Regions Northern Virginia

New KPMG report ranks Navy Federal Credit Union No. 1 for customer experience

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Print this page By Paula C. Squires
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Want to stand out from the crowd? Then deliver good customer service. That’s the key message behind a
new report from U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG LLP that ranks Vienna-based Navy Federal Credit Union as the No. 1 consumer brand in terms of customer experience.

Another Virginia-based company, Hilton Worldwide, based in McLean, came in at No. 52 on a list of the top 100 companies that KPMG says offer the best personal, “individualized” experiences to their customers.  According to KPMG’s analysis, good customer experiences lead to higher revenue growth and improved brand standing and loyalty.

The findings are from KPMG’s 2018 U.S. Customer Experience Excellence Analysis of more than 7,500 U.S. consumers and 250 brands in 10 business sectors: financial services, grocery, non-grocery retail, restaurants & fast-food, entertainment & leisure, travel & hotels, logistics, utilities, telecommunications and the public sector.

This is the survey’s ninth year and the first year that Navy Federal has been included on the list. Other companies making the top 10 list were: 2. USAA; 3. Disney Parks; 4. H-E-B Grocery; 5, Calvin Klein; 6. Publix; 7. Wegmans; 8, Avon; 9, Jet Blue; and 10. Amazon. 

The top two companies, Navy Federal and USAA, are in the financial services sector, and both are owned by their members. “These brands stand out above all else for empathy, recognizing the very unique and often difficult situations of their customers. Both organizations serve the military,” the report said.

“Descriptors such as ‘exceptional’, ‘incredible’, ‘wonderful’ and ‘going above and beyond’ were consistently used by respondents when referencing to experiences with the Navy Federal Credit Union, levels of admiration for a brand that is  not often seen.”

For the financial services sector overall, empathy is the lowest-performing pillar, the report said, demonstrating “there is much other financial services brands can learn from these leaders.”

Asked about the top recognition, Navy Federal Credit Union President and CEO Cutler Dawson told Virginia Business, "We work hard to support our members and do the right thing by them. Listening to our members and taking the time to learn about them is a major reason for our continued success. Making our members feel valued and showing we truly care creates that terrific customer experience at our branches, on the phone, or through digital banking. We are here to serve."

The credit union is the largest in the world with nearly $90 billion in assets and more than 7 million members.

In today’s climate, “companies must not only show that they know their customers’ names but that they know them as a person,” Julio J. Hernandez, KPMG’s global Customer Center of Excellence and U.S. Customer Advisory lead, said in a statement.

“In a world where consumers realize that their personal data has value, firms need to understand what information customers want to share and how they want to be engaged,”

The brands were ranked across what KPMG terms as its six pillars of customer experience excellence: personalization, integrity, expectations, resolution, time and effort, and empathy.

The report says Amazon is the benchmark when it comes to personalization and trust. “Its website greets visitors by name, shows consumers’ shared history and can make suggestions that demonstrate a deep understanding of each customer as an individual – all which contribute to a highly personalized experience for users,” KPMG said in a statement.

KPMG notes that personalization requires deep knowledge of the customer and his or her circumstances, and that “poor personalization is like no personalization at all.”

Financial analysis showed that brands ranked in the Top 50 experienced 50 percent higher revenue growth than the bottom 50, and generated EBITDA (earnings before income, taxes, depreciations and amortization) growth more than three times higher than the bottom 50.

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