Customer Experience Excellence report 2021

Customer Experience Excellence report 2021

Spending the last year in various states of lockdown has driven many customers to up their online purchasing, and as the economy reopens and many brands try to recover losses in their physical retail venues, prices have risen. However, as many customers have also felt the financial impact of COVID-19, this trend poses a major challenge in the Slovakian market.

Brands need to recover losses while still remaining relevant in their consumers’ eyes. Businesses which expanded their offering to react to changing needs last year should be better-placed to weather pricing shifts – and potentially attract new customers from their competition, who may be struggling to keep up with the pace of innovation.

With many high ranking brands coming from the retail sector in this year’s survey, the top-ranking brand is online bookstore Martinus. As one of the first e-stores in Slovakia, Martinus has consistently grown and evolved, remaining one of the best-loved online stores in the region.

This year, the brand has seen some stiff competition but has held onto its top ranking, with top scores in Personalization, Expectation, Integrity and Resolution. It has built its reputation for Integrity through schemes like charity donation with purchase, while Personalization is evident through its personalized birthday and name-day discounts. “The books arrive within a few days in a nice cover, undamaged, and sometimes with a discount on the next purchase,” one happy customer explained. “I recommend this shop to everyone.”

Continuing the trend for top-ranking bookstores, in second place is Panta Rhei – a network of 60 bookstores with in-store cafes. Panta Rhei jumped two spots since last year’s survey, and having launched its online presence back in 2009, it has an active presence on social media to keep a close connection with customers. When the physical stores are able to open, the attention to detail in the environment makes for a relaxing, cosy experience where customers can disconnect with the world – something many of us have needed over the past year.

DM Drogerie Markt – one of the biggest drugstore networks in Slovakia – comes in third place in this year’s rankings. Offering a huge range of products all in one place since its launch in 1995, DM Drogerie Markt has modernized its offering, launching an e-shop where customers can check their products are in-store before making the trip. Its wide range of healthy food and cruelty-free cosmetics boosting its Integrity ranking, and it has launched its own carbon-neutral range of products to continue its commitment to sustainability.1

In Slovakia, brands which want to drive advocacy and loyalty build Integrity into the heart of their operations. Personalization has long been a key driver of advocacy in the Slovakian market, but customers are now increasingly aware of their own impact on the world around them, and expect the brands they do business with to share their values. Social responsibility is a must-have for today’s customers in the region.

Businesses which provide in-person services should continue to manage their regulatory compliance, and encourage customers to do the same, even when guidance changes regularly. This can be a struggle for customer relations, so investment in communications and an open line of conversation is essential to keeping customers happy and protected at all times while they find their feet.

The digital revolution is not over yet, and brands must continue to invest in digital while managing their physical presence as customers return to stores and venues. Brands must be constantly innovating to meet the needs of a new customer – Gen Z – which lives primarily online. In customer experience, nobody gets left behind.

We have been living in a new reality for over a year now. Some were hopeful for a swift recovery and going ‘back to normal’ last year, but many changes are permanent, and COVID-19 is still very present.

Brands had to accept a much higher level of uncertainty in their business environment and reflect on different customer needs and expectations. Ongoing growth of digital and e-commerce, safety online and offline, and the ever-increasing importance of ethics, authenticity and integrity are elements that differentiate leaders in customer experience in Slovakia from rest of the market.

Stanislav Sumsky
Head of Advisory
KPMG in Slovakia

Leading CX brands in Slovakia




Panta Rhei


DM Drogerie Markt












Shell Slovensko