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EU brands not OK on CX

News, 02 October 2015

EUROPE: No major European brands merited an "excellent" rating on customer experience in a survey by Forrester, with consumers regarding most of them as simply "average" or "poor".

The research company surveyed 13,451 consumers across three EU countries – France, Germany and the UK – asking them about their experience with 203 large European brands.

In the UK, 87% of the brands were rated average or poor, while in Germany 84% fell into this category and in France the figure was 55%, The Drum reported.

And while a very few were able to claim a "good" rating in the UK (12%) and in Germany (14%), none could in France where all were average, poor or very poor. Nowhere was a brand at the top level of "excellent".

The leading brands in the UK were Nationwide Building Society, M&S Bank, and American Express. In France, MAIF, Yves Rocher and Credit Mutuel led, while in Germany ING-DiBA, DKB and DocMorris were at the top.

"Financial services firms hold the lead in all three markets," noted Joana van den Brink-Quintanilha, an analyst at Forrester.

"Credit card companies and banks seized the top eight slots in the UK. In Germany, financial services firms pocketed the top two slots, and in France, seven insurers are among the top 13 brands."

But he added that these firms had no room for satisfaction as retailers such as Marks & Spencer were moving into their territory with some success.

Adam Powers, chief experience officer at Bartle Bogle Hegarty London, observed that financial services businesses were trading largely in the intangible "and therefore the customer experience is everything".

"The banking sector appears to be one that broadly understood this earliest, so they are ahead of the game," he told Advertising Age.

In contrast, internet and TV service providers are among the worst as regards customer experience, which Forrester put down to a lack of competition inducing complacency.

Data sourced from The Drum, Advertising Age; additional content by Warc staff