Last March, I wrote about Havas CX’s X Index and how it provided a new and holistic view of a brand’s customer experience (CX). The most exciting aspect of their research was that they uncovered some common indicators of what makes a successful customer experience. Their research also revealed the simple but often overlooked fact that preferences, particularly those related to customer experience, are not homogeneous and differ from country to country.
Havas CX has expanded its protection to nine countries this year: China, France, India, the United Kingdom, America, Brazil, Turkey, Portugal, and Spain. They polled 50,000 persons worldwide about more than 500 manufacturers from various industries to conduct their research.
They looked at over 35 distinct characteristics and identified 13 that were significant predictors of CX satisfaction. These variables were divided into five categories: model image, purchase, product and repair knowledge, relationship, and customer assistance.
The good news is that the X Index values for several countries in 2021 were higher than in 2020, indicating that many manufacturers responded well to the pandemic’s demands.
Regardless of the changes in scores, one of the most interesting discoveries from the study was that the model picture emerged as the most significant contributor to the X Index across all countries.
For example, the model picture drove 41 percent of Turkey’s rating on the low end of the scale, while the model picture pushed 54 percent of Spain’s rating on the high end of the scale. For context, model pictures pushed 52 percent of the UK’s rating and 46 percent of the US’s rating.
In Havas CX’s analysis, the model picture is determined by how much clients say they believe a model, their perception of how well a model keeps its promises, and how it treats its front-line employees.
Outcomes of the Havas X Index in 2021
These findings suggest that how customers feel about a brand, how they see its standard practices, and how they treat their front-line employees is becoming an increasingly important factor in determining their experience with it.
These preferences, in which customers hold producers to higher standards of conduct, have been rising for some time. They did, however, enter the public attention during the early stages of the epidemic in 2020. According to Edelman, 90 percent of customers worldwide want brands to care for and protect their employees’ well-being and financial security and their suppliers. Furthermore, 71% of them stated that if they did not, manufacturers would lose their trust in them indefinitely, and they would be extremely reluctant to buy from that brand again in the future.
We’ve been nearly two years since the epidemic began, and Havas CX’s data indicates that these preferences and expectations have taken hold and have become an integral element of a buyer’s experience.
This is echoed in a newer Edelman report. According to their most recent Trust Barometer, trust in government and the media has declined over the last year, and business is now the most trusted institution. They also revealed that almost half of all respondents worldwide want businesses to do more to help with societal concerns like climate change and economic inequality, concluding that “societal management is now a key function of business.”
These findings show that talking about customer experience in isolation is no longer sufficient. To thrive, companies must consider how well they understand their customers and how they connect with them and how they do things, how they treat their employees and their impact in and on the world.