Report: U.S. Falls in Customer Satisfaction Rankings

According to the latest Zendesk Benchmark report measuring customer satisfaction, New Zealand returned to the No. 1 spot with 92 percent customer satisfaction. Canada and Norway are tied at No. 2 with 90 percent customer satisfaction. The U.S. dropped four places to No. 15 despite an increase by 2 percentage points to 82 percent customer satisfaction.  Despite improving by 5 percentage points, India still ranks the lowest with 59 percent customer satisfaction.

Overall, the report found that customer satisfaction improved by 1 percentage point in the first quarter of 2014 to reach 81 percent after a seasonal fall during the holidays. The travel, hospitality and tourism industry had the best rebound across all industries in the first quarter. It gained 5 points to reach 80 percent customer satisfaction, even as the amount of customer service inquiries held steady after the busiest travel season.

“The beginning of the year is known for the best travel deals, but it’s also the best time to receive the royal treatment when planning your vacation,” said Sam Boonin, research lead on the Zendesk Benchmark and vice president of products at Zendesk, in a statement. “The industry came prepared after dealing with the holiday rush and delivered for travelers in the first quarter of 2014.”

For the third consecutive quarter, the same two industries have claimed the top two spots for highest customer satisfaction—government and non-profit, and IT services and consultancy, earning 95 percent and 94 percent, respectively. Education, which tends to jockey with real estate for third place, fell 1 percentage point but still ranked third with 92 percent customer satisfaction.  Since the inception of the Benchmark report, the social media industry has ranked at the bottom with the lowest customer satisfaction level.

This quarter, the Benchmark report also took a closer look at the business impact of data–specifically, how organizations that measure their customer service performance compare to those who don’t. Organizations that take advantage of analytics reporting provide faster customer service with 12 percent shorter first reply time, while also resolving inquiries 16 percent faster.

“The Zendesk Benchmark data proves that Peter Drucker was right when he said, ‘What’s measured improves’”, said Boonin, who also oversees Zendesk’s analytics features. “Zendesk customers that take a data-driven approach are doing better in their customer service.”