Just moments ago we released the sixth annual Forrester Customer Experience Index (CXi), our yearly benchmark of customer experience quality as judged by the only people whose opinion matters — customers.

The 2013 CXi is based on research we did in Q4 2012. It reflects how consumers perceived their experiences with 154 brands across 14 industries. If you’re not familiar with the methodology, or just want a refresher, check out “Executive Q&A: Forrester’s Customer Experience Index, 2013.” We put all the nitty-gritty details in there.  

But what about the big picture? Of course, there are winners and losers (we name them in the report.) There is a tale of two banks — one whose score jumped up by 11 points versus last year, and another whose score plummeted by 24 points.

Through it all, though, one common theme leapt out: 

In 2013, it’s all about value.

Many of the top brands this year, including high-scorer Marshalls, deliver solid customer experience at a manageable price. We saw this dynamic in the hotel space, where Marriott’s Courtyard brand beat out all other hotel brands. And we saw it in the airline industry, where perennial favorites Southwest Airlines and JetBlue Airways once again swept the competition with their combination of great experience at a great price.

This trend suggests that as the US economy slowly improves, companies must strike the right balance between price and customer experience. For more on the price-experience connection, check out some new research from our resident pricing expert Maxie Schmidt-Subramanian.

To learn more about the other highs and lows in the 2013 Forrester CXi:

  1. Read the report.
  2. Join me for a live webinar on January 24th at 1:00 p.m. ET.
  3. Subscribe to my blog. I'll be posting throughout the quarter with more analysis. I’m hoping to get some other Forrester analysts to weigh in on the data, so watch for a few guest posts.
  4. Mark your calendar for early April. That’s when we’ll release an update to the always popular “How Companies Improved Their CXi Scores, 2012.” We’re interviewing CX leaders at companies whose scores saw the biggest jumps in 2013. Our one question — how’d you do that?! We’ll share what we learn with you as soon as we finish the research.

Until then, though, there are plenty of numbers in the 2013 CXi to keep you busy for a while. Dig in and enjoy! And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Happy new year,