Hotels, Banks, and Car Dealerships Make the Happiest Customers

While Cable TV and Telecommunication Carriers Get Poorest Marks in Customer Experience

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

New York, NY – When it comes to delivering a great customer experience, which industries receive the highest grades? A recent study conducted by Ipsos Loyalty evaluated more than 10,000 “critical incidents,” or moment of truth experiences, across seven different sectors in the U.S. to explore their occurrence and nature. The findings provide a useful snapshot of the industries that perform the best and worst at pleasing their customers.

According to the study, the vast majority of customers experience critical incidents. On average and across all sectors and channels, 78% of customers have experienced some form of critical incident in the recent past, of which 48% are positive and 30% are negative.

Of course, this data only tells part of the story. When delving deeper to explore these critical incidents by sector, interesting trends surface. Positive critical incidents appear to be most frequent for hotels (61%), bank branches (57%), and car dealerships (54%). On the other hand, negative critical incidents are most common for cable TV companies (46%), telecommunication carriers (39%), and call centers compared to other channels.

“Managing the customer experience is not an easy task,” says Jean-Francois Damais, Deputy Managing Director, Global Client Solutions at Ipsos. “In service industries in particular, keeping a high degree of consistency in the way services are delivered to customers is a challenge. And the number of channels of interactions has grown in the recent past making it even harder for brands to offer a consistent and on-brand experience to all customers at all times. Indeed, this in part explains why we see a wealth of variance between industries.”

The study also explored which industries consistently provide the most positive critical incidents, finding that bank branches performed the best in this regard. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of customers who had a positive experience at a bank branch say that it was not the first time it happened. Airlines (56%) and car repair services (49%) also performed well.

“These critical incidents have a major impact on loyalty and advocacy,” adds Damais. “To increase positive experiences and mitigate negative outcomes, companies need VOC and EFM programs in place to manage critical incidents on the individual level and intervene in order to “close the loop” on important customer feedback.”

We will continue the discussion on this topic during an upcoming webinar. To reserve your spot register online here.

About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Loyalty survey conducted in January 2015. For this survey, a sample of 10,061 interviews were conducted via Ipsos online panels among U.S. customers in seven sectors who have experienced a critical incident (i.e., a good or bad experience) in the recent past. Quotas were set to balance the sample on key demographics to ensure that the sample composition is representative of the U.S. population. The margin of error is +/- 1 percentage point at 95% C.I. but can be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks third in the global research industry.

With offices in 86 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,669.5 ($2,218.4 million) in 2014.

Visit to learn more about Ipsos’ offerings and capabilities.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Elen Alexov
Director, Marketing Services, North America
(778) 373-5136

Hotels, Banks, and Car Dealerships Make the Happiest Customers


Elen Alexov
Director, Marketing Services,
North America