Longtime Navy Federal Credit Union knows that investing in customer experience (CX) pays off. The longtime IAUG member ranked in the top 5 percent in Forrester’s US 2021 Customer Experience Index (CX Index™) rankings.
Along with Navy Federal Credit Union, the CX elite, included Chewy.com, Etsy, Lincoln, and Trader Joe’s. “The top-performing brands in the CX Index leaned into meeting core customer needs,” said Forrester. “They outperformed all other brands in effectiveness and ease.
Additionally, the highest-scoring brands understood the key emotional needs of their customers and provided emotionally pleasing experiences. They also developed a core group of loyal customers or devotees: those willing to forgive these brands’ mistakes, pay a premium for the brands’ products, keep their business with the brands, and spend more with the brands over time.
An overall increase
Overall, 21 percent of brands in the CX Index, published in June, saw a significant score increase compared to 2020. The pandemic forced brands across industries to change their approach to customer experience suddenly.
As the coronavirus crisis worsened, brands responded to evolving customer needs with digital transformation, new shopping options, and different ways to interact with customers that emphasized safety. Forrester attributed the increase in 2021 scores to the goodwill the brands built with customers — their CX equity — in creating experiences that reassured customers of their safety.
Forrester noted that even a minor improvement to a brand’s customer experience quality can add tens of millions of dollars of revenue by reducing customer churn and increasing share of wallet. Additionally, superior CX leads to reduced service costs and lowers the cost of customer acquisition through word of mouth.
Those benefits are among the reasons Avaya has invested heavily in Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) to improve an organization’s responsiveness to customers and deliver an elite-level experience to both customers and employees.
Mixed industry performance
Industries in the pandemic’s crosshairs had a mixed performance, according to the Forrester study. Airlines, credit card issuers, health insurers, hotels, and retailers were especially challenged by COVID-19 because the crisis disrupted their business models or taxed their services. Against this headwind, health insurers performed best, with most providers improving their scores.
“Brands must build experiences that help them empathetically engage with their customers, especially during volatile times,” said Harley Manning, VP and research director, Forrester. “We know this is important because experiences associated with positive emotions, such as resolving issues quickly and demonstrating empathy, create and sustain customer loyalty. To do this well, CX pros must have a disciplined approach to envisioning, designing, and delivering consistently high-quality experiences.”
Conducted for the seventh year in a row, Forrester’s CX Index results are benchmarked on a survey of more than 85,000 US customers across 220 brands and 13 industries. Forrester’s CX Index methodology helps CX leaders grow revenue faster, drive higher brand preference, and charge more for their products. Forrester’s CX Index helps brands identify the key drivers of a positive CX for their customers to prioritize efforts.