When Forrester Research published their 2016 China Customer Experience (CX) Index late in 2016 Forrester analyst Riccardo Pasto posted an interesting blog exploring some of the data. The Forrester index focuses on how successfully companies deliver great CX and how this influences the ability to create and sustain customer loyalty.
Forrester have found that their measure of customer loyalty can be correlated directly to business growth – so a great performance on the CX Index can usually indicate that growth in business performance will follow.
The three key findings from the 2016 Index can be summarised as:
All five industries improved CX; All five industries surveyed improved on the previous year so all these sectors of the Chinese economy are improving the customer experience. 21 brands made a significant jump in the Forrester data, but not a single brand has yet to achieve a score of excellent.
Financial service brands are the best at CX; Banks and insurance companies have been the top five companies for two years running, but retailers are making the biggest leaps in CX improvement. China Merchants Bank (CMB) was the outright CX leader in China.
Online-to-offline (O2O) strategies fuel CX gains; Brands exploring ideas and new strategies that develop beyond online retail alone are creating new innovations in CX. Suning had the biggest single improvement in their CX score and they launched an alliance with Alibaba in 2016 that is likely to place them much higher in 2017.
What I find most interesting about the Forrester report is the direction of travel. It is clear that CX is being taken more seriously across all industries. Two points reinforce how clearly CX is changing in China:
No more poor; in 2015, 5% of companies were rated as having a poor standard of CX. In 2016 not a single company is now rated as poor, the vast majority now rank as OK.
Good ranking growing fast; although the majority of companies are just OK, in 2015 just 15% were rated Good – this was 31% in 2016.
I expect we are 4-5 months from the 2017 data being released by Forrester, but I would predict that we will see at least one company achieve an Excellent rating. I also expect that it will be the more innovative retailers that achieve this rating first. Let’s wait and see what Forrester finds in 2017.