US brands raise the bar on customer experience, whilst the UK lags further behind

UK brands continue to lag significantly behind their US counterparts on customer experience, according to new research by KPMG Nunwood. The firm’s Customer Experience Excellence Centre (CEEC) revealed that a customer in the US is 15 times more likely to have a great customer experience than a customer in the UK.

The US outperformed the UK across all sectors except the public sector, with utilities brands noting the greatest lead on their UK counterparts.

A US financial services brand (USAA) topped the table for the third consecutive year, and it was a similar story in the most recent UK analysis, with first direct achieving the top spot last year. Meanwhile, the grocery sector achieved the highest score overall in US.

Last year, KPMG Nunwood’s UK CEE report discovered that UK brands had made progress in closing the customer experience gap between the two countries, with the country’s overall score improving for the first time in three years. Since then, US brands have significantly raised the bar, with the latest report pointing to technology as a key driver of the improved customer experience.

Over half (58) of the top-100 US brands were found to be delivering outstanding customer experience this year, compared to just under a quarter (24) last year. In the most recent UK analysis, only, 4 brands achieved this status.

David Conway, Director at KPMG Nunwood, said: “Customer experience is undoubtedly a more mature discipline in the US, so it’s no surprise that UK brands are clearly being outpaced by their US counterparts – and fast. Technology is moving at a lightening pace and so too are customer expectations.

“To avoid being left behind, brands need to seamlessly integrate both their human and digital capabilities, whist maintaining their focus on customer experience.

“Reacting quickly to the rapidly changing consumer environment is naturally critical, but it is not enough to simply deliver excellent customer experience or benchmark against competitors. Brand should be aiming to lead the way.

“This year’s research shows that the brands performing best are those who understand what excellence looks like.
Colleagues are all engaged and the brand understands the economics or value of such engagement. Most of all, the brands that are leading the way are those who are execute all the factors seamlessly.”


KPMG 1KPMG Nunwood’s 2017 US Customer Experience Excellence report (Engineering a human touch into a digital future) can be viewed in full here.

About the KPMG Nunwood Customer Experience Excellence Centre (CEEC) US Report:

The KPMG Nunwood Customer Experience Excellence Centre surveyed over 7,500 US consumers about 257 US brands across 10 sectors and ranked them by the customer experience they provide. The survey is a celebration of excellence, highlighting the brands which go above and beyond to understand how American best practice can be applied to challenges for UK organisations. To compile the survey, KPMG Nunwood uses The Six Pillars of customer experience: Personalisation, Integrity, Time and Effort, Expectations, Resolutions, Empathy.

These six measure are coupled with advocacy (likelihood to recommend) and loyalty to generate customer experience excellence (CEE) score. A score of 8+ is recognised as outstanding and in the US 58 brands achieved this score this year. In the most recent UK CEE report, only 4 brands achieved this.

*This is based on the average person in the UK being the customer of 0.39 outstanding brands (as measured by the above metric) in the last six months versus 5.87 for customer in the US.