Ace Hardware and Dollar Tree deliver the best customer experience in the retail industry, according to the 2018 Temkin Experience Ratings, an annual customer experience benchmark of companies based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers. Of the 49 retailers included in this year's ratings, Ace Hardware and Dollar Tree tied for the top spot. Each earned a score of 82 percent and placed seventh overall out of 318 companies across 20 industries. To generate these ratings, Temkin Group asked U.S. consumers to evaluate their recent experiences with a company across three dimensions: success (can you do what you want to do?); effort (how easy is it to work with the company?); and emotion (how do you feel about the interactions?). Temkin Group then averaged these three scores to produce each company's experience rating. Overall, the retail industry averaged a 74 percent rating, good for third place out of 20 industries.The average rating of the industry improved by 0.5 percent between 2017 and 2018. In these ratings, a score of 70 percent or above is considered "good," a score of 80 percent or above is considered "excellent," and a score below 60 percent is considered "poor." Rounding out the top 10 scores among retailers for overall customer experience were Family Dollar (81 percent); BJ's Wholesale Club (80 percent); Amazon.com, Menards, PetSmart (79 percent); True Value, Walgreens, Dollar General (78 percent).
Total Retail's Take: It's not surprising that Ace Hardware and Dollar Tree ranked highly for customer satisfaction. Ace Hardware, in particular, has been rewarded for customer satisfaction for many years. Most recently, the J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Home Improvement Retailer Satisfaction Study ranked Ace Hardware “highest in customer satisfaction among home improvement retail stores” for the 11th year in a row. What's more, in 2015, Ace Hardware launched the Ace Center for Excellence, a division created to help businesses and organizations around the world improve upon their customer experience using Ace’s award-winning approach. Through keynotes and workshops, the Ace Center for Excellence shares the strategies and principles that help leaders cultivate, and team members to contribute to, a culture of customer service that exceeds the consumer’s evolving expectations of helpfulness.
Dollar Tree is beloved by its customers so much that it remains largely immune to competition from online retailers. Why? Mostly because of its low price points and the convenient locations of its discount stores. Dollar Tree stores typically serve low-income consumers and are the predominant retailer in many rural areas where most big-box retailers wouldn't open stores due to low population density. Convenience is also a major factor in Dollar Tree’s success given that it sells consumer staples that most consumers would rather purchase from stores near them than from online retailers where they have to wait for shipping.