Cream of the crop

These 2 Texas companies rank among the brands America loves most

These 2 Texas companies rank among the brands America loves most

Places-Shopping-H-E-B Buffalo Market
Homegrown grocery chain H-E-B is one of the most beloved in the U.S. Photo by John Everett

Two Texas companies are among the most trusted in the U.S. A new study released on June 5 shows San Antonio-based financial services provider USAA and grocery chain H-E-B are among the companies most beloved by American consumers.

For its ninth annual 2018 U.S. Customer Experience Excellence Analysis, professional services firm KPMG LLP interviewed more than 7,500 U.S. consumers to gauge their feelings about 250 brands across 10 sectors. KPMG then ranked each brand on six customer experience factors: personalization, integrity expectations, resolution, time and effort, and empathy.

Overall, San Antonio-based USAA came in at No. 2 (unchanged from 2017), right behind Navy Federal Credit Union, while H-E-B ranked fourth, climbing 12 spots from 2017.

The KPMG study notes that USAA, which caters to active and retired military members and their families, went above and beyond in 2017 to protect the financial security of policyholders harmed by natural disasters such as Hurricane Harvey, which battered Texas last year.

“Whether using drones to survey affected areas or establishing field offices for members to make claims and rectification quick and easy, [customers] believe USAA does everything in its power to ensure their problems are resolved. Every member is seen as an individual and treated as such,” KPMG says in the study. “Along with fulfilling its core mission, USAA continues to innovate introducing new technologies and approaches that benefit its members.”

USAA also goes to great lengths to instill empathy in its employees, according to KPMG.

“Staff are trained for months in what it is like to be one of their customers, says the report. "Listening well is one thing, but listening so that you understand, because you can put yourself in their footsteps, is quite another,”

As for H-E-B, the dominant grocer in Texas, KPMG praises the company for consistently maintaining the values of its founder, Florence Butt. In KPMG’s rankings, H-E-B was the No. 1 grocery chain.

“The brand stands on a moral foundation, donating 5 percent of its pre-tax profits to charity, and a customer experience design that focuses on shoppers and the surrounding communities,” KPMG says. “H-E-B builds trust through its community behavior and its focus on doing the right thing for its customers.”

As examples of H-E-B’s community dedication, the KPMG study cites the Excellence in Education Program, which honors deserving educators and school districts, and the Community Investment Program, which contributes to nonprofit organizations in markets where H-E-B operates stores.

“Serving customers is at the heart of everything H-E-B does, from the boardroom to the receiving docks,” KPMG says.

Here are the top 10 customer experience champions in the KPMG study:

  1. Navy Federal Credit Union
  2. USAA
  3. Disney Parks
  4. H-E-B
  5. Calvin Klein
  6. Publix
  7. Wegmans
  8. Avon
  9. JetBlue
  10. Amazon