Customer Experience Excellence report 2021

Customer Experience Excellence report 2021

In a rapidly changing and sometimes uncertain world, it’s increasingly important for customers to have confidence in the brands they buy from. In 2020 COVID-19 has increased the need for brands to act with integrity to gain their consumers’ trust.

The impact of 2020 has also meant German consumers have come to expect a more personalized experience throughout 2021 – with Personalization being the most important pillar in driving loyalty.

This year, the top performing sector was once again non-grocery retail. The Time and Effort pillar was particularly strong for this sector, alongside Personalization. Personalization is key both in-store and online – customers want to be guided through a buying process that’s tailored to their unique needs. They expect a seamless, quick service too, especially in the past year – many sectors are scoring high in Time and Effort as they pivot their in-person offering to meet this need. A great example of this, optician Fielmann takes first place in the rankings for the second year in a row.

Consumers appreciate the brand’s customer focus, praising the friendly staff, great prices, high-quality advice and bright shops in our survey. One customer said: “Good accessibility, friendly well-trained staff, wide variety of offers at a good price. An attentive service with reminders of appointments by SMS or letter.”

The chain has recently brought in a new digitization strategy, which among other things included the creation of an online store for the first time.1 The company is now researching new technology allowing customers to carry out their own eye test using a cell phone and order the glasses online2– making it likely the Time and Effort pillar, already the store’s strongest, will likely improve even further in the coming months.

Online pet retailer Zooplus comes in second in the rankings, with an excellent loyalty score. As well as selling a great range of products, customers praise the broad channel mix for customers which fosters inclusion, including an interactive community, through which pet owners can exchange ideas and knowledge, a blog where the Zooplus veterinary team answers customer questions, and a loyalty program.

Again, the company scores most highly in Time and Effort, with customers reporting that both the ordering and delivery processes are fast and smooth. One explained: “Good offers, good prices, very good quality. Ordering is quick, the website is well organized. You can find everything you need for your pets. Delivery is fast. I can only recommend Zooplus.”

International beauty and wellness brand Rituals comes in third in the rankings, with strong positive feedback from customers on both its brick-and-mortar stores and website. Its downtown-located shops are described as attractive and inviting, and its online store as well-organized.

Other benefits that customers describe include the My Rituals membership program, which offers customers welcome gifts and free shipping. Consumers also appreciate the company’s constant development of new products and affordable pricing. One customer said: “Very pleasant calm atmosphere. There are new product ideas regularly.”

The importance of Personalization is set to keep growing as the economy continues to recover, and German brands will have to keep investing in digitization to remain competitive. Clearly customers are continuing to enjoy the benefits of online ordering, but also want to have the choice to visit brands physically depending on their needs.

Across the board, organizations face a challenge to sustainably adapt their business models to their consumers’ shifting habits and behavior as the recovery from COVID-19 continues.

The proportion of top performers in Germany has continued to increase. This shows that the investments to improve the customer experience are paying off. Organizations understood that an excellent customer experience is crucial for a trusted and long-lasting customer relationship.

Tom Lurtz
Partner and Head of Customer Transformation
KPMG in Germany


Leading CX brands in Germany