Consumers in the Czech Republic tend to approach organizations with a certain level of distrust. Respondents to the research revealed a perception that companies may not be overly transparent about their services and so they feel the need to be ‘on the look-out’ for hidden caveats and charges at times.
That’s not to say that consumers feel this way about all companies in the Czech Republic. There are some who are perceived to be more open and honest about their services and it’s to those companies that customers tend to gravitate. However, in a sense this is limiting CX growth in the Republic; the basic hygiene factor of honesty is perceived, by some, as the epitome of first class CX. Because of this, the pillar of Integrity currently has the greatest influence on customer loyalty and advocacy.
Moreover, some organizations recruit staff as customer-facing employees who aren’t familiar with best practice in customer experience, as exemplified through The Six Pillar framework. As a result, a customer’s experience with a particular organization can fluctuate in terms of quality; it can depend wholly on the employee they encounter.
Despite these challenges, there are several companies in the Czech Republic that stand out for the quality of their CX. One of these is the financial services organization Equa Bank which ranks third for another year. It’s particularly notable for its customer centricity and for looking out for people’s best interests; for example, in 2018, the bank raised the interest rates on its savings accounts and lowered the rates on customer loans and mortgages.
"Although Integrity is still showing to be the biggest differentiating pillar in the market, it doesn’t mean it is a one-size-fits-all solution and everybody should now focus only on Integrity. Czech companies need to realize that they need to find their own Six Pillar ‘spice mix,’ fitting both their customers and employees to win their trust and create authentic experiences that cannot be copied by their competition."
Head of Customer Advisory,
KPMG in the Czech Republic
Moreover, Equa Bank recognizes the role of the employee in delivering a strong customer experience. The brand acknowledges that “a well-balanced work and personal life has an impact on employee satisfaction,” and explains that it supports team activities and healthcare events “to help build a friendly atmosphere and trust among employees.” Such initiatives boost the brand’s performance in the pillar of Integrity.13
Another organization that values the employee experience is the food retailer La Formaggeria Gran Moravia, which ranks at number two in the Czech Republic. The brand trains its staff to a high degree; they are knowledgeable about La Formaggeria’s products and are ready to engage with shoppers with kindness and cordiality. Undoubtedly, the retailer puts human beings at the center of its CX design.
Furthermore, La Formaggeria also shows strength in helping its employees to feel looked after. For example, it offers a special ‘Baby Bonus’ of 25,000 CZK for any individual with a new-born child.14
As one employee said: “This decision of the company really made me happy. We are expecting our first child soon and such a bonus will certainly come in handy. I’m really glad the company takes these steps. It shows that employees are important to the company.”15
The Czech Republic’s highest ranking organization in 2019 is the financial services brand Air Bank, which has risen six places in the last year. It’s a relatively new company, having been established in 2011 with a clear vision to create a bank that serves people, is simple, tells the truth, and does not hide behind the small print. Today the bank has over half a million customers. Like La Formaggeria Gran Moravia, it puts the human element of its CX design front and center. For instance, its customers are invited to bring their pets along to Air Bank branches, and visitors are served with free coffee.16
“My wife and I visited a branch because of a problem and they managed to solve it immediately,” said one respondent. “In addition, they solved another issue for us, which was not the reason for our visit. It just somehow came up in the conversation and we are glad that the bank cares about us.”
As such, the organization achieves the highest score of all ranked brands in the pillar of Empathy. An equally strong performance can be seen in the pillar of Time and Effort. This result is bolstered by services such as Air Bank’s bespoke internet banking app which was released last year, allowing customers to create an account, pay in-store with a mobile phone, view other bank accounts and even settle loans. An immediate payments service is also available through the app, with payment completed and in the receiver’s account in 10 seconds or less. The bank prides itself on “Simplicity, Courage, Truth, Friendliness.”17
In summary, the Czech Republic is a country with room for improvement with its CX. But it’s also home to a number of strong brands that are already using CX frameworks such as The Six Pillars to gain a commercial advantage over their competitors.
La Formaggeria Gran Moravia
Stateowned castles and châteux