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Southwest Tops in Forrester Customer Experience Report

Southwest Tops in Forrester Customer Experience Report

Forrester Research this week released its annual study ranking the customer experience at 175 large U.S. companies.

Results of the “Customer Experience Index, 2014” study were based on respondents’ answers to three questions:

1. How enjoyable were they to do business with?

2. How easy were they to do business with?

3. How effective were they at meeting your needs?

Of the seven U.S. airlines included in the 2014 study, Southwest took the top spot and United ranked last. The scores, on a 100-point scale:

  • Southwest: 81
  • Delta: 79
  • JetBlue: 77
  • Alaska: 74
  • US Airways: 71
  • American: 71
  • United: 67

Although the rankings themselves remained mostly the same from 2013 to 2014, in some cases the scores changed dramatically. Of particular note were the improvements made by Delta, US Airways, and United. JetBlue was the only airline to backslide, but it only lost a few points year-over-year.

Reader Reality Check

How do Forrester’s results compare with your own experience with these airlines?

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  • Art

    REALLY? How much longer will WN’s koolaid drinkers be in denial? Worst on-time record for the past 4 months; significant increase in fares; devolve seats troughout the fleet…

  • MadLibertarian

    Flew Southwest 10 times in 2013, each of my flights were on time or delayed by 5-10 minutes at most. In fact, those that were delayed we ended up either coming in on time or even a few minutes earlier than scheduled. I bet you haven’t even flown on them…

  • Art

    Bet again – This is my fourth year as an A-Lister, have already flown 6 segments this year, well on my way to qualify again this year. Of the 6 flights, half have been on time, average delay of more than one hour. and in 3 cases, A-List results in a mid-B boarding position.

    Flight is considered late if it pushes back from the gate, arrives at the gate more than 15 minutes AFTER scheduled time. So your claim of 5-10 min delays would be considered on-time in the study. Consider yourself lucky, experience is unrepresentative of GOVERNMENT STATISTICS – not something WN can spin.

    WN forced out my intra-California competition, to where I have NO OTHER options. With lifetime status on AA, I have already switched to US for flights to Az, as I can PRE-RESERVE exit rows, board early, use elite security line.

    UPDATE: WN now has the worst on-time record for 5 months running…

    This statement from the report sums it up best: “… It’s not surprising that Southwest is top-ranked, with the lowest level of complaints. The airline has consistently succeeded by keeping consumers’ expectations low, and then exceeding those expectations… ” Just another step toward the Walmartinization of our society.