Philippines

Customer Experience Excellence report 2021

Customer Experience Excellence report 2021

Convenience and speed are important drivers for consumers in the Philippines, pushing organizations that provide essential goods and services up the leader board. Grocery retail and fast-food brands dominate the rankings, as buyers prioritized their spending during COVID-19.

As the country continues to weather the pandemic, it has recently exited a recession to report its biggest year-on-year economic growth in 30 years1. Customers are ready to spend when companies provide fast, hassle-free service via a choice of digital channels, with e-commerce becoming more vital in the light of successive lockdowns. This means Time and Effort, Personalization and Expectations have all been key drivers of brand loyalty and advocacy.

Membership shopping club S&R topped the rankings this year, with its selection of imported and local items. It has 20 located branches, ensuring a flow of customers focused on shopping for food and medicines over luxury items2.  The launch of S&R’s online shopping portal also allowed it to continue trading during lockdowns.

The restaurant and fast food sector also performed well as a growth in digital channels and services allowed companies to reach customers in their homes. Jollibee, one of the largest fast-food chains in the Philippines, is a good example of this.

Its family-oriented ethos and focus on Filipino food has built a strong brand affinity among its customers. And while lockdowns threatened to slow down business in the early days of COVID-19, Jollibee made online food ordering and delivery easy and affordable.

Integrity and Empathy were also important drivers for the company, with its focus on supporting staff through the pandemic helping to build trust with customers. As well as providing a broad training program about the threat of COVID-19 that included employee monitoring and webinars, Jollibee also offered hybrid working and financial support to its employees3. “By staying transparent and keeping our employees informed on the state of our business, we minimized anxiety and created an environment of stability, security and confidence,” said Archie Sabado, Jollibee Group GHRO. Other fast food chains that performed well include McDo and Burger King.

Digital banking also experienced a boom during the pandemic, as several legacy banks upgraded their online offerings and consumers turned to ‘e-wallets’ such as GCash to make payments. The company came second in our rankings, scoring highly in Personalization for its convenient electronic transactions, and for extending its app capabilities to cater to its users’ lifestyle. The app now allows users to send money, pay bills, shop online or use GCash for in-store purchases at more than 63,000 partner merchants4.

GCash also scored well in Integrity by working with various local government units to offer financial assistance to those that needed it. Meanwhile GInsure (powered by Singlife) gives policyholders protection for income loss. One customer said: “I’ve only started using GCash last year due to the pandemic. I really find it helpful because I no longer need to go outside just to pay bills and do transactions. I can also connect it to online e-commerce websites like Shopee, to cash in pesos to pay for my orders. It's truly a lifesaver!”

While customers are demanding more from their digital channels, the Philippines lags many of its neighbors in infrastructure development. Cyber security is also a real concern for customers. These factors may prove a challenge for organizations wishing to expand their online offering. Brand trust is also becoming more important, as consumers seek to shop with companies that hold values they can relate to.

The resulting top three leading sectors in the Philippine market are reflective of the behavioral shifts in Filipino consumers during the pandemic. While they are more open than ever to paying for the luxury of convenience, they also expect companies to understand their needs, empathize with what they go through and provide real-time responses to their concerns.

Imelda Horario Corros
Partner, Management Consulting
KPMG in the Philippines

Leading CX brands in Philippines

01

S&R

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02

GCash

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03

Jollibee

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04

SM

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05

McDo

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06

MetroBank

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07

Zalora

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08

Paypal

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09

Waltermart

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10

Burger King

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1https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2021/8/10/philippines-sees-fastest-growth-in-30-years-even-as-covid-looms

2https://www.philstar.com/business/2020/12/21/2065204/srs-strategic-locations-bode-well-company

3https://www.hcamag.com/us/specialization/employee-engagement/how-iconic-fast-food-brand-jollibee-kept-staff-happy-and-hopeful/300836

4https://techwireasia.com/2020/07/digital-payments-are-finally-soaring-in-the-philippines/