The India Customer Experience Index 2016, Part 2: These Industries Performed Well

In my previous blog post last week I introduced the India Customer Experience Index 2016 report, and spoke briefly about over-all trends in this year’s results compared to last year. In this post I’ll explore more industry-level findings.

In this year’s CX Index results, we found that:

  • Financial services (Banks & Credit Cards) performed well. In fact, along with PC Manufacturers, they topped the CX Index in terms of industry-averages. Financial firms recognize that the lifetime value of each customer relationship can be significantly higher than in other industries, so they strive to deliver better-quality experiences to their clients. In contrast, Auto & Home Insurance companies were found lacking in the experiences they delivered to clients, and brought up the rear of the industry-average rankings.
  • Traditional and Digital-only retailers improved their CX significantly. Digital-only retailers are realizing that deep discounting can only take them so far, and are now focusing on delivering differentiated CX instead. Feeling the heat from digital players, traditional retailers made great strides to improve their CX too. Despite these efforts, both traditional and digital-only retailers moved from delivering ‘poor’ CX last year to just ‘OK’ CX this time around.
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India Inc.: Here's What Indian Customers Think Of Their Experiences With You (The India Customer Experience Index 2016, Part 1)

When it comes to their customers, Indian organizations are an ambitous lot. In a Forrester survey of Indian business and technology decision-makers, 70% of respondents said CX was going to be high or critical priority for their companies. But that is just one part of the story. CX is about what customers perceive, not what companies claim. What do Indian customers think about the experiences they have with companies in India?

To find out, in 2016, Forrester used its Customer Experience Index (CX IndexTM) methodology to measure and benchmark the CX of 72 India brands across eight industries. 

Forrester’s CX Index score measures how successfully a company delivers customer experiences that create and sustain loyalty. CX Index scores were based on an online survey (fielded in May through July 2016) of 18,033 individuals ages 18 and older in nine metropolitan areas in India.

The India CX Index 2016 report containing the highlights of the 2016 survey results is out.  Here’s a sneak peek into the report.

Compared with 2015, we saw few interesting improvements. For example,

  • Most industry average scores went up. Each year, we rank industries by the mean scores of their brands. This year, some industry averages increased as much as six points over last year. But last year’s leaders — banks and mobile manufacturers — found it tougher to do, and made only modest gains overall.
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Thoughts on Customer Experience Strategy: Should All CX Be Awesome?

So I visit this coffee shop close to office pretty often. The other day I was waiting in line and I paused to ask myself – why do I keep coming here? I mean, everything about the exercise including the taste is pretty unremarkable. I order, I’m served, I leave. So then why do I repeatedly give them my business?

You guessed it. I go there day after day, month after month because it is – wait for it… convenient. And predictable. Certainly not because it’s “awesome”. I’m not looking for a fake smile or a scripted line. It’s a really tiny part of my day. My expectations are minimal, they are met, and I’m satisfied. That’s it.

Globally, companies swoon over the superior experience delivered by the likes of Amazon and Apple; paeans have been written about Zappos’ legendary customer service. Last time I looked, a Zappos service associate apparently spent over 10 hours on a service call! Good for them!

Should you follow suit? May be not.

Of course CX is critical. In fact, in the Age of the Customer, we propose it’s the only way forward.

However, people don’t need “awesome” all the time. In my recently published Forrester report Should All Customer Experiences Be Awesome? I dissect this very issue.

At Forrester, we talk to many companies as well as customers the world over. In our experience we observe two things:

  • Customers and companies compare experiences across industries.  And, as a result,
  • CX laggards often want to emulate leaders. For instance, Citi, acting on Apple-fever went ahead and built an Apple Store-inspired “bank of the future” using the same architects.
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