Brands with focus on personalisation are rated better by consumers: KPMG

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When a customer complained that a product on Amazon was wrongly classified as vegetarian, the e-commerce giant refunded the money and pulled the product off the website.

Apparel brand, Zara, found customers wanted the convenience of shopping from home but were hesitant to commit. So it set up a facility whereby customers can check the availability of a style at a store near them and try it on before they buy.

Indian retail giant DMart has collection centres where buyers can  pick up their online orders.

Initiatives such as these are transforming customer experiences and expectations across India. A KMPG report titled Customer experience- The new operational excellence reveals that brands with maximum focus on personalisation are rated better by consumers when it comes to customer experience. ‘Integrity’ and ‘meeting expectations’ are also key considerations in evaluating experiences with brands, the report adds.

Expectations from a brand are shifting from mere price considerations to the need for building more meaningful relationships and Indian customers feel a sense of loyalty to a brand that engenders their trust. It is important that brands look at the experiences that customers have when engaging with a product or a service and also how their expectations are managed, not just discounts and prices according to the global survey.

The study was conducted across 14 countries with more than 50,000 respondents. In India, the study included 2,508 respondents rating 108 brands across nine sectors. The customer experience excellence (CEE) report has used empirical data to measure customer experience across six pillars—personalisation, integrity, time and effort, expectations, resolution and, empathy. The overall CEE score is measured via the weighted average of the brand score of each pillar.

Personalisation is the pillar with the highest impact on loyalty and advocacy. Brands that are front runners in this pillar stay ahead of competition by acknowledging the unique character of their customers.  The best performers here aretravel and hospitality companies along with non-grocery retailers.

 
From the era of mass products and services, Indian customers today are increasingly expecting products and services that are tailored for them and are willing to pay a higher price for the same. “India is continuing its indulgence with experiences which customers can live, share and feel connected with. Brands need to find a way to bring experiences to life and fulfil their customer promise at each interaction,” says Aditya Rath, partner customer & channel, Management Consulting, KPMG in India. 

The report defines personalisation as the act of a brand using individual attention to drive an emotional connection with its consumers. It is closely followed by integrity which is defined as being trustworthy and engendering trust. 

According to the survey, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces is one of the top performers on the ‘personalisation’ and ‘integrity’ pillars. The non-grocery retail sector, too, scores high on both the pillars, with brands such as Tanishq, Flipkart and Indian Oil being ranked higher than others. The ‘personalisation’ pillar also cuts across local and global brands in India. However, global brands have fared better in sectors like entertainment and leisure and logistics, and Indian brands in travel and hotels, telecom and restaurant and fast food.

There are nuances to customer experience that the survey highlights. For instance Netflix, a global brand, has fared well on the CEE metric but has not been high up on personalisation as it offers a global content library to its Indian subscribers. Around three-quarters of the content is English while Hindi content is primarily Bollywood and regional content is negligible. In contrast, Amazon Prime Video, another international streaming service, has fared better on the ‘personalisation’ pillar by ensuring a healthier mix of English content (less than 65 per cent), Hindi content (25 per cent) and regional content (10 per cent) at lower  rates. Hotstar, an Indian player in the streaming market has also capitalised on the sentiments of the Indian market. 

The survey revealed that brands offering customers an omnichannel experience rank higher on the experience scale. Customers demand easy transitions between physical and online stores, and expect an integrated experience. Brands that bring down the walls between their channels are best able to empower customers and are more likely to win their lifelong loyalty, the report says.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • With a score of 8.5, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces has been rated by Indian consumers as the highest rated CX (customer experience) brand in India, it also scored the highest on the pillars of ‘integrity’ and ‘personalisation'
  • The overall customer experience in the Indian market was rated by respondents as 7.86. Of the 108 brands surveyed, 51 CX brands received a rating above 7.86
  • The highest rated global brand with a score of 8.49 was Hyatt, which also received the highest score in ‘resolution’
  • Best performing sectors are non-grocery retail (7.92) and entertainment and leisure (7.89), 28 of top 50 brands are from the two sectors
  • Personalisation and integrity are the pillars recognised by Indian consumers as the most important in driving overall customer experience, with an impact of 18.95 percent and 18.7 percent respectively

SIX PILLARS OF CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

Personalisation is the pillar that Indian customers value the most in driving customer experiences

1. Personalisation: Using individualized attention to drive an emotional connection
2. Integrity: Being trustworthy and engendering trust
3. Expectations: Managing, meeting and exceeding customer expectations
4. Resolution: Turning a poor experience into a great one
5. Time and effort: Minimising customer effort and creating frictionless processes
6. Empathy: Achieving an understanding of the customer’s circumstances to drive deep rapport

Source: Customer experience-The new operational excellence, KPMG


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