Canadian brands enjoyed their best year ever on Forrester’s annual Canada Customer Experience Index (CX Index), with the overall quality of the Canadian customer experience rising by 1.2 points to 67.2.
The report, which measures how well a brand’s customer experience strengthens its customer loyalty, scores 161 brands across 14 industries. It is based on a survey of 62,218 Canadian adults (see the rankings below).
Forrester determines CX across both quality and customer loyalty. The six criteria include a brand’s ability to deliver value to customers and the likelihood customers will recommend it to others.
While no brand was regarded as excellent in this year’s study (which was consistent with previous years), the number of brands identified as “good” rose to 27% from 20% in 2018 and 17% in 2017.
The report also identified declines in the number of brands offering a merely “okay” customer experience (65%, compared with 72% last year) and “poor” (7%, compared with 9% last year). Only 1% of brands were identified as “very poor,” also consistent with previous years.
In a blog post about the findings, Forrester’s principal analyst Rick Parrish said less than one-quarter (23%) of brands saw a modest improvement in their CX score, with 76% stagnating and 1% declining. The average point gain was three points, while the average point loss was 2.5.
The report also notes that no Canadian brand has successfully risen to the top of the rankings and moved upward, which it says is the mark of a true customer experience leader.
Instead, scores for the eight so-called “elite” brands (the top 5% of brands across all industries) remained flat, with five showing no statistically important score change, and three improving. This year did mark the first time none lost points, however.
Parrish also notes that 10 of the 14 industry frontrunners saw their customer experience score remain flat year-over-year. The report said that in the absence of “real leaders,” only four types of brands remain:
- Languishers: Brands that rose and then stalled. These brands have remained “stuck,” without a statistically significant score change for at least two years. The report identified 14% of brands in the Canada CX Index as languishers.
- Lapsers: Brands that rose and fell back. Just 1% of brands are identified as lapsers, whose performance has declined for one or two years.
- Locksteppers: Brands that move up and down with the pack. Even when those brands improve, notes Parrish, they fail to differentiate themselves because the quality of their customer experience remains on par with with their competitors. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of CX Index brands are “locksteppers,” including four elite brands and seven frontrunners.
- Laggards: Brands that have stayed at or near the bottom. About 21% of brands are laggards, which consistently remain at the “low end” of the rankings, even those that have improved the quality of their customer experience.
Parrish says that brands looking to break away from the pack need to focus on emotion. “How an experience makes customers feel has a bigger influence on their loyalty to a brand than effectiveness or ease in every industry,” says Parrish.
He notes that elite brands provided an average of 17 “emotionally positive” experiences for each negative experience, compared with just four for the lowest performing 5% of brands.
Photo: Jack Borno, Wikimedia commons.