It’s time for one of Forrester’s big annual events: The publication of this year’s Customer Experience Index report for US brands.

The report is based on Forrester’s CX Index™ methodology, which measures how well a brand’s customer experience strengthens the loyalty of its customers. We use this methodology to create an annual benchmark of CX quality at large US brands. Between our Q3 2015 report and our 2016 report we saw modest but clear progress among many of those brands, as 58 out of 319 had a significant improvement in their experiences.

  • Twenty-eight brands gained 5 points or more. The 28 brands were scattered across 12 industries plus the US federal government, where three agencies made big increases.
  • Five industry averages rose. Every year we show the range of scores by industry together with industry means. In 2016 the bar went up significantly for five industries:  wireless service providers, traditional retailers, hotels, internet service providers (ISPs), and US federal government agencies (which is more of a sector than an industry but you get the idea).
  • The percentage of Good and Okay scores rose slightly. The percentage of Good and Okay brands each increased by two percentage points. Those gains came equally from declines in the Poor and Very Poor scores, which each shrank by two percentage points.

But it’s not all good news

Even though most of the CX leaders of Q3 2015 – those in the top 5% of all brands – returned as CX leaders this year, they aren’t gaining ground and in some cases they’re slipping.

There was a slight but measurable drop in scores for ten brands, and four brands dropped out of the top 5% altogether. These findings should be somewhat alarming for the elite brands given the fact that there is still significant room between where our top scorer finished and the top of the index.

You can learn more about this year’s US CX Index in an upcoming blog post by CX team principal analyst Rick Parrish, followed by a third and final blog in our series on the relationship of emotion and CX by Roxie Strohmenger.