The trend of improving customer experience that we saw between 2017 and 2020 has now come to a halt, with no increase in the total CX score (weighted mean for individual pillars) or the NPS indicator (the likeliness of a customer recommending a brand to other people) compared to last year. There are two possible reasons behind this stagnation: either the previous growth was exceptional and the current slow-down is but a logical continuation that naturally occurs after a period of rapid growth and increased focus on the topic, or we are simply observing a drop caused by the pandemic and further growth is to be expected next year.
How have the scores changed in individual sectors? The most striking improvement can be observed in the Telecommunications sector, with Travel and Hotels gaining some points as well. For telco, this might be a promise of steadier improvements in the future, while the hospitality sector is still recovering from the difficult period marked by the pandemic, i.e. it is merely returning to its pre-pandemic norm. In other sectors, customer experience was either stagnant or slightly worse.
In the covid score metric (how well the brands responded to the pandemic), all sectors improved compared to 2020.1 The most significant difference can, again, be seen in the Telecommunications and Travel & Hotels sectors, with the latter taking quite a while to recover in 2020, making the difference between 2020 and 2021 even bigger. Logistics and Grocery Retail, on the other hand, received good scores for their covid response in 2020 already, and maintained these high scores or even slightly improved them in 2021.
In some industries, the covid score is actually better than the total CX score. This is mostly the case of sectors that helped take care of people’s basic needs during the pandemic, both physical (groceries, delivery of basic goods) and psychological (keeping in touch with loved ones remotely): Grocery Retail, Logistics, and Telecommunications. Surprisingly, the same cannot be said for the Utilities sector – while it also takes care of its customers’ basic needs, the lower score is most likely caused by the fact that customers only notice this sector when something goes wrong.
The effect of individual pillars on customer experience as a whole has shifted slightly over time. One of this year’s trends is the drop of integrity’s effect on the total score, despite the worldwide increase in integrity’s importance in 2020 caused by the pandemic. The effect of personalization, a pillar that in many countries is the most important one, remains practically unchanged in Czechia, while empathy is steadily becoming more and more important, presenting the brands with an opportunity to stand out.