It should be no surprise that our current unstable economy has affected everything from the amount of merchandise on store shelves to the number of people taking vacations, but what may be surprising is that the adverse effects are extended to the quality of service we receive from providers in many different industries. Such quality decreases are generally connected to job layoffs and spending cutbacks, as well as the low morale both of those things tend to instill. The end result: a vicious cycle in which consumers move their business elsewhere, or stop purchasing given services entirely.
One industry where the economy is having such an effect is property and casualty (P&C) insurance. The good news is that there are some companies still treating their customers well. According to a recent report from The American Customer Satisfaction Index, or ACSI, the customer service quality leader in this industry is State Farm.
The ACSI was developed by the University of Michigan, and uses a 100-point rating scale. In the most recent rating of finance and insurance companies, State Farm earned a customer satisfaction score of 82, with GEICO and Progressive following closely at 81 and 80 points, respectively. Notes in the latest index release state that larger property and casualty insurance companies have scored better than smaller ones with regard to consumer perception.
Overall, the finance and insurance sector showed slight improvement in customer satisfaction from the third to fourth quarter of 2009, with the property and casualty insurance sector averaging a customer satisfaction score of 80 in comparison to the average 77.1 in the finance sector as a whole.