Why is Delivering Good CX So Hard to Do in Europe?

By: Kate Zimmerman

February 1, 2016

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It’s a tough pill to swallow, but the numbers don’t lie: customers in the UK, Germany, and France are not receiving a great customer experience. Most of them aren’t even receiving a good customer experience. The vast majority is lucky to receive a mediocre CX and many are downright poor.

Last fall, Forrester analyst Joana van den Brink-Quintanilha released her research revealing these abysmal numbers. Using the Forrester Customer Experience Index, she measured 203 companies across 8 industries in these 3 Western European countries.

The highest-scoring brands in the UK and Germany are both banks – TSB Bank and Nationwide Building Society tied in the UK, and in Germany ING-DiBa took the top spot. In France, MAIF, the auto and home insurance provider leads the rankings. What are these brands doing better than other companies in the region?

One of the key factors to implementing a successful customer experience management program is executive support. This research will help show your executives that better CX correlates to higher revenue growth.

Great CX creates customer loyalty. Loyal customers are just as, if not more important than happy customers. Loyal customers will come back to you time and time again. They will forgive you in rough times and sing your praises during the great ones. Retaining loyal customers is also significantly less expensive than earning new ones.

Emotion and effectiveness are key drivers for delivering excellent customer experience and driving customer loyalty. Companies in the UK and Germany need to focus on the emotions that an experience elicits. Conversely, the French market calls for effectiveness in order to drive loyalty, even more so than emotion.

Brands in these markets also need to focus on delivering an excellent online experience. Forrester split retailers between brands with physical stores and those that were online-only. Doing so revealed that digital brands outscored their brick-and-mortar counterparts in the UK, France, Germany, and the US. Customers are placing high importance on their digital experiences with brands and companies need to take advantage of this possible differentiator.

A lack of competition seems to make brands in this region complacent. This is especially true for ISP and TV service providers. Even though customers often have few choices, there is still incentive for brands to make vast improvements to their CX and make very happy customers. Becoming a CX leader in these markets could be a game changer. So few customers are receiving excellent CX, that the brand that finally manages to deliver this will shine above the rest and set the standard industry-wide.


Kate Zimmerman is a Content Marketing Specialist at Clarabridge. Kate focuses on building content that supports CX efforts, product marketing, analyst relations, and has become an industry expert in Customer Experience Management. Kate holds a B.A in Politics from the University of Virginia and can be found on Twitter at @kmzimm.