The 2022 survey comes at a time of new challenges in terms of delivering customer excellence. While the 2020 and 2021 customer was very much focused on negotiating the difficulties generated by the pandemic, in 2022 a primary concern is value for money at a time of rapidly rising prices. Empathy and digitalization play a significant role in the way customers evaluate the experiences they have with brands.
KPMG in Romania and Moldova has issued the 2022 edition of its Customer Excellence Report, which assesses customer experience in a wide range of industries based on six pillars: Integrity, Resolution, Expectations, Time and Effort, Personalization, and Empathy.
One effect of the current economic turmoil is that many customers are being extremely cautious in spending their disposable income and are focused on savings and long term investments. Higher prices present challenges to delivering excellent customer experiences and this may be a reason why we have seen a downward trend this year in all six pillars, in contrast to previous issues where there has been a year-on-year improvement. Today’s customers may be less satisfied because they are having to pay higher prices, so businesses have their work cut out to convince their customers that they are still delivering quality and value. It is no surprise that in terms of the Market KPIs, Value for Money registered the highest year-on-year decrease.
As Victor Iancu, Associate Partner, Strategy & Experience Design, at KPMG in Romania comments:
“The 2022 survey results reflect a very different context compared to the previous two years’ surveys. As the challenges of the pandemic fade, today’s consumers are more focused on economic uncertainty, including high inflation and rising energy prices. The winners are those companies which have understood customers’ concerns and changing priorities. While retaining customer satisfaction in a period of rising prices can be difficult, the survey shows that easing the customer experience, for example through digitalization, and showing empathy can be critical in establishing a relationship based on trust.”
Hall of Fame: Top 10 companies and the impact of digitalization
As in previous years, the survey publishes a Hall of Fame, listing the best performers overall for customer experience. The top of the ranking is Bringo, the online delivery service. In this year’s Hall of Fame we still see some traditional top scorers; four are not completely new to the top 10 (Cărturești, H&M, ING Bank and eMag); while other companies are new entrants (such as Answear.ro). The common denominator of this year’s top 10 is a strong digital presence, suggesting that generally convenience plays a key role in attracting today’s customers.
Top 10 companies in Romania
The survey goes on to analyse customer experience in specific sectors. The restaurant, fast food and food delivery industry is the best performing on the Romanian market for the second year in a row.
Non-grocery retail takes second place, with Empathy seeing the strongest year-on year growth. Growth in these sectors has been enhanced by the development of digital channels..
Financial services comes in third place, with the top ranking held by an interesting mix of new and traditional players – PayPal, ING Bank and Revolut. Empathy was the pillar which recorded the highest growth in 2022, which reflected the fact that financial institutions had invested in solutions which accounted for the circumstances of their customers, and offered increased protection and flexibility. However, in common with other sectors the scoring for Value for Money fell, possibly indicating higher expectations from banks at a time of rising inflation.
More information about the aforementioned sectors and all the other industries included in the survey can be found in the report. You can download it now and find out more about this year’s trends, the results for each sector and the yearly market evolution.
For thirteen years, KPMG’s Customer Experience Excellence Center has been researching customers’ individual experiences with brands. Throughout this time, over 470.000 customers took part in surveys and over 4.000 brands have been analyzed, generating over 4 million individual reviews in over 34 countries. This research provides a global view on the most recent trends and evolution in customer behaviour. The research methodology is based on KPMG’s six pillars of experience: Integrity, Resolution, Expectations, Time and Effort, Personalization, and Empathy.
In Romania, 2,543 consumers were involved in our annual study, providing over 24,000 reviews for 123 brands. Initially, 140 brands were included in the survey, but only 123 were validated by the methodology as they received more than 100 reviews.