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Forrester: 24% Of Indian Brands Delivered Poorer Customer Experiences In 2021

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According to Forrester’s (Nasdaq: FORR) 2021 India Customer Experience Index (CX Index™), only four out of 29 brands managed to significantly improve their CX scores. HDFC Bank experienced the highest increase of any brand across all industries and was the only brand to rank in the excellent category. Auto manufacturers Honda and Maruti Suzuki, as well as digital retailer Amazon.com, upped their game to rise from OK to good.

Forrester’s CX Index benchmarked the CX quality of 29 brands across four industries. In 2021, all three components of CX quality — effectiveness, ease of use, and emotion — were found to be negatively affected, with scores for these factors declining across all four industries surveyed: automotive manufacturers, banks, credit card issuers, and digital retailers.

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Despite investments to bolster digital interfaces, multiple lockdowns and physical restrictions throughout the year affected the ability of Indian brands to effectively serve their customers. Pandemic-related issues drove customers to reach out to firms’ contact centers, and customer service teams were unable to keep up with the increased volume. The top-performing brands in the CX Index delivered experiences that reassured customers during this time, outperforming all other brands by an average of 10 percentage points ineffectiveness and 7 percentage points in ease.

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To win and retain customers, companies must connect their brand promise to the customer experience. Too often, there is a gap between an aspirational brand statement and the actual customer experience that requires bridging. According to Forrester’s India CX Index data, 80% of customers say they are likely to recommend a brand when they feel happy from a good experience. Inversely, only 35% say they will recommend a brand after experiencing disappointment due to a poor experience.

“Brands that led the pack are those that used the goodwill they built with customers — their CX equity — to create experiences that reassured customers,” said Amit Bhatia, senior analyst at Forrester. “If businesses are to emerge from this global crisis, they must build experiences that help them empathetically engage with their customers. While having a digital presence can be helpful, ultimately it is the positive experiences that bolster customer loyalty. To do this well, CX professionals must have a disciplined approach to envisioning, designing, and delivering a consistently high-quality experience.”

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 revenue by reducing customer churn and increasing the share of the wallet. Additionally, superior CX leads to reduced service costs and lowers the cost of customer acquisition through word of mouth.

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