CenturyLink Spectrum Verizon Fios
AT&T U-verse Cox Suddenlink Windstream
Communications Communications Communications
Cablevision
Optimum Frontier Verizon High Speed Xfinity by Comcast
Communications Internet (DSL)

FULL-SERVICE INVESTMENT FIRMS


Ameriprise Financial Citi Personal Wealth JPMorgan Chase Morgan Stanley U.S. Bank
Management Wealth Management
AXA Advisors Merrill Lynch Wealth Wells Fargo
Edward Jones Management PNC Investments Advisors
T. Rowe Price

OTT PROVIDERS (SPECIFICALLY SVOD PROVIDERS)


Amazon Prime CBS All Access HBO NOW Hulu Netflix
Video
Showtime

RENTAL CAR PROVIDERS


Advantage Rent A Avis Rent A Car Enterprise Rent-A- National Car Rental
Car Car
Budget Rent A Car Payless Car Rental
Alamo Rent A Car Hertz Car Rental
Dollar Rent A Car Thrifty Car Rental

© 2017 Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Forrester and CX Index are registered trademarks of Forrester Research, Inc. FORRESTER.COM
3

TRADITIONAL RETAIL BANKS


Bank of America Chase Huntington National Navy Federal Credit SunTrust Banks
Bank Union
Bank of the West Citibank TD Bank
KeyBank PNC Bank
BB&T Citizens Bank U.S. Bank
M&T Bank Regions Bank
Capital One Bank Fifth Third Bank Wells Fargo

TRADITIONAL RETAILERS (STORES AND DIGITAL)


Albertsons Hobby Lobby Macy’s Rite Aid Target
Aldi The Home Depot Marshalls Safeway Trader Joe’s
Barnes & Noble H&M Michaels Saks Fifth Avenue Ulta
Bed Bath & Beyond IKEA Neiman Marcus Sam’s Club Walgreens
Best Buy J.C. Penney Nordstrom Save-A-Lot Walmart
BJ’s Wholesale Club Kmart Office Sears Whole Foods
Depot/OfficeMax
Costco Wholesale Kohl’s Sephora
Old Navy
CVS Kroger Staples
Petco
Gap Lowe’s T.J.Maxx
PetSmart

TV SERVICE PROVIDERS
AT&T U-verse CenturyLink DirecTV Suddenlink Xfinity by Comcast
Communications
Cablevision Cox Dish Network
Optimum Communications Verizon Fios
Spectrum

US FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES


Bureau of Consular Healthcare.gov National Park Transportation US Citizenship and
Affairs Service Security Immigration
Internal Revenue Administration Services
Department of Service Small Business
Education Administration Tricare USAJobs.gov
Medicaid
Department of Social Security United States Postal
Veterans Affairs Medicare Administration Service (USPS)

WIRELESS SERVICE PROVIDERS


AT&T Mobility Cricket Wireless Sprint T-Mobile Verizon Wireless
Boost Mobile MetroPCS Straight Talk TracFone Wireless Virgin Mobile
Communications
US Cellular

© 2018 Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Forrester and CX Index™ are registered trademarks of Forrester Research, Inc. FORRESTER.COM