Consumers Are Most Likely to Forgive USAA, Costco, and if They Make a Mistake

Study Of 6,000 Consumers Reveals That Companies Have Built Up Limited Goodwill with Customers in Report on 143 US Companies Across 12 Industries.

Waban, MA, May 24, 2011 --( A new research report published by Temkin Group, The 2011 Temkin Forgiveness Ratings, provides information about the willingness of consumers to forgive companies if they make a mistake. The research is based on a survey of 6,000 US consumers who had recent interactions with 143 large US companies. USAA, Costco, and came out on top of the ratings in which only 27 companies or 18% of the total received a “strong” or “very strong” Forgiveness rating. Charter Communications, HSBC, and CIGNA, on the other hand, came out on the bottom of the ratings.

“Every company makes mistakes, so it’s extremely important to have customers that are willing to give you a second chance,” states Bruce Temkin, author of the report and Managing Partner of Temkin Group.

In a survey fielded in January 2011, consumers rated companies they had interacted with during the previous 60 days across the following 12 industries: airlines, banks, credit card issuers, health plans, hotel chains, Internet service providers, insurance companies, investment firms, personal computer makers, retailers, TV service providers, and wireless carriers.

Other key findings from the research include:

> The top 25 companies include 15 retailers and five hotel chains and one of each of these types of firms: insurance carrier, health plan, bank, airline, and credit card issuer.

> Retailers are the only industry with an average score of “strong.” TV service providers and credit card issuers, on the other hand, have average scores that are “very weak.”

> Led by USAA and TriCare, 10 firms have Forgiveness Ratings that are 10 percentage points or more their industry averages.

> Led by Radio Shack and Super 8, 15 firms have Forgiveness Ratings that are at least 10 points below their industry averages.

According to Temkin: “Forgiveness is a critical asset; but companies need to do a better job of earning this goodwill.”

This report can be accessed from the Temkin Group website at or from the blog, Customer Experience Matters, at In addition, data from the ratings can be accessed at the Temkin Ratings website,

For more information about Temkin Group, visit

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Bruce Temkin