CxPi 2009: Apple (good), iTunes (bad), B&N (awesome)

The Customer Experience Index (CxPi) study for 2009 is down on iTunes, mobile phone carriers, and medical insurance.

Forrester Research is on its third iteration of The Customer Experience Index. Researchers quizzed more than 4,600 US-based consumers about their interactions with a variety of companies, gauging the usefulness, ease of use, and enjoyability of those experiences.

The hospitality industry, wouldn’t you know it from the name, did pretty good but, it was Barnes & Noble that came out on top. Marriott Hotels & Resorts, and Hampton Inn/Suites also topped the rankings, while Charter Communications took the bottom spot for the third year in a row.

It wasn’t that much good news for any of the companies on the list, in fact only 13 comapnies got the “excellent” rating while 45 were “poor” or “very poor.” Apple topped the personal computer category, but its iTunes service got just what it deserved: it is not loved, despite its enormous success. In your face, iTunes! Smug little application that is unwieldy, overly complicated, and arrogant.

As the chart above shows, retailers continue to improve, while ISPs continue to deteriorate. In your face ISPs! You with your unreliability, lousy service, and glitchy services. Most surprising is that investment firms didn’t fare that badly. Obviously, no Bernie Madoffs were experienced by any of the participants in this survey. But, again, we go to number one, Barnes and Noble, the book retailer and book mark seller, proving that there is still some joy to be had from browsing print. Who doesn’t love a couple of hours meandering through a bookstore untouched, and unbothered. Better than going to a spa, I tell you.