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Shifting customer needs, changing expectations, rapidly evolving technology and organizational fragmentation have created a pivotal change in the ways that firms compete. This means, that leading companies have made changes to their capabilities, business processes and technologies required to deliver excellent customer experiences. Success is no longer predicated on a great product or service, or even a good experience; it is based on how the customer is engaged over their life cycle, how firms remain present in their customers’ lives and how technology makes all of this happen.

Today’s customers expect to receive omni-channel and empathic interactions with businesses. At its heart customer experience should be simple, treat customers well and ensure they feel valued so that new customers come and stay, and current customers keep coming back. Our survey’s leading firms have gone beyond seeing digital as a channel into seeing how new technologies underpin customer journeys end-to-end, orchestrating online and offline capabilities to build seamless, low-effort highly personalized customer experiences that are at once both human and memorable – so those with disjointed channels and lacking deeper connection will struggle to retain their loyalty. 

—  The importance of empathy and human touch are getting more attention, in both customer experience and employee experience. This requires unified processes and use of insight and data throughout the organization, says Annaleena Lehikoinen, Head of Customer Excellence.

Personalization and integrity continue to be the main drivers of loyalty and advocacy in the majority of markets. Emotional connections built on trust, between brand and customer, has helped to retain the customers. However,over the past 12 months there has seen a rapid rise in holistic thinking, the realization that a competitively superior experience is multi-dimensional. Our leading organizations are masters at managing the Six Pillars as a set. 

Achieving significant growth requires concentrated thought about the customer (or potential customer), their lives, their problems and their needs. It involves answering the questions: Do we need to sell more to existing customers, or do we need to attract new ones? Are there segments that are being underserved with unmet needs?

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Key findings

We assess emerging best practice across 26 countries, regions, and jurisdictions with over 88,000 customers rating their experiences with some 2,900 companies and we identify the organizations that are leading the pack. 

Customer Excellence Key Findings

Deep dives into report topics

In this year’s report we examine how leading companies around the world are making connections. We examine the twin areas of the orchestration of resources within and across customer journeys alongside the progress firms are making to revitalize their approach to market and embark upon a growth agenda.