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Outstanding customer experiences are an indispensable competitive factor for companies. However, as customer demands and the market environment are changing faster than ever before, managing the customer experience is very complex. In our Customer Experience Excellence (CEE) study, we have been analysing which companies are successful from a consumer perspective and where there is a need to catch up every year since 2019. There is a special feature in 2023: for the first time, the customer experience in Germany is perceived to be worse across all sectors.

Customer Experience: These sectors were evaluated

The study is based on a representative customer survey of over 200 companies from eleven sectors in Germany. In 2023, around 75,000 individual ratings from more than 7,000 participants were incorporated into our CEE Score. The CEE Score measures the customer experience on a scale of 0 to 10. Participation in the study required at least one point of contact between the customer and the rated company within the past six months. The sectors analysed include

  • Automotive industry
  • Retail
  • Entertainment & media
  • Financial services 
  • Food Retail
  • Restaurants & Fast Food
  • Travel & Hotels
  • Telecommunications
  • Energy supply
  • Delivery logistics
  • Public sector

Significant deterioration compared to previous years

The result of our report: the CEE score in 2023 is 7.31 points - a significant deterioration. In previous years, companies recorded CEE scores of 7.65 (2022) and 7.62 (2021) points. The constant trend towards an ever better customer experience means that customers across all sectors have ever higher expectations. It is essential for companies to adjust accordingly - however, this is clearly not yet being achieved sufficiently. On the contrary: at the same time, the customer experience of companies in Germany is declining.

Chart (in German only)

The poorer performance can be seen in all sectors. The six CEE drivers empathy, integrity, personalisation, expectations, problem-solving skills and time & effort were all rated lower. These drivers are the success factors for a good customer experience and the basis for the CEE score, which results from the performance in the six drivers. For companies in Germany, satisfaction with the customer experience fell by 0.34 points overall. It is striking that the top ten companies only deteriorated marginally. In contrast, there were significant losses among the worst ten. 

With a CEE score of 7.58 points, the retail sector is the frontrunner in our evaluation for 2023, followed very closely by the automotive industry. Bringing up the rear is the public sector with a CEE score of 6.26 points. In the study, our experts analyse the details, pick up on current trends and their influence on the customer experience and determine the performance of the individual sectors separately. They also present our Hall of Fame, the top ten best brands, in which there are four newcomers.

Customers rate customer experience regardless of financial burden

The decline in customer experience excellence can be seen both nationally and internationally. However, the increased cost of living does not appear to be a reason for this - most respondents say that higher financial burdens have no impact on their perception of customer experience. For companies, this means that excellent, personalised and memorable customer experiences remain as valuable as ever. 

More than half of respondents also signalled that they would continue to pay higher prices for products or services if companies acted sustainably. However, the German figures are below the global average. The proportion of those in Germany who are not prepared to spend more money on companies' commitment to sustainability has risen to 18 per cent. This is the highest percentage ever measured.