Singapore Consumers Rank Personalisation, Integrity & Managing Expectations as Drivers of Customer Experience Excellence

KPMG 2020 Customer Experience Excellence Report

KPMG 2020 CEE Report reveals shifts in customer priorities & expectations due to COVID-19

  • KPMG 2020 Customer Experience Excellence Report reveals how customer priorities and expectations have shifted in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Financial services tops Customer Experience for two years in a row
  • American Express emerges as a leading brand amongst Singapore consumers whilst Singapore Airlines and Apple Store took second and third place

SINGAPORE, 20 October 2020 – The COVID-19 pandemic has created massive global disruption across economies all over the world, disrupting businesses and their operations, in particular with respect to customer interaction and engagement. Now more than ever before, customers have a greater need for trusted brands and are also more critical of the companies which serve them.

Studying responses from Singapore consumers during these unprecedented times brought about by the COVID-19 crisis, the KPMG 2020 Customer Experience Excellence (CEE) Report identifies the top performing brands and industries when it comes to customer experience. Customer experience performance in Singapore saw an improvement in CEE rating this year (7.36 out of 10) by about 7% compared to 2019 (6.88 out of 10).

Employing KPMG’s ‘Six Pillars of Experience Excellence’ model1 to analyse consumer-brand interactions, this year’s report also noted three distinct trends in the transformation of Customer Experience:

1. Getting personal: COVID-19 is a global health crisis with far-reaching implications on the world economy. With that, there has been a change in demographics, lifestyle, needs and wants, behaviours and shopping patterns amongst Singapore consumers. Companies will benefit from analysing these data to make better decisions in relation to individual consumer needs in a brand-relevant and value-adding manner.

2. Earning trust through integrity: In these uncertain times, coupled with the global incidences of corporate governance failures, customers want to feel comfortable and safe with whom they deal with. Singapore consumers are increasingly scrutinising companies and the value they offer beyond the provision of goods and services. They want to know that their personal data is protected, how brands are responding to demands of COVID-19, and how brands are adhering to ethical, clean and sustainable practices.

3. Increased expectations of service: As COVID-19 has accelerated the digital transformation of many companies, newly digitalised companies now find themselves on the same platform as other companies who have perfected their delivery standards. These new digital companies need to rethink their strategy and find faster ways to respond and deliver to customers.

Guillaume Sachet, Partner, Advisory, KPMG in Singapore said,
“Everywhere in the world, brands are now serving customers who are grappling with the pervasive social and economic impact of COVID-19. Consumers, who are living very differently today, are looking to brands to provide the confidence and support required to navigate a novel set of challenges.”

“In the face of such great uncertainty, companies will do well to focus on adapting and enhancing customer-brand relationships to address the evolving consumer needs in Singapore such as personalising services and interactions, demonstrating integrity in their actions, and meeting and exceeding delivery expectations. In doing so, brands will increase their brand relevance and add value to their customers, whilst simultaneously building trust with their customers for the longer term,” added Guillaume Sachet.

Amidst the challenging environment, the 2020 Top 15 Customer Experience Leaders based on the survey exemplifies companies in Singapore which have upheld their commitment to deliver exceptional customer experiences.

American Express moves to first place this year. Newcomers to the 2020 Singapore top 15 brands list include Uniqlo, POSB, Singapore General Hospital, Esso and Apple Pay. Below are the 2020 top 15 brands amongst Singapore consumers:

1. American Express
2. Singapore Airlines
3. Apple Store
4. Changi Airport
5. Uniqlo
7. Singapore General Hospital
8. Esso
9. Apple Pay
10. DBS
11. NTUC Fairprice
12. OCBC
13. NETS
14. Visa
15. Decathlon

In terms of sectoral performance, for the second year in a row, Financial Services came first in Customer Experience, having attained the best scores in personalisation, resolution and integrity, where personalisation and integrity are the two of the top drivers of customer excellence experience in Singapore. This was followed by Non-Grocery Retail which moved up from third place last year to second place while Grocery Retail dropped down to third place. Travel and Hotels remained at fourth place in the rankings. The biggest movement seen in the Singapore market sector is Telecoms, which dropped from joint-fourth place in 2019 to eighth in 2020.

SG 2020 Sector Ranking    Industry Sector      Difference in CEE Score vs 2019     
 1 Financial Services +7%
 2 Non-Grocery Retail   +8%
 3 Grocery Retail +7%
 4 Travel and Hotels +8%
 5 Public Sector -
 6   Logistics +6%
 7 Utilities +9%
 8 Telecoms +2%


For media requests, please contact:

Felicia Ang
KPMG in Singapore


The research for this year’s Singapore report was conducted via an online survey conducted from 13 May 2020 to 1 June 2020. A nationally representative consumer sample comprising 1,550 customers in Singapore were interviewed and asked to rate their experiences with over brands they had interacted with over the last three months across the six pillars of experience.

1 The KPMG ‘Six Pillars of Experience Excellence’ are: Integrity, Resolution, Expectations, Time and Effort, Personalisation and Empathy.

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