The diversity of the US consumer can make CX management a challenge. As per the global trend, consumer bases and workforces can comprise up to five different generations, each with varying needs and expectations. The challenge is perhaps greater in this expansive nation than most. Doing a million things well every day requires an organizational focus on consistency. Many organizations can deliver a good experience some of the time, but delivering a high-quality experience, each time, every time, demands high levels of connectivity across key processes and customer journeys.
In addition, many businesses are competing with the exemplary standards in eCommerce, whose firstclass offerings are being perceived as the norm. This often leads to ‘expectation transfer,’ with many brands caught in a swirling vortex of expectations where no satisfactory outcome is possible.
There is also the challenge of being able to transform CX thinking into meaningful action. In the US, a number of companies understand what it means to offer an optimized CX on paper, but are unable to use this understanding to drive meaningful change.
However, those companies that feature at the top of the US rankings are using their customer understanding to drive change and as such, are breaking away from the pack. The highest ranked brands have broken down the internal silos that prevent a connected view of the CX vision, and they recognize the value that the employee experience can have on the customer outcome. In addition, there’s a strong grasp of what an optimized experience looks like across the full channel mix, and a good understanding of The Six Pillars.
"Organizations that are moving CX forward create a direct link between CX and results. They consistently measure their level of success and strive for continued improvement."
Managing Director, Customer Solutions,
KPMG in the US
It’s the pillar of Personalization that’s most important in driving the commercial outcomes of loyalty and advocacy. This is undoubtedly a strength of the country’s third-highest ranking organization – the restaurant brand Chick-fil-A. It’s a company that’s intent on delighting its diners through what the organization calls “second mile service” - ensuring that every diner has a friendly, helpful and enjoyable experience. For Americans, the highly trained employees’ oftused response at Chick-fil-A of “It’s my pleasure!” is a heartwarming catchphrase which is truly meant. Customer centricity is one of the restaurant’s defining qualities, and this is exemplified in its strong performance in the pillar of Time and Effort. Staff members frequently take orders from customers while they stand in line, speeding up the ordering process so that they don’t have to wait as long for their food. Chick-fil-A’s consistent efforts have seen the brand rise in the American rankings, moving into the top 10 after a shift of eight places. As one diner explained: “Just the environment at Chick-fil-A gives off a great vibe. Everyone and everything is in such a positive mood that it makes the customers happy.”
The grocery retailer H-E-B ranks in second place in the US study and is the top performing brand for the pillar of Time and Effort. H-E-B cleverly uses technology to enhance the in-store grocery shopping experience, with an app that can create your shopping list from scanned receipts. It can even tell you in which aisle a specific product can be found in each store.
Moreover, H-E-B is notable for its performance in the pillar of Integrity. It has a community focus, which H-E-B describes as “Our way of saying thank you for allowing us to be your neighbor.” Its contributions include the H-E-B Food Bank Assistance Program, and a Spirit of H-E-B trailer that provides on-site relief in areas devastated by natural disasters.64
The highest-ranking organization is the Navy Federal Credit Union – a financial brand that provides services for those who serve in the US military and their families. It has maintained its number one position for a second year, with the highest Personalization score of all brands included in the US research. Adapting to individuals’ needs is one of the brand’s strengths and for Navy Federal this begins with the employee base. Its workers are encouraged to show empathy with the people they serve and to make on-the-spot decisions based on the needs of the moment. As one respondent said, “Navy Federal is the best bank I have ever dealt with. They actually care and work with you if you have any problems or need help.”
On a continuous quest to make life as easy as possible for its members, Navy Federal has co-created its app with members. In the development process the key questions are “How do we help you faster,” “How do we make life easier for you,” and “What else can we do to make this work better for you?” One such development is a comparison chart on its website, allowing members to see which handset will be the most useful for accessing the app.65 The credit union is committed to doing business whenever and however it is easiest for their members, who may be serving in locations around the world.
In summary, the leading organizations in the US are breaking away from the pack because they’ve built firm foundations for CX success that appeal to the complex consumer base and economic environment they are dealing with. It’s a connected approach to CX that enables closeness to the customer and room for innovation and continuous improvement.
Navy Federal Credit Union
Polo Ralph Lauren