Stand tall, San Antonio. You’re the country’s Capital of Customer Experiences.
A new report from professional services firm KPMG ranks two San Antonio-based companies — financial services provider USAA and grocery chain H-E-B — as the top two brands in the U.S. ranked best by consumers.
Every year, KPMG questions 11,000 consumers across the country and asks them to rate their dealings with 300 brands based on six “pillars.” Those pillars are:
- Embracing individualized attention to drive emotional connections.
- Minimizing customer effort and creating hassle-free processes.
- Demonstrating trustworthiness.
- Managing, meeting, and exceeding customer expectations.
- Resolving problems to turn a poor experience into a great one.
- Exhibiting empathy.
Measured against those pillars, USAA rose to the No. 1 position, up one spot from 2019. KPMG says the financial services company, which serves active-duty and retired military members and their families, earns high marks for empathy and integrity.
“USAA describes itself as a business built on empathy, seeing the world through the eyes of its customers,” KPMG notes.
On August 20, USAA announced the largest one-time charitable contribution in its nearly 100-year history — a $30 million pledge benefiting 24 organizations that are helping military families who’ve been economically challenged by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Caring for military families is our passion, whether it’s through serving our members or supporting military-related causes,” USAA President and CEO Wayne Peacock says in a release.
Second-place finisher H-E-B garners kudos for its strong connection with customers. It checked out two points higher than the year before, and 14 spots higher than 2017.
KPMG cites H-E-B’s array of Texas-branded products, as well as its community outreach efforts. On the community outreach front, the report points to the chain's Texans Helping Texans initiative, which the retailer launched in response to the coronavirus pandemic to aid people in need. The initiative includes the grocer's sale of ready-made meals prepared for local restaurants harmed by the pandemic.
“It is this sense of local pride and belonging that its customers buy into,” KPMG says of H-E-B.
USAA and H-E-B aren’t the only companies with Texas ties to earn praise.
The KPMG report puts financial services provider Charles Schwab in the No. 10 spot. For the time being, Charles Schwab’s headquarters remains in San Francisco, but the company plans to relocate its main office to the Dallas-Fort Worth suburb of Westlake. That’s on track to happen after Charles Schwab completes its $26 billion purchase of Omaha, Nebraska-based TD Ameritrade.
The report highlights Charles Schwab’s introduction last year of a zero-commission fee structure and its ongoing commitment to simplifying transactions via technology.
“Charles Schwab’s mission has long been to make investments accessible to everyday investors,” the report says.