Customer experience transformation – which brands transformed their experience in the 2015 UK CEE analysis?
2015 has certainly been a year for customer experience transformation, not least for the following seven brands in the Customer Experience Excellence rankings.
With a boost of 181 places, the travel brand Saga is undoubtedly the most transformed, ranking at number 42 with a CEE score of 7.61. The company focuses on providing insurance to customers over the age of 50, and does so in a manner that is upright and efficient. Indeed, this is exemplified in the pillars of Time and Effort and Integrity, where Saga achieves 8.04 and 7.70 respectively. These results are a reflection of the company’s overall vision, which is to “truly [understand] the needs of the UK’s over 50s better than anyone else and [design] unique and better services for them.”
Following Saga is American Express, a company which has entered the 2015 top 10 after a climb of over 160 places. Now ranking at number eight, the financial services organisation has achieved a Customer Experience Excellence score of 7.90, with its greatest strengths lying in the pillars of Time and Effort and Integrity. However, these achievements have not come without considerable hard work. The brand’s CEO Kenneth Chenault invested heavily in customer service infrastructure and employee training, working hard to build more personal relationships with customers through a heightened degree of empathy. And judging by its results in the UK CEE, its efforts appear to have paid off.
Similarly, the entertainment brand Netflix is no stranger to hard work, and it is now reaping the rewards of its labour. Netflix is not merely an example of improvement. It has performed a rapid u-turn. This u-turn is exemplified in the company’s 156 place climb in the Customer Experience Excellence rankings, which sees Netflix become the highest-scoring entertainment brand in the UK CEE. And with a Customer Experience Excellence score of 7.76, along with strong results in the pillars of Time and Effort and Personalisation, the scale of Netflix’s customer experience transformation cannot be underestimated.
The same is true of the financial services company Santander. Like Netflix, the band is proficient in the pillars of Time and Effort and Personalisation, but its most impressive accolade is in its ranking. The organisation now sits only a few places shy of the UK top 50, having moved 141 positions over the last three years to land at number 53. Santander seems willing to engage with its customers, and to listen to their thoughts and views in order to drive continual improvement. As the bank states on its website: “We’re sorry if you’ve had a bad experience. By telling us about it we can put things right for you and make improvements.” This ethos may hold the key to further CEE success in the coming years.
Next is the fashion retailer Zara, which also values the customer highly in its operations. As one of the largest international fashion companies, Zara says that, “the customer is at the heart of our unique business model, which includes design, production, distribution and sales through our extensive retail network.” This attitude may explain the retailer’s notable improvements over the last three years, with the brand rising from 161st place to 62 in the UK rankings. Zara is also notable for its philanthropic concerns, with a business model that aims “to contribute to the sustainable development of society and that of the environment with which we interact.” The company does this by saving energy, creating eco-friendly stores, recycling, and building an environmentally-aware team of employees. As such, one of its highest pillar scores is in that of Integrity, where it achieves a very respectable 7.77.
And although the travel brand Travelodge has a slightly different operational focus, its customer experience transformation is equally impressive. Since 2013, the brand has climbed 96 places, and pays particularly close attention to the creation of a customer experience which is seamless and stress-free. This feat is even more remarkable given that the company hosts more than 17 million guests every year, and provides them with almost 3 million breakfasts in the same time period. And although Travelodge currently ranks in a more humble 99th position, a rise into the UK top 50 may soon occur.
This is a goal shared by the financial services brand Standard Life. The company is well on track to achieve it, having climbed 88 places in the Customer Experience Excellence rankings, with strong scores in the pillars of Time and Effort and Personalisation. Indeed, the company takes a friendly approach to its business, reassuring customers that it understands “that things aren’t always planned, because life happens.” It adds: “That’s why we’re continuing to work with you to find out what you need from us. We want to help you look after your life savings so you’re ready for what the future brings.” It follows the trend established by many of the most transformed brands in 2015 – that of putting the customer at the heart of the experience, and listening earnestly to their feedback.