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Faced with a New Customer, every business leader needs to re-evaluate their offer and their experience. This spans products, sales, service, marketing and countless other interactions. Experience is the layer between the New Customer and the high performing businesses of the future.

How we can help

The Six Pillars can be adapted to suit every sector and the unique challenges of your industry. Supported by sector specialists, they can help your business excel in its customer experience excellence and deliver improved financial outcomes.



Using individualised attention to drive an emotional connection

Personalisation involves demonstrating that you understand the customer’s needs and circumstances and will adapt the experience accordingly. Use of name, individual attention, knowledge of preferences and past interactions all add up to a personal experience. It makes the customer feel important and valued; it helps build an emotional connection.

The Golden Rules

  • Greet me
  • Show me you know me
  • Recognise our history together
  • Make me competent
  • Surprise me with something relevant
  • Understand my needs and circumstances
  • Individualise what you do 


Being trustworthy and engendering trust

Trust is an outcome of consistent organisational behaviour that demonstrates trustworthiness. There are trust building events where organisations need to publicly react to a difficult situation, and trust building moments where individual actions by staff. These add up to create someone’s trust in the organisation. Behavioural economics teaches us that we trust people we like. The ability to build rapport is therefore critical in creating trust.

The Golden Rules

  • Stand for something more than profit
  • Demonstrably act in my best interest
  • Show concern for me as a person
  • Do what you say you will
  • Keep me informed
  • Be competent 


Managing, meeting and exceeding customer expectations

Customers have expectations about how their needs will be met. Customer satisfaction is the difference between expectation and the actual delivery. Understanding, delivering, and if possible, exceeding expectations is a key skill of great organisations. Some organisations can make statements of clear intent that set expectations, e.g., never knowingly undersold, while others set the expectation accurately, e.g., delivery in 48 hours, and then delight the customer when they exceed it.

The Golden Rules

  • Set my expectations accurately
  • Agree timings with me
  • Respond more quickly than I anticipate
  • Use plain English – no jargon
  • Fulfil or exceed your promises
  • Guide me through the process
  • Provide information openly and honestly


Turning a poor experience into a great one

Customer recovery is highly important. Even with the best processes and procedures, things will go wrong. Great companies have a process that not only puts the customer back in the position they should have been in as rapidly as possible, but also make the customer feel good about it. A sincere apology and acting with urgency are two crucial elements of successful resolution.

The Golden Rules

  • Assume my innocence – see my point of view
  • A warm and sincere apology
  • Own the resolution – fix with urgency
  • Surprise me in how well you fix my issue
  • Go the extra mile if required
  • Give me options going forward
Time and effort

Time and Effort

Minimising customer effort and creating frictionless processes

Customers are time poor and are increasingly looking for instant gratification. Removing unnecessary obstacles, impediments and bureaucracy to enable the customer to achieve their objectives quickly and easily have shown to increase loyalty. Many companies are discovering how to use time as a source of competitive advantage.

The Golden Rules

  • Make my time investment pleasurable
  • Give me simple and clear instructions
  • Maximum of three steps to my objective
  • No longer than two minutes wait time
  • Provide the answers I need when I contact you
  • Advise me of pitfalls ahead


Achieving an understanding of the customer’s circumstances to drive deep rapport

Empathy is the art of letting the customer know that you can genuinely understand what it is like to be in their shoes. Empathy-creating behaviours are key to establishing a strong relationship.  It involves telling personal stories that reflect to the customer how you felt when in similar circumstances. Then going the extra step because you understand how they feel.

The Golden Rules

  • Invest time to listen to me
  • Provide the right emotional responses
  • Share your similar experiences
  • Treat me as your priority
  • Take ownership of my issues
  • Show you care

Want to know more about how the Six Pillars can benefit your organisation?

The Six Pillars provide a 360 degree practical view across your business and an interlocking approach to achieiving excellence in customer experience. They help you discover areas where you can celebrate success andwhere improvements can be made.

They also provide a comprehensive foundation on how to measure and monitor competitive brand experiences in the market. This is done through the annual KPMG Nunwood Experience Excellence report and Experience Excellence Centre.

Talk to our customer experience expert

Tim is deputy head of KPMG’s Customer Practice, focused on helping clients grow faster and more effectively. He does this by helping deliver the best customer, digital and employee experiences. The practice’s work spans customer analytics, experience design and technology, focused on sales, service and marketing transformation. Tim is also accountable for KPMG Nunwood, our customer experience insights business. 

With 20 years’ experience running customer experience, strategy, insight and analytics programmes around the world, Tim has helped clients to achieve stronger business results by helping them to better understand and design their organisations around the customer. His focus is to help clients put in place more advanced growth strategies that can help to remove cost more effectively or maximise the rate of customer acquisition and/or retention.