There has been a shift in CX in Norway over the last year, with customers perceiving their interactions with brands more positively. Indeed, since the last study, all industries have seen a lift of 6-7 percent, with the exception of the utilities sector.
This progress has happened in the face of rising consumer expectations in the market. The 2019 research shows that the weighting of the pillar of Expectations has increased commensurately. Many customers are appreciative of the first-class efforts of both local and international brands, and use these as benchmarks against which all other experiences are compared. Therefore, a company that’s able to optimize its CX can gain a competitive advantage, and several Norwegian brands already recognize this fact.
The pillar of Personalization will undoubtedly be central to this endeavor, having the greatest weighting on customer loyalty and advocacy. Norwegian consumers are receptive to a CX that’s adaptable to their specific needs, although brands face increasing competition from online retailers and from organizations operating in neighboring countries.
In terms of Norway’s strongest brands, the online fashion retailer Zalando is the third highest-ranking organization, having moved up nine places since 2018. Zalando operates within the international marketplace, fulfilling orders to 17 countries. With such a large delivery operation, it’s fortunate that one of the brand’s greatest strengths is in the pillar of Time and Effort – something that’s made possible, in part, by the way Zalando co-operates with local delivery suppliers in order to have packages sent to customers’ nearby post offices and supermarkets.
"It is great to see a substantial lift in how customers perceive their experiences with brands in the Norwegian market. All industries see a lift of 6-7% from the last survey, with the exception of utilities. There’s a higher focus on customer experience, with many businesses making investments in their offerings and people, and these investments are paying off with higher scores from customers."
Director for Customer,
KPMG in Norway
In addition, Zalando’s smartphone app helps to deliver a more seamless retail experience. For example, one of its features enables customers to take a photo of a color or a pattern that they like and use the Zalando app to match the image to similar products in its online store.44 It also comes with a barcode scanner so that shoppers can compare Zalando’s prices with other retailers.45
Similar innovations can be seen with Norway’s second highestranking brand, the financial services organization Vipps, which is new to the research in 2019. It’s an app-based service, enabling customers to carry out transactions using their telephone numbers, and to pay for bills. For instance, users can take photographs of their physical documents and scan them into the app, which will then determine how much needs to be paid and guide the person through the process.46
In addition, Vipps has made its service compatible with the Chinese payment platform Alipay, improving the ease of use for a wider range of people.47 This means that – for merchants who offer Vipps as a primary payment method for customers – Alipay users will not find themselves excluded, and can use Alipay to make Vipps payments. This is an important consideration for Norway; it sees approximately 450,000 Chinese visitors staying in its hotels each year, and Alipay itself has over 700 million active users.48
Norway’s highest-ranking organization is the beverage retailer Vinmonopolet, which has risen three places to number one. This brand is notable for the pillars of Personalization and Integrity; Vinmonopolet has a particularly customer-obsessed approach to business and is intent on honoring people’s needs. Because of this, the retailer trains its employees intensively, ensuring they’re sufficiently knowledgeable about its products in order to offer effective guidance.
As one shopper noted: “The employees are not too pushy and are discreet in their approach. There’s an effective check-out system and it’s time-efficient when moving from the store to the register.”
This sentiment was echoed in our interview with the company’s Director for Strategy & Organization, who states that Vinmonopolet “lives and breeds for meeting the customers,” and that the magic happens in the 33 million face-to-face interactions they have every year.49
And as the customer explained, it’s the act of not being “too pushy” that makes the difference for Personalization – the country’s most impactful pillar. With Norway seeing a growing number of local and international competitors, using individualized attention to gain a competitive advantage is a key consideration for brands in 2019 – particularly as customers begin to perceive such services as ‘the norm.’
*49 KPMG interview with Trond Idar Nilsen, 2018