Blog: There is only one boss – the customer

On the importance of customer experience in an era when the customer is always right.

RegioJet is the champion in meeting customer expectations.RegioJet is the champion in meeting customer expectations. (Source: SME)

The decisions we make in life are based on memories and experiences. The creation of positive memorable experiences is becoming the new battleground to improve customer value. How do companies operating on the Slovak market approach this challenge and which ones are winning over customers?

Year after year, organizations strive to improve and deliver better experiences for their customers. However, although many firms intuitively understand the importance of linking memory with experience, few really know how to go about successfully implementing such a strategy. Many brands invest heavily in making changes for and around the customer and, when done well, the rewards can be substantial.

And the customers’ preference goes to...

According to a new KPMG study, The DNA of Customer Experience, the private passenger carrier RegioJet is the champion in meeting customer expectations, followed by, CINEMAX, IKEA and Lidl. These companies understand best what their clients’ needs are, value them, offer them relevant products and services, know how to help them and are friendly and reliable at the same time. From a sectoral perspective, the most successful area when it comes to providing the best client experience is retail.

The DNA of Customer Experience is a unique study based on mapping the experiences of Slovak customers with the brands they interacted with in the past six months. The testimonies of 2,200 respondents from across Slovakia were evaluated by the unique six pillars methodology developed by KPMG Nunwood.

What does the client experience mean to the current Slovak champion, RegioJet? “Feedback. If the customer decides to share what they were happy with or, on the contrary, what we should improve, then this provides us with invaluable information on how to improve our product. The customer evaluated our work and pointed us in the right direction”, said Radim Jančura, Director of RegioJet.

Personalization matters the most

The results of the KPMG study showed that the most important factor regarding customer experience in Slovakia is personalization, i.e. understanding and adapting to the needs and feelings of the customer. Slovak consumers appreciate companies that act quickly, efficiently, simply and without creating unnecessary obstacles.

From a sectoral perspective, the retail sector leads in the area of client experience. Five brands representing retail have placed among the ten best rated companies in Slovakia.

Common elements of the positive customer experience in this segment were: a large selection of quality goods, an easy-to-use website and e-shop and speed of delivery. In-store purchase was the preferred option of more than half of respondents.

“The Slovak customer is sensitive to the environment in which they buy, and with the development of the economy and society, their demands as regards the quality of services are rising. An understanding of the customer and their satisfaction are now directly linked to the company´s commercial success”, said Rudolf Sedmina, Management Consulting Partner, KPMG in Slovakia.

The same methodology was also used to evaluate customer experience in the Czech Republic, where the key element of customer experience is integrity. The Czech customer appreciates when companies act fairly and honestly. Both Czech and Slovak customers positively perceive the ability of brands to effectively solve problems when they arise. There is room for improvement as regards meeting client expectations and expressing empathy.

Details will help you win the battle

Doing the right things for customers, as it is fair, is a way of doing business, rather than just a pose. Customers believe in companies which work for their benefit and not for the benefit of shareholders. The customer’s voice is worth more than the voice of money. Perfection is all about details. Focus on detail and excellence will follow. Every experience is the sum of a few smaller experiences and a focus on detail at every moment. This will make your company unique and differentiate you from your competitors.

Rudolf Sedmina is Partner and Head of Management Consulting at KPMG

Originally published in Connection, the magazine published by AmCham Slovakia

(Source: AmCham)

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