// Customer experience has improved for the third year running despite the pandemic, according to KPMG
// QVC, John Lewis and Lush among the brands topping this year’s ranking
// Grocery retail and financial services the leading sectors for best customer experience
Overall customer experience in the UK has improved for the third year running – up three per cent year-on-year – despite the array of challenges presented by Covid-19.
New research from KPMG Nunwood suggests that a new and “drastically changed” customer has emerged from this pandemic – one who is feeling more financially constrained, is more digital savvy and places greater emphasis on their trust in brands.
The research also highlights a growing need for retailers and brands to focus on integrity and purpose while being innovative, responsive and agile in order to compete and grow.
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Over 13,000 British consumers that took part in the research determined that the retailers leading the way on customer experience are John Lews, Lush and TV shopping channel QVC, along with other businesses such as First Direct and Starling Bank.
KPMG’s research also found that grocery retail was the leading sector for best customer experience, followed by financial services.
Alongside the overall uptick in customer experience, a closer look at the Six Pillars of Customer Experience reveals that Resolution and Empathy were the areas noting the biggest improvement this year.
The research said these pillars represent key elements of customer interaction during the pandemic, being focused on turning a poor experience into a great one and achieving a better understanding of a customer’s circumstances to drive a closer relationship.
“Grocery retail has played a vital role during the Covid-19 crisis, and the fact that collectively the sector ranks best for customer experience is just testament to the colossal effort made to ensure a sense of business as usual despite social distancing restrictions,” KPMG head of retail Paul Martin said.
“Not only does this show the agility of grocers, but it also points to the understanding and cooperation of consumers – after all, society at large has had to work collectively to combat the virus.
“The pandemic called for purpose to be put before profit, and grocery businesses have certainly demonstrated the key role they play in local communities – consumers will look favourably at that. Looking ahead though, all consumer brands need to review their business models and ways of working, given how much consumers have changed their behavior in recent months.”