CX performance is mostly flat but showing early signs of making gains, with leading brands relying on emotion to build loyalty
Forrester released its US 2019 Customer Experience Index (CX Index™) rankings, which show early signs of CX improvement when compared to previous years. Released at Forrester’s CX Forum in New York City, the findings show that 14% of brands achieved a significantly increased score; six industry averages rose while only one fell; and 5% of brands saw their scores decline. Additionally, the average scores of the mass-market auto manufacturer, direct banking, health insurer, hotel, multichannel retailer, and wireless service provider industries rose slightly, with luxury automakers and health insurers emerging as the top-performing industries.
For the second year in a row, Navy Federal Credit Union topped the CX elite brands that are recognized as in the top 5% of CX quality across industries in their regions. Other CX elite brands (in alphabetical order) include Boost Mobile, Edward Jones, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Lexus, QVC, Regions Bank, Residence Inn by Marriott, TD Bank, USAA (for three industries: direct banks, credit card issuers, and auto/home insurers), and Zappos.com. Find out where your brand ranks in Forrester’s US 2019 CX Index.
While these positive signs are indicative of more brands improving CX, the results show that brands have struggled to rise to the top of the rankings or move upward. According to the survey, 81% of brand scores stagnated; most industry front-runners were repeats; and many gains were too minor to render them statistically significant. In other words, CX excellence remains elusive. The survey also revealed that emotion plays a critical role in differentiating brands and has a bigger impact on brand loyalty than effectiveness or ease of use, regardless of industry.
“This year’s CX Index results clearly show that brands are on the right path but still have a long way to go,” Forrester Chief Research Officer Carrie Johnson said. “With customers in the driver’s seat and heightened consumer interest in organizations’ corporate values when making buying decisions, how an experience makes customers feel has a bigger influence on their brand loyalty than any other factor. That’s why it’s critical to understand the intersection of in-the-moment customer feedback and which CX drivers matter most to customers and your bottom line.”
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Conducted for the fifth year in a row, Forrester’s CX Index results are benchmarked on a survey of more than 100,000 US customers across 260 brands and 16 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. 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.
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