Among French companies, CX awareness is rising fast. More and more are looking to the CX of other organizations and asking themselves how they can improve and compete. Even if some questions remain about customer experience’s commercial value and investment worthiness.
However, customer obsession has become a defining characteristic of the leaders. These businesses recognize the power of Integrity and Personalization for their customers – which are the country’s greatest drivers of customer loyalty – and are investing in data collection, measurement and analysis, to extract key insights about their customers to drive business decisions.
Moreover, several of the more customer-obsessed organizations are being thorough in their acquisition of insight, looking at each touchpoint of the customer journey in painstaking detail to understand the emotional drivers, including the factors that lead to frustration.
This is true for insurance company MAIF, France’s third highest ranking organization in 2019. MAIF stands out for the It harnesses client verbatim to motivate and inspire employees to deliver a state-of-theart client experience. MAIF has also invested in all its communication channels, including work on physical mail to convey and capture emotions in a written format. The whole business DNA revolves around client obsession: members and employees state “I am MAIF” rather than “I am with MAIF”, emphasizing the idea that the company is more of a family than a detached business.
"The expectations in terms of customer experience are both rising and expanding among many sectors. In this context, companies that are customer obsessed are leading the pack."
Partner, Head of Advisory for Consumer & Retail,
KPMG in France
Similar qualities can be seen with the financial services organization PayPal, which is the second highest ranking brand in France. Like many businesses in the country’s top 10, PayPal puts the customer at the center of its operations. Leading in the pillars of Personalization and Expectations, the brand’s employees are encouraged to understand the ‘story’ behind each and every customer. PayPal takes the time to analyze client interviews, and pays close attention to the feedback it receives through co-creation and realtime monitoring of client satisfaction, continually listening out for changes in customers’ needs, and refining processes as it goes.
At its heart, PayPal sees itself as a means of making life easier for consumers, with a promise to help people navigate the frictions of payment. But what this looks like, in practice can vary from country to country, as PayPal adapts its offerings depending on the various customs of individual markets.
The highest-ranking brand in France in the 2019 research is the hotel chain Mercure, which is new to the rankings this year. It’s a deeply self-aware organization, closely monitoring its RPS (Reputation Performance Score) and encouraging each of its hotels to perform regular self-diagnostics in an effort to pursue continuous improvement. It is the highest-ranking brand in the pillars Integrity, Time & Effort and Resolution.
Much of this is born out of Mercure’s customer obsession. The brand says that “each and every one of our experienced members of staff is dedicated to providing a service that makes your stay unique,” adding that they offer “a personalized service, going beyond guests needs,” and that customers will be “charmed by the warm and convivial welcome of our hoteliers.”21
Mercure is committed to offer a homogeneous network of hotels based on renovated premises, high quality and professionalized services, mixed with authenticity and local emotions. Local initiatives and entrepreneurship spirit are encouraged through multiple pilot tests.
As such, customer obsession is the dominant theme amongst the highest-ranking brands in France. Many are using the desire for firstclass experiences to drive innovation and continual self-improvement, and are growing customer loyalty as a result.