LONDON: UK brands lag way behind US brands in terms of delivering world-class customer experience, according to a new survey that attributes part of the problem to many of them continuing to organise themselves along “Victorian” lines.

KPMG Nunwood, a specialist customer experience firm, has been tracking the performance of brands over the past eight years for its annual Customer Experience Excellence study.

Based on responses from 10,000 consumers, the company ranked brands according to six metrics it believes drive brand advocacy and loyalty: personalisation, time and effort, resolution, integrity, expectations and empathy.

By these measures, British brands dropped to their lowest level in the history of the study, falling from 7.33 in 2016 to 7.08 this year. In contrast, the score for US brands increased from 7.42 in 2016 to 7.75 in 2017, Marketing Week reported.

Although the best UK performers, such as shopping channel QVC and John Lewis Finance, bucked the trend by empathising with consumers and delivering targeted experiences consistent across all channels, too many brands are not structured effectively, the report found.

“Businesses are still organised in the same way they were in Victorian times when we were building factories that churned out consistent objects,” said David Conway, who oversees KPMG’s Customer Experience Excellence Centre.

“We’re now in a world where we sell concepts, content, ideas and thoughts, and the traditional organisational structure really isn’t effective in being able to do that,” he added.

With a score of 8.22, QVC jumped 18 places in the ranking since 2016 to take the top spot, ahead of John Lewis Finance (8.19) and First Direct (8,06), the online and telephone bank that was last year’s top brand for customer experience.

“QVC is a great example of a business that understands its customer, understands the psychology of its customer and has organised itself in a way that delivers exactly what that customer needs in a way the customer wants it,” said Conway.

“Empathy pervades its television communications and its online communications, as well as the contact centre in Liverpool. Everybody is focused on the customer so it should be no surprise it’s done so well.”

Sourced from Marketing Week, KPMG Nunwood; additional content by WARC staff