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KPMG: Global Customer Experience Excellence Research 2021

02.11.2021 Share

A new report released by KPMG International’s Global Customer Center of Excellence reveals consumers’ expectations of receiving omni-channel and empathic interactions with businesses. This year’s research entitled ‘Orchestrating experience' was conducted on 88,616 consumers across 26 countries, regions and jurisdictions, and provided feedback on 2,112 unique cross-sector brands to determine which organizations are delivering standout customer experiences in 2021.

Global consumers highlight personalized, omni-channel, and empathic interactions as key to delivering the best customer experience with new research by KPMG International revealing the leading drivers for customer experience in 2021, including the highest ranked companies for CX.

In Belgium, mainly due to COVID-19 restrictions, shifting priorities have meant that getting produce delivered safely and securely is more important than ever. Brands that provide a digital-first shopping experience with a conscience have risen to the top of this year’s rankings, as corporate social responsibility (CSR) rapidly becomes the most important buying consideration for the Belgian customer. Furthermore, where money has been tight for many Belgians, companies offering value for money have been well appreciated.

Key results in Belgium

This year, 2,511 Belgian consumers ranked Coolblue, Colruyt and (respectively first, second and third) as the top brands in Customer Experience Excellence. Our research includes organizations across 9 key sectors, including financial services, public sector, utilities, Telcos and logistics.

The global findings highlight the importance of grocery retail across the world, also reflected in the Belgian results, as consumers found comfort in preparing home-cooked meals while stuck indoors. Retailers that offered seamless, digital purchasing experiences that reduced contact time with customers ranked high for customer experience in the 2021 survey. And finally, companies such as Coolblue who could deliver a holistic approach – from shopping to delivery and return – stood out from the competition.

“Many Belgians have emerged post-COVID-19 with a stronger sense of purpose, with a better defined vision on customer experience and with a better understanding of how data and AI can create competitive advantage,” explains Patrick Maes, Head of Customer, Sales & Marketing Advisory for KPMG in Belgium.

The research reveals retail brands are performing best in meeting the needs and expectations of consumers. The impact of COVID-19 has changed many businesses strategy of now having to meet customers where they want to be met, outside the traditional retail experience.

Consumers also ranked brands highly for their integrity and having an authentic purpose, with the public demanding more ambitious environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals from businesses.

The Six Pillars of Customer Experience Excellence

Brands were ranked across The Six Pillars of Customer Experience Excellence - Personalization; Integrity; Expectations; Resolution; Time & Effort and Empathy - to identify the leaders in each region. This has created a ranking of companies who are delivering exceptional customer experience across the customer journey. Loyalty and advocacy are key goals for all customer experience activities, and each behavior is driven by certain pillars of excellence. In the Belgian market, advocacy is driven by Integrity – customers need brands to show up for their community in order to promote them within their circle. The key driver of loyalty is Personalization, which customers demand when making a purchase. A personalized journey to checkout will likely keep customers coming back.

COVID-19 accelerated the digital maturity of the Belgian customer, putting pressure on companies to upgrade the quality of user experience on digital channels, including small, local brands. Moving forward, a winning combination of physical and digital excellence will likely be the key to customer experiences that delight – physical venues are becoming experience centers, rather than traditional stores, and brands that make this a reality quickly, while ensuring their digital presence is watertight, can succeed in the market.

For the full report, visit KPMG Global Customer Experience Excellence webpage.