Customer Experience Excellence report 2021

Customer Experience Excellence report 2021

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Consumers in France are demanding more than ever from their brands. They want engaging, relevant content personalized for them, and expect organizations to be open and transparent about their products and working practices. Customers have determined that the best companies are those that deliver customer experiences tailored for their audience, and they have subsequently performed well in our survey.

Brand loyalty and advocacy are strongly driven by Personalization and Integrity, with Time & Effort and Expectations becoming increasingly important in the French market. Therefore, companies investing in customer recognition programs, AI tools and micro-segmentation strategies to truly understand their customers have performed well.

After months of restrictions during COVID-19, customers have grown to appreciate their interactions with brands. Providing a seamless experience that meets those expectations is winning customer loyalty. This appears especially true in the entertainment and leisure industry where companies like Apple Music and Netflix are continuously adapting their services to provide immediate and intuitive experiences where user experience is king.

Apple Music entered our rankings for the first time this year, landing in second place. The company often invests in new services and subscription programs, such as Apple One – which pools together products like Apple TV and Apple Music – clearly plays to its loyal brand base. While signing deals with exclusive artists means it can stay ahead of the competition. The company also succeeded in reaching the top spot for Integrity by guaranteeing customer privacy and confidentiality.

For the second time, hotelier Mercure led the ranking with a strong performance in Time and Effort. While COVID-19 hit the hospitality sector hard, Mercure thrived during the crisis by offering alternative experiences and services and putting the customer relationship at the center of their strategy. The ALL loyalty program offers members preferential rates, reward points and access to a range of exclusive lifestyle experiences1 .

Mercure has seen a boost in ranking across all pillars, and in an increased effort to offer personalized experiences, it has embraced digital as a tool for customer insight. This has allowed it to prepare for the easing of restrictions and plan for a solid rebound anchored in customer experience.

The ability to offer unique digital experiences also favored businesses in our survey. Nespresso’s strong online presence – already in place before COVID-19 hit – gave them a head start on the competition, while further improvements to facilitate recurring orders also helped to strengthen brand loyalty.

Nespresso has long been a company that’s built around its customers. Personalization and Time & Effort have been two pillars the brand has excelled in long before the CEE trend took off, and thanks to its existing investment in its customers, it has a very loyal community. “Customer for over 11 years. Delicious coffee, a true after-sales service worthy of the name” said one positive customer, “That reminds me, I need to place an order for some really good coffee.”

Looking ahead, as consumers increasingly move towards brands with strong ethical values, organizations must now ensure they invest in products and services that have a positive impact on society, while opening themselves up to greater scrutiny. That means finding a balance between their customers’ growing concerns around confidentiality and privacy, and their desire for evermore personalized experiences. Investing in digital channels and offering a unified omnichannel experience also helps place companies in a strong position to enhance the customer journey.

Mastering customer experience is inseparable from customer knowledge, and customer knowledge is – at its core – data. Companies must find ways to harvest and analyze customer data to get to the heart of their wants and needs, then go about solving their challenges and making the world a more seamless place for them. That’s where true loyalty can be built.

This peculiar period has seen a massive acceleration of digital usage in a context of rapid evolution of consumer expectations. Companies must continue to bet on Personalization and Integrity, as these two pillars are still central to succeed in creating lasting customer relationships and fruitful engagement, with customers more than ever in search of meaningful experiences, beyond consumption.

François-Xavier Leroux
Partner Customer & Digital
KPMG in France


Leading CX brands in France




Apple Music








Yves Rocher