Why is a Forgiveness Rating Important?

Every company makes mistakes. When they do, they seek forgiveness from their customers. Customer may vary in their willingness to forgive and forget. Having a high ‘forgiveness’ index is an asset to a company trying to keep customers loyal and satisfied.

What is a Forgiveness Rating?

Temkin, a research company has created a Forgiveness rating. According to their website, the Temkin Forgiveness Ratings are based on feedback from consumers who have recently interacted with companies in the ratings. Temkin  asked 10,000 US consumers to rate their likelihood to forgive 208 companies if they deliver a bad experience on a 7-point scale, from (1) extremely unlikely to (7) extremely likely. Temkin takes  the percentage of consumers that gave a rating of 6 or 7 and subtract the percentage that gave a rating of 1, 2, or 3.

2012 Top and Bottom Rated Organizations

Year over Year Improvements and Drops

Of the 139 companies surveyed in both 2012 and 2011, 69 improved their ratings and 10 declined.


See the full Temkin data site at this location.

How can a company improve its forgiveness ratings?

1. Apologize using best practices. See Customer Satisfaction Tip: Four Steps to say You are Sorry

2. Work on eliminating the root cause of the problem.

3. Publicize when customers should notice an improvement.

4. Constantly seek feedback from customers on what you are doing well and what you are doing poorly.

5. Demonstrate, consistently, over time that your organization acts responsibly and and ethically

What is your opinion? If your company is represented in Temkin’s study, are you sharing this data within your management ranks? Feel free to leave your comments below.

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Adele Berenstein

Adele Berenstein is an Experienced Customer Satisfaction Executive, recently retired from a Large Global IT Organization after a long productive management career including Sales, Marketing, Services, teaching and education center management and most recently, 19 years in customer satisfaction management. She turned around divisions with customer satisfaction problems, implemented measurable improvements and management systems, and implemented programs to prevent problems from ever affecting customers.

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