Which Industries See the Highest (and Lowest) Customer Satisfaction Levels?

Rebecca Riserbato
Rebecca Riserbato


Customer service is a hard job. Reps have to deal with a range of different emotions from customers on several different channels at the same time.

Customer satisfaction levels

On top of that, the expectations for positive customer service experiences are increasing. In fact, 93% of customer service professionals agree that customers today have higher expectations than ever before.

Additionally, more companies are beginning to formally track customer satisfaction levels. The monitoring of customer satisfaction (+4%), online reviews (+4%), and NPS (+6%) have all increased year over year, indicating a growing desire among companies to leverage the value of feedback to improve customer experience.

Given the information and data out there, we were curious which industries had the highest and lowest customer satisfaction levels.

It begs the question, "Do people expect more from customer service reps in some industries over others? If so, why? And what can you do with this information?"

Let's find out below.

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Industries With the Best & Worst Customer Satisfaction Levels

To find out the answer to our question, we first consulted the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

We gathered the average customer satisfaction levels for several industries in the last year, and here's what we found out (industries listed from lowest to highest customer satisfaction levels):

  • Hotels: 73
  • Internet Travel Services: 74
  • Computer Software: 76
  • Consumer Shipping: 76
  • Credit Unions: 77
  • Financial Advisors: 77
  • Specialty Retail Stores: 77
  • Automobiles and Light Vehicles: 78
  • Banks: 78
  • Internet Retail: 78
  • Life Insurance: 78
  • Apparel: 79
  • Cell Phones: 79
  • Full-Service Restaurants: 80
  • Television and Media Players: 80
  • Breweries: 81

Based on this data, customers in a hotel might be harder to please than customers at a brewery (but who's surprised about that?).

Another way to see which industries have customers that are easier to please is to look at the data for support tickets in different industries.

The data below, gathered from over 100,000 HubSpot customers, shows that support tickets are rising in consumer products, media/marketing, financial services, software/IT, and staffing/recruiting. On the other hand, support tickets in manufacturing are going down.

While this doesn't necessarily mean that these industries have corresponding customer satisfaction levels, it could signify that tickets are slowing down because customers are easier to please.

HubSpot customer service data

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After looking at these data sets, we then decided to analyze customer churn rates per industry. Customer churn is the percentage of customers that stopped using your company's product or service during a certain time frame.

According to the data, cable and financial services have a higher churn rate than the travel industry. Again, this isn't exactly surprising because people who are traveling are probably happier than those who are dealing with a financial stressor.

Customer churn rate in the U.S.

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So, now that we know which industries have higher support tickets and higher churn rates, let's see which industries have the lowest satisfaction levels.

According to the data, these are the top five most hated industries by customer satisfaction score:

  1. Public Administration/ Government: 63.8
  2. Health Care and Social Assistance: 71.7
  3. Energy Utilities: 72.0
  4. Telecommunications and Information: 72.2
  5. Transportation: 74.9

Ultimately, this benchmark data reports on the average customer satisfaction level for these industries. If your company tracks customer satisfaction, it's important to see how well your company is doing compared to other companies in your industry.

Additionally, this data can give you more realistic expectations for customer satisfaction in your industry. If your industry typically has low customer satisfaction levels, what might you be able to do to increase your individual scores?

One idea is that you could start to formally track customer satisfaction for your company with customer feedback software, like HubSpot.

At the end of the day, it makes sense that people are less satisfied with banks, but are happier with breweries. Just think about it: When I'm going to the bank and there's an issue, my stress is going to rise. But if I'm at a brewery and something goes wrong, I don't mind just sipping on a beer and chilling with my friends.

So while it might make sense for customers to be less happy in your industry, and that's important to note, this data can help you brainstorm ways to increase your individual customer satisfaction scores.

If you're in an industry where customers are harder to please, it's even more important to focus on improving the customer experience by hiring highly empathetic customer service reps who can make a hard situation as seamless as possible.

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