Overall customer experience in the UK has improved for the second year running, following a record low in 2017, when brands struggled to keep pace with rising customer expectations.
The report – Power to the People – stresses the vital role employee engagement plays in improving customer experience, with the report’s authors highlighting the close correlation between the two. Moreover, the vast majority of this year’s top performers have made conscious efforts to improve employee experience throughout their business, recognising the impact it has on the customer.
Now in its tenth year, the Customer Experience Excellence (CEE) analysis reveals the second year of improved performance, with the overall CEE score1 increasing from 7.13 in 2018, to 7.21 this year. This follows a record low of 7.08 in 2017, when brands very visibly struggled to keep pace with what customers expected of them.
Looking at the aspects which define customer experience – what KPMG Nunwood terms The Six Pillars2 - the latest findings suggest that meeting, managing and surpassing customer expectations, as well as achieving a better understanding of their circumstances, is where the most improvement has been felt by consumers.
Commenting on the overall findings, Tim Knight, Partner at KPMG Nunwood said:
“This year, we see an increasing number of brands getting real returns from their hard work to improve their customers’ experiences, after many false starts and a record low in 2017. However, keeping pace with rising customer expectations continues to be extremely tough.
“Cross-category leaders are setting new levels of performance, raising the bar for everyone, regardless of sector. This year’s research shows that it’s those brands with the most motivated employees that are best reacting to change, whilst also generating the best returns for shareholders.”
Looking at this year’s results in more detail, first direct, Monzo, Lush, John Lewis Finance and Richer Sands secured the top-spots in the ranking. Meanwhile, Mothercare, Green Flag, Yo! Sushi, Pizza Express and Prudential were this year’s biggest upward movers.
Non-grocery retail, grocery retail and financial services have been the sectors to consistently perform best, however this year’s analysis saw utilities and the public sector note the biggest improvements, with a 3% and 4% increasing their CEE scores respectively.
Commenting from a banking perspective, Richard Little, Head of Challenger Banking at KPMG UK, said:
“There is little escaping the fact that challenger banks are increasingly more established. Many are growing larger and at pace; building solid brands and are continuing to attract new customers. Their innovation has set a new benchmark for what customers expect from their bank, and established players are having to rise to the challenge.
“But the challenger banks are not immune from challenges of their own. As KPMG’s analysis of the challenger bank’s 2018 results sets out all too clearly, there is continuing pressure on profitability, and all institutions face an increasingly complex regulatory environment where brand reputation can quickly be damaged. Customer inertia is particularly strong in banking, and these now established challenger banks face the shared challenges of ring-fencing and of course remaining competitive on rates – something legacy players arguably have more flex on. Clearly innovation within banking will continue to raise the bar, with customer experience at the heart of the battle to win market share in this space.”
To view KPMG Nunwood’s full report – Power to the people – please click: here
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Notes to editors:
2019 UK Top-10 Brands by CEE score:
(position in ranking vs. 2018)
|2019 CEE Score*|
|5||John Lewis Finance||-1||8.02|
|7||Nationwide Building Society||6||7.92|
|Brand||Movement (position in ranking vs. 2018)||2019 Ranking|
|Ranking||UK Sector||2019 CEE score||Improvement vs. 2018|
|4||Restaurant & Fast Food||7.30||+2%|
|5||Entertainment & Leisure||7.16||+0%|
|7||Travel & Hotels||6.99||+1%|
About KPMG Nunwood:
KPMG Nunwood provides full-service customer insights, journey mapping and leadership strategy, helping clients create real business results.