UK CX Is Improving, But Forrester Still Says No Brand Is Excellent

This week saw London hosting the annual Forrester Research CX Europe event soon after they released their new UK CX Index data earlier this month. Scores for six out of the eight industries surveyed in the UK have improved their CX in the past year and 24 individual brands showed a significant improvement in customer service.

Clearly companies in the UK are upping their game when it comes to offering a great customer experience. The Forrester data was based on a survey of over 14,000 UK online adult consumers, Forrester’s UK CX Index measures and ranks more than 55 UK companies across eight industries to identify how leading brands stack up based on the customer experiences they provide.

The research, shows that financial service firms continue to dominate CX rankings in the UK. Bank or credit card brands earn three of the top four places in the index and Nationwide Building Society took the top spot – as they did last year. Nationdwide also had the largest actual number of customers who indicated that interacting with the company made them feel good, highlighting that emotion can be a powerful factor when planning CX.

“CX Index data shows that UK brands have made clear progress in their customer experience efforts,” Joana van den Brink-Quintanilha, senior analyst at Forrester, said. “But don’t mistake progress as a cause for celebration; it is simply a jumping off point. For the second year running, none of the UK brands achieved an excellent score. This indicates a significant opportunity for brands to gain a competitive advantage through experience-based differentiation. Indeed, CX investments are more important than ever for UK brands.”

I think this is a really interesting observation. Although the data shows that a large number of individual companies are improving year on year, not a single UK brand achieved a Forrester rating of excellent. Even with most industries also improving there is still not a single brand rated as excellent. Although the general direction of the research is encouraging, I find it unusual that not a single brand in the UK was rated excellent as I can think of some fantastic UK CX case studies – and not only the ones I am responsible for!

This was a subject discussed at a Teleperformance webinar last week where Peter Ryan of Ryan Strategic Advisory spoke about the need for companies to keep up with the rate of change. The problem for many organisations today is that they want to define the way that customer interactions work, but it is actually the customers who are now defining this and their expectations change all the time.

As Peter highlighted during the webinar, it is very much about the approach to change and innovation that sets companies apart. You cannot accept that because your CX is great today, it will remain so next year. The road to excellence requires the ability to spot trends in the ways that customers are behaving and to prepare yourself ahead of what the customers actually do.

There is a CX “elite” highlighted by the Forrester research. These are companies that rank in the top 5% for CX quality across all industries. These companies that made the UK’s CX Index 2016 best-in-class list include the following (in alphabetical order): Amazon, Nationwide Building Society, and Santander.

There are some great CX stories from the UK and personally I would rank some companies as excellent and I also believe that there is CX excellence beyond just financial services alone.

Have you read the Forrester CX Index or were you at the CXEurope event this week? Leave a comment here or get in touch via my LinkedIn to let me know what you think about the 2016 CX Index.
Classic LighttrailPhoto by Jerold Patterson licensed under Creative Commons.

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