News Column

Trader Joe's, Chick-fil-A Tops in Customer Service

March 15, 2013

Mark Fisher, Hamilton JournalNews, Ohio

Several retailers that scored among the highest in a national survey measuring the quality of customer service operate in the Miami Valley -- as do some of the chains ranked worst.

Trader Joe's, Aldi and Chick-fil-A ranked in the top four out of 246 U.S. companies in the 2013 Temkin Experience Ratings, based on a survey of 10,000 consumers by the Temkin Group, a Waban, Mass.-based consumer research and consulting company. The three lowest-ranked companies in the survey, according to the Temkin report (, were Days Inn, Time Warner Cable and US Airways, which ranked last.

Trader Joe's operates stores in Kettering and Kenwood. It was the second-ranked company in the Temkin ratings behind Publix, a Florida-based grocery store company that operates only in the southeeastern U.S. Aldi -- which operates multiple grocery stores in the Dayton area including locations in Hamilton, Middletown and Springfield -- and Chick-fil-A tied for third in the rankings.

Among 18 fast-food chains evaluated in the survey, Chick-fil-A ranked highest and was followed by Dunkin' Donuts, Sonic Drive-In, and Little Caesar's. KFC and McDonald's were the lowest-rated fast-food restaurants in the Temkin Experience Ratings. Dunkin' Donuts announced three weeks ago that it would open 13 locations in the Dayton area starting in 2014.

Company officials said their Temkin Experience Ratings evaluate three areas of customer experience: functional (can customers do what they want to do), accessible (how easy it is to work with the company), and emotional (how consumers feel about their interactions).

Serdar Durmusoglu, assistant professor of marketing at the University of Dayton, said customer service represents an opportunity for retail companies to distinguish themsmelves from their competitors, and is an important component of long-term success.

"Building a sustainable competitive advantage relies on high-quality customer service," Durmusoglu said. And it's easier and more efficient to turn existing customers into loyal long-term customers than it is to try to constantly strive to attract and capture the loyalty of those new to a company's products or services, he said.

The survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers was conducted online during January, Temkin Group officials said.

Source: (c)2013 the Hamilton JournalNews (Hamilton, Ohio) Distributed by MCT Information Services

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