KPMG on Thursday published the latest edition of its Customer Experience Excellence report, which surveyed more than 1,000 people between May and June this year on nearly 80 brands across nine sectors of the economy.
“The customer journey is increasingly taking the direction of the new and challenging phygital [physical and digital, editor’s note] world where the presence of new technologies is indispensable, if not taken for granted,” said Jean-Pascal Nepper, KPMG partner and leader on customer experience excellence.
“The analysis of the multiculturally diverse Luxembourg market shows that customer expectations keep rising. This should be taken as a sign for top organisations to continue on their paths of exceeding expectations to stay ahead of the curve,” he said.
Luxembourg’s top brands for customer experience were Banque Raiffeisen and Spuerkeess in joint first place, followed by Ernster. The local book shop chain ranked top in the ranking in 2018 and 2019 and has since placed in the top three every year.
Nespresso and LuxairTours rounded out the top five with Foyer, Lalux, Colruyt, Lineheart and a leading online retailer following in the top ten.
For the fourth year in a row, the financial services sector topped the ranking. “The retail banking sector has handled the pandemic well. Massive efforts were made to continue to serve clients, despite the many obstacles present,” KPMG said in a statement.
Despite the disruption to travel by the pandemic, LuxairTours scored highly. The company offered PCR tests at the destination of travel as well as free additional hotel nights in case a customer had to quarantine while on holiday and extend their stay.
Digitalisation vs human interaction
While customers cut companies some slack because of the pandemic, KPMG said they have since “reverted to their initial pre-covid high expectations and regardless of the persisting difficulties.”
Across the board, the nine sectors assessed performed less-well in this year’s survey compared to last year.
And while digitalisation has improved customer service, it cannot replace human interaction. “While innovation and digital solutions have been a must during the pandemic, leveraging on new technologies to provide great experiences should always be balanced by reinforcing human relationships and an authentic interest in the customer’s real needs,” KPMG said.
The study assesses brands by six pillars: integrity, empathy, resolution, personalisation, expectations, and time and effort. Personalised services emerged as the most important pillar to build customer loyalty. On the other hand, integrity was a top criteria for customers to recommend it to others.
Looking at sectors as a whole, rather than individual brands, financial services performed best on customer satisfaction, followed by restaurants and fast food, grocery retail, travel and hotels, and the public sectors. Telecoms providers and logistics companies ranked worst, underperforming compared to the study’s global results.
The Luxembourg chapter forms part of a global customer experience report that surveyed more than 88,000 people in 26 countries worldwide.