On the up again after a break
Our hypothesis from last year’s study was confirmed: after a short stagnation, progress in the customer experience resumed its pre-COVID-19 acceleration and continues to grow. The Czech market as a whole improved in customer evaluations in both monitored metrics: CEE (total customer experience score, which assesses how the customer feels after interacting with a product, service, or brand) improved by 2 per cent, and NPS (which expresses the probability that the customer will recommend the brand to others) rose by as much as 26 per cent. Consequently, the Czech Republic was ranked third in terms of the fastest growing CEE, after France and the United Arab Emirates.
However, for firms, CEE improvement across the market is not automatically good news: it indicates market maturity and an increasingly complex environment. The product is no longer enough for customers. They want an experience. Businesses are quick to copy successful innovations and improve the customer experience. Customers, on the other hand, quickly get used to higher standards; the “wow effect” lasts only for a while only. To maintain their market positions, companies need to fine tune the customer experience to achieve perfection. However, they should take care not to “overinvest”, but find the balance between investment and improving the customer experience.
Shifts also occurred at the individual sector level. Telecommunications saw the most significant improvement (8 per cent), which brought progress on the whole to the overall sector.
Last year, we predicted better prospects for Telecommunications, and this year confirmed that this may be a more permanent improvement, although a slight decline usually follows a sharp increase. Other sectors fared well: Entertainment and Leisure, Financial Services and Utilities recorded an improvement of 3 per cent. Certain brands emerged from the tough pandemic period like a phoenix from the ashes. Firms took the crisis as an opportunity to establish better communication with customers or develop digitalization or their service offers.
The pro-customer focus of the market also reflects that all sectors (apart from Restaurants and Fast Food) have improved in the eyes of customers, including those sectors that have been ranked best over the long term.
Over time, the impact of individual pillars on the overall customer experience is changing slightly. The downward trend of Integrity is evident, although the onset of the pandemic in 2020 strengthened its position worldwide. Conversely, the influence of Personalization, the strongest pillar in many countries, remains practically unchanged in the Czech Republic. On the contrary, signs of increasing influence can be seen in the Empathy pillar, which can be a potential brand differentiator in the eyes of customers.