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Industry Reputations Take a Beating

September 17, 2009
  |  1,190 views

The reputations of several industries—car manufacturers and banks prominent among them—plummeted in the last year, according to a recent Harris Poll.

A consumer panel was asked whether 20 leading industries did a good or bad job serving customers. Compared with last year's results, the reputation of car manufacturers dropped the most (31 points), followed by investment and brokerage firms (down 27 points) and banks (down 24 points).

In light of the current debate about healthcare reform, said Harris, it's noteworthy that health insurance companies are down 10 points and pharmaceutical companies are down 6.

Best Rep, Worst Rep

Supermarkets, hospitals, online search engines, packaged food companies, and computer companies have the best reputation for serving consumers well, according to the research.


The most unpopular industries are tobacco, oil, managed care, and health insurance—the only industries that more than half of adults pointed to as doing a bad job of serving their customers.

 

Key findings:

  • 92% of adults surveyed say supermarkets serve their customers well.
  • 78% say the same for hospitals.
  • 76% say online search engines do a good job serving customers.
  • The highest negative ratings are those for tobacco companies (63% doing a bad job), oil companies (60%), health insurance (58%) and managed care (54%).
  • Other industries with relatively high negative ratings include investment and brokerage firms (46%), car manufacturers (45%), pharmaceuticals (45%), banks (38%), and cable companies (37%).

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