Supermarkets are enjoying strong customer satisfaction, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, which released its annual retail report this week. The industry’s ACSI score rose 6.8 percent to 78 in 2016, taking advantage of falling food prices, higher quality and better service.
Trader Joe’s topped the supermarket list, bumping its 2015 score up four percent to 86. Publix, ALDI, H-E-B, Wegmans and Whole Foods all earned scores higher than 80, although Wegmans saw its score fall by three percent, the only retailer on the list not to go up.
Whole Foods saw the biggest jump at 11 percent while Target, Albertsons Companies, Giant Eagle and Walmart each saw 10-percent increases in their scores.
Convenience and location continued to be important factors in customer satisfaction and continue to rate will at 85 percent. Most experience benchmarks stayed the same from 2015. Some improved, like Courtesy and Helpfulness of Staff, which went from 77 to 81, and speed of checkout process, which jumped four points to 76.
Customers apparently saw a decrease in frequency of sales and promotions, as that benchmark fell two points to 77.
The ACSI uses data from interviews with roughly 70,000 customers annually as inputs to an econometric model for analyzing customer satisfaction with more than 300 companies in 43 industries and 10 economic sectors, including various services of federal and local government agencies.
After two years of dwindling customer satisfaction for retailers, the ACSI show a course reversal as the Retail Trade overall gained nearly five percent to a score of 78.3, an all-time high.