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 Creating positive customer experiences is not a voluntary option, but an essential necessity in order to survive in the market. Companies in Germany have recognised this and are continuously working on optimising it. Our study on Customer Experience Excellence , which we have been conducting in Germany since 2019, shows: The CEE score, a value with which we measure the customer experience on a scale from 0 to 10, is increasing for the fourth year in a row. It is 7.65 points on average for the companies surveyed in 2022 (2021: 7.62 points).  

For the study, we evaluated over 74,000 individual ratings from 7,071 surveyed customers. They were able to rate up to twelve different companies - the prerequisite was at least one contact within the last six months. The companies belong to the following sectors: automotive, retail, food retail, entertainment & media, financial services, restaurants & fast food, telecommunications, travel & hotels, energy suppliers, delivery logistics and the public sector.

Immer mehr Top-Performer

In addition to the average CEE score, the number of so-called top performers has also increased. These are companies whose score is at least eight points. Since 2019, their number has quadrupled - more than a quarter of the companies surveyed can now count themselves in this group. On the one hand, this shows that a good customer experience has become the norm in many industries. On the other hand, it also means that it is becoming increasingly difficult for companies to stand out from the crowd in the long term and to inspire their customers with exceptional experiences. 

A good customer experience leads to more sales

Another result of our study illustrates how decisive the customer experience is in economic terms: the 50 companies that were rated best can report a six times higher increase in turnover than the 50 companies at the bottom of our ranking. 

Not represented in the top 10, but successful as an industry

Even though nine of the first ten places in our ranking are held by retail companies - the most successful industry in terms of customer experience is the automotive industry. With a CEE score of 8.02, it leads our industry ranking, followed by retail (7.98) and food retail (7.73). The worst performer with a score of 6.44, which is also far below the average, is the public sector.

The six drivers of customer experience excellence

Every outstanding customer relationship is based on a certain combination of qualities that we have developed over years of research and which play an important role in evaluating the customer experience. These include empathy, integrity, personalisation, expectations, problem-solving skills and time and effort - the so-called six CEE drivers.

These, in turn, are significantly related to customers' loyalty to companies, their willingness to recommend companies to others and their perception of value for money.

Potential for improvement in empathy

This year, too, the driver "time and effort" scores best (average CEE score of 8.05). In the opinion of customers, most companies in Germany already seem to be implementing this driver satisfactorily. The picture is somewhat different for the driver empathy: The CEE score is only 7.22 points. Companies obviously find it difficult to put themselves in their customers' shoes and to convey a credible understanding of their situation. On a positive note, however, this driver shows the greatest improvement of all six drivers compared to the previous year, namely by 0.05 points.

Deteriorated: Integrity

For the first time since the survey began, there is a deterioration in one of the drivers: the score for "integrity" falls slightly from 7.66 to 7.65 (-0.01). The large number of crises that occurred last year, such as the advancing climate change, the aftermath of the Covid pandemic, Russia's war against Ukraine and the resulting increase in the cost of living, seem to have an impact on the perceived integrity of companies.

What have the top up-and-comers done right?

In addition to the top performers, there are other companies that have not (yet) made it into the top 10, but have significantly improved their customer experience: our top climbers this year. These are, for example, American Express, Commerzbank and Home24. You can find out what makes these companies stand out in terms of customer experience in our "Customer Experience Excellence Study 2022", which you can download now.

In addition to analysing the 74,000 customer opinions, we have also investigated why the six drivers of customer experience excellence are indispensable for a unique customer experience from a company and customer perspective. In doing so, we identified the needs, wishes, expectations and preferences of the companies as well as the clientele with regard to the six CEE drivers. Based on this, we developed operational recommendations for action that include the use of innovative, digital technologies. We also present the results and the optimisation potentials resulting from this in the study.