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Customer experience in the UK stagnates with more brands becoming mediocre

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Not a single brand in the UK has managed to rise to the top of Forrester’s Customer Experience Index (CX Index™) rankings or continued to move upward. Customer experience (CX) quality languished in 2018 as more brands become mediocre.

Forrester’s CX Index methodology measures how well a brand’s customer experience strengthens the loyalty of its customers. Based on a survey of 9,033 UK adult customers in 2018, Forrester benchmarked CX quality at 36 brands doing business in the UK.

Liverpool Victoria (LV=) confirmed its position as number one in the auto/home insurers category. Nationwide Building Society still topped the banks rankings in 2018 despite seeing its score stagnate, while new entrant Very.co.uk takes over Amazon’s position in the digital retailers category. John Lewis continues to be the number one multichannel retailer and while Tesco came out on top among wireless providers.

The percentage of UK brands making it into the good category fell from 31% in 2017 to just 14% in 2018. A staggering 86% now deliver OK experiences, which suggests customers are struggling to tell the difference between the experiences offered by competing brands.

The auto/home insurance and multichannel retailer industries saw their average score rise by a small but statistically significant amount this year. In contrast, the industry average score for banks fell by almost 4 points, with all but one of the seven banks seeing a statistically significant decline to their score. This year, the banks provided an average of seven emotionally positive experiences for each negative experience, down from 11 in 2017

In fact, Forrester believes that emotion is key to the positive development of a brand.

“Brands that want to break away from the pack should focus on emotion: How an experience makes customers feel has a bigger influence on their loyalty to a brand than effectiveness or ease in almost every industry,” says Joana van den Brink-Quintanilha.

Even a minor improvement to a brand’s customer experience quality can add tens of millions of dollars of revenue by reducing customer churn and increasing share of wallet. What’s more, customers with positive emotions are more willing to pay a premium price for the same products and services.

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