Customer Experience Excellence report 2022

Customer Experience Excellence report 2022

At a time when investment in technology has dominated many brands' approach to customer experience, three organizations who top the Irish CEE rankings have demonstrated a changing mindset. These businesses have seen the potential of combining a digital experience alongside their in-person offering and are embracing the challenge.

An overall increase in customer expectation is one of the core challenges facing brands. Research shows that customers have higher expectations that things should be high quality, good value and that they should have a good experience. Tolerance for poor experience or slow pace has reduced in recent years and as Irish brands transition to the post-pandemic normal, investment in higher quality CX may be crucial. The cost-of-living crisis and the COVID-19 recovery now threaten customer experience excellence at a time when it's most needed.

One brand meeting those high expectations is the Credit Union which claimed the top spot in this year's CEE rankings. Seen by some customers as "vastly better than banks", the credit union scored well in many areas, particularly Time and Effort (8.48), Personalization (8.38) and Integrity (8.33).

This leading brand has demonstrated its impact in the past few years and the pandemic further embedded the role it plays in the local community. Access to a consistent person at a local branch proved popular with customers and explains the strong score in Personalization; the reassurance of the human interaction to resolve customers' challenges was particularly felt during the pandemic.

Though not represented at the very top of this year’s rankings at a brand level, non-grocery retail is this year’s leading sector in the Irish market. Giants of the sector IKEA came in second in the rankings, with toy retailer Smyths in fifth place and Dunnes Retail Stores in ninth.

IKEA continues to be a main player when it comes to customer experience. It has designed its stores to be a destination. Through the pandemic, many customers sought to create a home working space for the virtual commute, while many were getting into DIY around the house simply to pass the time indoors. IKEA’s quick and seamless home delivery service made for an easy solution. As one customer notes: “I ordered a table online from the IKEA website. Table was very reasonably priced and easy to assemble, and delivery was prompt.”

The phrase 'change is the only constant' has never been more relevant than in the Irish market right now. Customer expectations are evolving as they navigate their post-pandemic day-to-day, while being forced to make smart financial decisions around how they choose to spend their money in the shadow of economic uncertainty and increased costs of the basics. On top of this, they may even need to change their bank, posing questions around what they need - and want - from their financial services in the coming years. The fine balance of providing smooth, intuitive digital journeys, while also providing opportunity for a human, empathetic face is becoming what customers expect, and what organizations need to provide as part of their offering. The challenge is how best to deliver this, and when, to optimise both outcomes and costs – a significant challenge with a rapidly evolving demographic and operating environment.

Owen Lewis
Lead Partner, Management Consulting
KPMG in Ireland

2022 Top Ten

  01. Credit Union

  02. IKEA

  03. Aldi

  04. Laya Healthcare

  05. Smyths

  06. PayPal

  07. GoMo

  08. Revolut

  09. Dunnes Retail Stores

  10. VHI Healthcare