A new report released today by KPMG in Romania reveals that today’s consumers have high standards. They expect to receive great value for money for the products and services they buy, and to have excellent interaction with employees as well as flawless service.
The Value for Money Economy
We are wrapping up 2021 with a look at the state of Customer Experience in Romania. The KPMG Customer Experience Excellence Report is fresh out of the digital press and uncovers the evolution of a market which has been undergoing significant shifts in the past year. There have been some notable changes compared to 2020, as the economy has slowly re-opened and customers are beginning to adapt to the new reality.
This year’s key theme is “value for money”, as COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, a polarizing effect on consumers’ finances, as savings go up and customers pay increasingly more attention to their spending. The champions of the 2021 Customer Experience research are driving their customers’ loyalty by proving that you can get good value for a fair amount of money.
At the same time, a new category of players has been emerging, one that is starting to challenge even the most established CX champions: they are the discounters focusing (strategically) on providing good to great customer experience. What is the common denominator uniting these companies? They have an entrepreneurial mindset, they are agile, they have streamlined processes, they use technology and are connected around customers’ changing behaviors. This shift is especially noticeable in the Grocery Retail sector, where last mile delivery partners have establish a strong presence in customers’ lives.
This Year’s Hall of Fame
This year’s Top 10 is a surprisingly fresh one. The only two companies which remain in the top 10 this year compared to last are IKEA, which moves up two places to 5th, while Netflix moves up one place to 4th.
- 5 to go
- Notino (Aoro.ro)
- Zara Home
As Victor Iancu, Associate Partner Management Consulting, Customer Advisory Lead, KPMG in Romania, who coordinated the Romanian survey team, comments: “The research reveals that Romanian consumers increasingly expect to see very high standards of customer service and also expect the companies they buy from to provide the best value for money. Today’s Romanian consumer wants the full benefits and convenience of a user-friendly online experience where this is appropriate, while also expecting excellent personal service in the physical environment. The survey shows that the companies which will succeed in the future will be those which are able to adapt rapidly to new needs and new purchasing patterns, which treat each customer as an individual, and whose employees are well trained in making a personal connection with clients.”
Ramona Jurubiță, Country Managing Partner at KPMG in Romania adds: “By organising this survey, KPMG aims to support both Romanian businesses and consumers by helping to define more clearly what consumers want in today’s market. By looking at the results and following up on them, businesses will gain the chance to get closer to their customers to mutual benefit. We hope that this exercise will help enhance the quality of customer service in Romania, and hence bring benefits to the whole economy.”
- Compared to the previous year, the market grew at a slower pace. While Time & Effort continues to register the highest score, the biggest increase was on the Empathy and Resolution Pillars, highlighting the efforts companies made to be closer to their customers and stay true to their word.
- Restaurants, Fast Food & Food Delivery is the best performing sector with a Customer Experience Excellence (CEE) score 4% above market average.
- Customer experience is inexorably linked to perceived value for money. Most of the companies in the Top 30 received top ratings in the Value for Money (VfM) score, further confirming the overall trend we have seen in this year’s study.
- Two core factors have an essential impact on great experiences in Romania: perceived value & offers, and the quality of services and products.
Looking back at the first edition in 2019, there have undoubtedly been robust steps towards improved customer experiences on the Romanian market. Time and Effort continues to be the leading pillar, signaling the progress that companies are making towards providing fast, easy access to their products and services. Nonetheless, there is still work to be done in understanding the consumer and creating value propositions that not only meet demands, but also deliver on promises, as demonstrated by the scores for the Empathy and Expectations pillar.