Hong Kong (SAR), China

Customer Experience Excellence report 2021

Customer Experience Excellence report 2021

Customers in Hong Kong value experiences that integrate seamlessly into their daily lives for maximum convenience. The accelerated adoption and use of digital channels among many non-digitally native customers has continued to raise the bar of what constitutes a great experience. Leading brands are getting creative in how they can meet that challenge.

From online fitness classes to luxury tasting menus delivered via an app, social distancing and restrictions have boosted the demand for experiences that can be enjoyed at home. To navigate the road ahead, organizations are increasingly harnessing data and predictive analytics to gain a more holistic understanding of their customers’ needs – while refining how they can deliver hybrid experiences that integrate physical and digital interactions.

An equally important trend is Hong Kong customers’ desire to buy from companies that align with their own values. In this year’s report, we have seen an increase in customers’ awareness and interest for sustainable products. According to our research, 73% of customers are quite or extremely willing to pay more to an ethical retailer or brand that gives back to society.

Customers particularly value brands that consistently demonstrate the delivery of ethical, social, and environmental promises. For instance, one of the best performing brands in this year’s study, Mandarin Oriental, is rolling out initiatives such as eliminating single-use plastic and bringing in ‘Green Mondays’ – when the hotel canteens serve only vegetarian meals.1

As a brand, Mandarin Oriental has also showcased an ability to adapt to Hong Kong customers’ needs and the impact of global travel restrictions by introducing new staycation packages – with spa credits, free room upgrades, a hotel history tour, flower arranging classes and family bundles to create new experiences. As explained by a customer: “Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group provided a spectacular service, providing us with a tour around the hotel and introducing us to the hotel’s history. They also prepared necessities for our children to ensure a comfortable stay for our family.”

Personalization and Integrity are now the key pillars driving both loyalty and advocacy. Customers’ changing attitudes towards digital experiences combined with the investments that businesses have made in advanced technology means personalized services are getting more sophisticated – and driving repurchasing patterns.

Interestingly, the leading sector overall in Hong Kong – for the first time in our research history – is Financial Services which improved in the Integrity Pillar in particular. This can be partly attributed to the investments in advanced technology that Financial Services organizations have been doing in digital technologies during the past few years that allows them to leverage data to offer higher levels of personalization while ensuring data privacy and security. Insurance brands performed particularly well this year. As a result of COVID-19, customers have purchased more insurance products to help safeguard their health and wealth. In parallel, leading insurers have been investing in their digital and client experience initiatives. Further, many insurance brands included in this year’s study launched COVID-19 incentive programs such as offering discounts for receiving vaccinations, and year-round COVID-19 protection plans at low costs. 

An example of this approach being successful is with AIA - one of the top performing brands this year’s report. AIA outperformed in the pillars of Empathy (7% above market average) and Time & Effort (6% above market average).

AIA performed exceptionally well in the Time and Effort pillar as they have launched a remote insurance purchase initiative allowing for virtual interactions with financial advisors.

One customer said: “The agent provided good service and explained everything in detail. AIA has a relatively lower premium than other companies, and it is also easier to contact with the agent, if needed. I think AIA is an insurance company that actively takes up social responsibility.”

Looking ahead, customers will likely continue to seek out organizations that provide more flexibility and options to engage with them at their own convenience, while providing higher levels of personalization. Hong Kong organizations should keep raising the bar on customer experience, while demonstrating that they are they are living up to their promises.

Market optimism has generally improved this year and it is great to see CX leaders being creative in revamping their digitalization strategies and target operating models to enhance customer experience across all aspects of their operations.

Isabel Zisselsberger
Head of Strategy for Financial Services
KPMG in Hong Kong (SAR), China


Leading CX brands in Hong Kong (SAR), China









HSBC Insurance


Leading online retailer


Mandarin Oriental






Sun Life Financial


*Brands are listed in alphabetical order

1 https://photos.mandarinoriental.com/is/content/MandarinOriental/landmark-amber-sustainability-statement