Customer obsessed brands personalizing customer experiences drive greater loyalty

Customer obsessed brands drive greater share of wallet

New research by KPMG International reveals that insight led brands with a focus on purpose and personalization reap the rewards of customer loyalty.

Alciviades Siaravas

Marketing, Communications & Corporate Citizenship Manager

KPMG in Greece


New research released today by KPMG International entitled 'Customer First: Customer Obsessed' reveals that insight led brands with a focus on purpose and personalization reap the rewards of customer loyalty. 

Brands were ranked across Six Pillars of Customer Experience Excellence to identify the leaders in each country: Personalization; Integrity; Expectations; Resolution; Time & Effort and Empathy. A focus on Personalization is the clear driver for customer loyalty, leading in 18 of the 20 markets. Navy Federal Credit Union, Singapore Airlines, First Direct and Hilton were among the list of brands nominated by consumers as exemplars. 

Julio Hernandez, Global Lead, Customer Center of Excellence, KPMG International, explained:  “In a world of mass marketing and mass production consumers still want to feel unique and have an emotional connection with brands they engage with. Organizations that play to this and move beyond the 'consumer' to the 'individual' will win out. 

The leading organizations in our research are delivering exceptional experiences across the customer lifecycle and building emotional connections as part of each customer journey. This is the difference between a customer buying once or buying for life. These brands are using customer experiences as a means to capture superior profitability, their customers are a source of value and their obsession results in a sustainable source of financial value for shareholders and owners. The customer experience they deliver represents their brand well and builds an emotive connection with their customers.” 

Key findings

The findings were based on 84,066 consumers in 20 countries, regions and jurisdictions, providing feedback on 2,075 cross sector brands to determine which organizations are delivering standout customer experiences in 2019.

  • Personalization is the clear driver for customer loyalty - Leading in 18 of the 20 markets surveyed: Australia, Austria, Brazil, France, Germany, Hong Kong (S.A.R) China, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, UK and USA.
  • Consistency is key - The quality of customer experiences are improving around the world. All countries researched in 2018 have seen an uplift in their overall Customer Experience Excellence (CEE) score this year. 
  • The leaders are outperforming within their local markets - The CEE score for the highest ranking brand in each market is an average of 12 percent higher than its respective market average. 
  • The top-ranked brand in each market typically outperforms the respective market average score for each pillar by around 10%.
  • 3 sectors dominate the rankings - First place ranking positions are occupied by just three sectors: Financial Services, Travel & Hotels and Retail. 
  • Empathy appears to be the most challenging pillar - On average, performance is half a point lower than across the remaining five pillars. (All scores based on non-weighted pillar averages across the 20 markets). 

Hall of Fame brands

The leading brands in each market were chosen by customers for their performance against the Six Pillars of Customer Experience. As the 2019 Hall of Fame below shows new entrants as well as traditional, longer established brands can reap the rewards through obsessing about customers and their individual needs. 

Australia: Singapore Airlines

Austria: ÖAMTC

Brazil: Verdemar Supermercado

Czech Republic: Air Bank

Denmark: BroBizz

France: Mercure

Germany: Hilton

Hong Kong (S.A.R) China: Singapore Airlines

Italy: Amazon

Luxembourg: Ernster

Mexico: Fiesta Americana

Netherlands: Van der Valk Hotels

New Zealand: TSB

Norway: Vinmonopolet

Poland: iSpot (Apple)

Romania: Samsung Store

Singapore: Singapore Airlines

Slovakia: Martinus

UK: first direct

US: Navy Federal Credit Union

The research also found that Integrity drives customer advocacy in 14 out of 20 markets researched. This is perhaps unsurprising, as the report's findings come at a time when skepticism around customer data is high, following a series of largescale data breaches across the globe in recent years. Consumers are concerned about trusting organizations and in particular what they do with their data. However, brands that are efficiently handling and harnessing data are delighting their customers by reducing Time & Effort, showing more Empathy and demonstrating Integrity across the layers of their organization. 

Integrity is rooted in the purpose of the organization. Companies with a strong sense of purpose; be it environmental, social or a dedication to the needs of a particular group of customers; enjoyed greater customer loyalty.  They are seen as authentic and having a distinct purpose, and as a result, have meaning in the lives of their customers.  

To read the full KPMG Global Customer Experience Excellence report: 'Customer First: Customer Obsessed' please visit

About the research

Conducted through an online survey and completed in early 2019, the research took in the views of almost 84,066 consumers in 20 different countries, regions and jurisdictions.  2,075 brands were reviewed in total, resulting in 752,096 individual brand evaluations. The research was conducted on behalf of KPMG International by KPMG Nunwood's Customer Experience Excellence Center.  

© 2024 KPMG Advisors Single Member S.A., a Greek Societe Anonyme and a member firm of the KPMG global organization of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a private English company limited by guarantee. All rights reserved.

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