The two companies just earned high ratings for customer service from the 2017 Temkin Experience Ratings, a yearly ranking of companies according to responses from 10,000 consumers across the United States.
Out of 10 airlines included in the ratings, Southwest came out on top – as it has every year since the Temkin Ratings debuted in 2011, with the exception of 2015, when JetBlue bested them.
AirTran Airways and Virgin America took the second and third spots this year, with JetBlue falling to fourth place, and Spirit Airlines ranking last. While Southwest rated 73% for customer experience, bargain airline Spirit only scored 50%.
But overall, the airline industry as a whole saw an improvement in their ratings for customer service, improving nine points over 2016, jumping from an average of 56% to 65%. Out of the 20 industries on the survey, the airline industry placed 14th, showing plenty of room for improvement in 2018.
Marriott brands take first and second place
Out of 23 hotels included in the survey, Courtyard By Marriott took first place, earning a customer service rating of 77% and coming in number 38 out of 331 companies across 20 different industries. Second place was a tie, with Fairfield Inn, Marriott, and Radisson each scoring 76% and ranking 47th overall.
At the lower end, Motel 6, Airbnb, and Days Inn filled out the last three spots, with ratings of 57%, 56%, and 54%, respectively.
Bruce Temkin, managing partner of Temkin Group, said the hotels and rooms category is an ever-shifting field. “Unlike most other industries, there are no clear customer experience standouts in [this] category. The leaders change every year, which leaves the door open for any of the chains to become the industry standard for customer experience.”
Co-branded credit cards increase value for Southwest and Marriott
Both Marriott and Southwest offer popular co-branded credit cards for customers who want to earn rewards, make their money go even further, and have better experiences when travelling. The cards let folks earn points that can be redeemed for free flights, free rooms, preferred boarding, and upgraded customer service.
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