The X Index has identified four key principles of best-in-class customer experience in 2021:
PUT EFFICIENCY AT THE CORE:
Consumers have gone massively digital in their shopping this year, a trend exacerbated by the pandemic. This shift has made them even more sensitive to the efficiency of the experience, and a simple and seamless purchase journey makes up a substantial portion of the CX scores in each of the five countries – including a huge 31% of the total score for digital pure players in the UK.
ALIGN YOUR PURPOSE AND ACTIONS:
CX is ultimately a matter of perception – or what a consumer is promised versus what they experience in practice. The fact that ‘the brand keeps its commitments’ ranks in the three most important criteria in two out of five markets underscores the importance of reliability and not overpromising/underdelivering. At a time when trust is low, brands can stand out by transparently and consistently communicating their values—and backing those words with action.
Underlining the shift from physical to digital commerce, ‘the attention and efficiency of staff’’ saw its contribution to the X Index reduced by more than half in France and to zero in China and the US. With sales staff largely out of the picture, personalisation – which accounts for a significant contribution to the total X Index score in each of the five markets, including a significant 30% for UK ‘bricks and clicks’ retailers, must take different forms.
FIGHT AGAINST DIGITAL SAMENESS:
Delivering on effectiveness alone is not enough to make a lasting difference – and this year, the ability to bring to life signature moments and forge an emotional connection created value for brands. Indeed, ‘the purchase journey was pleasant’ was ranked the single most important criteria for consumers in three of the five markets. Likewise, variety and exclusivity set brands apart – with ‘offered me products/services I couldn’t find anywhere else’ the single most important criteria for consumers in China. An emotional connection is key to build the uniqueness of the brand experience.
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