India registers a lower overall customer experience score in 2021: Havas CX study

The number one brand in the CX journey is Apple, followed by Taj Hotels, KIA, MG, Hyundai, OnePlus, Boat,, Michelin, and JBL

Feb 08, 2022 04:00:00 AM | Article | Campaign India Team

Havas CX, the global customer experience network from the Havas Group, has released a report titled ‘X Index 2022 Report’ in partnership with research institute OpinionWay, to study the factors that create the most robust customer experience. 
Trust, inclusivity, always being of service and going above and beyond, are the biggest factors in creating the most meaningful customer experiences, according to the study. 
The report surveyed 50,000 consumers across nine countries, including the U.S, UK, France, China, Brazil, Turkey, India, Portugal, and Spain, evaluating the customer experience performance of 500 brands. 
Of these, the 50 leading brands across 13 categories including retail, fashion, financial services, automotive, entertainment, hospitality, beauty, health, and more were studied from India. 
It suggested that while seamlessness, simplicity, and efficiency are still imperative to customer experience, brands are also tasked with fulfilling citizen expectations.
The X Index India report parameters also stated that the number one brand is Apple, followed by Taj Hotels, Kia, MG, Hyundai, OnePlus, Boat,, Michelin, and JBL.
Among the six countries surveyed a year earlier, it was found that only India registered a lower overall score in 2021, as compared with 2020. China, France, Portugal, UK, and the US, on the other hand, pointed towards a rising satisfaction with the customer experience. 
While most geographies were able to leverage the new normal to cement their CX and deliver on consumers’ rising expectations, the study reveals that Indian brands were not as agile to keep up with the rising expectations. 
Brand image has yet again emerged as the strongest competitor to the X Index, representing 46% of India’s score. This hints at the fact that while ecosystems and the touchpoints have expanded during the new normal, brands also need to maintain continuous engagement to reinforce their image while also making it part of their CX.
Below are the four key principles identified by the X Index, to create a best-in-class citizen experience:
Trust comes first: Brands build trust by keeping their commitments to customers and being there in times of crisis. They also see better results if they optimise themselves and take advantage of new platforms to integrate community building and social components. Brands also build trust with transparent business practices by making commitments to social causes. 
Build an all-inclusive experience: For customer experience to become a citizen experience, brands must be inclusive. Consumers evaluate brands at every step of the journey, including the way they treat their frontline employees, foster inclusivity and break taboos in representation and marketing. Inclusivity also means enabling customers to participate in a community, with some brands introducing forums, clubs, and apps for customers to connect and interact with each other. 
Always be of service: Customer service is now defined by the speed of reaction to customer demands. When it comes to staff and salespeople, consumers not only expect them to be efficient but also knowledgeable. 
Provide for the age of extra: When it comes to satisfying customers, going the extra mile is of paramount importance for brands. A key part of going above and beyond is making sure the experience feels extra personal. 
Prashant Tekwani, EVP and business head, Havas CX India and Havas Worldwide, West, said, “The pandemic has brought about a sea-change in consumer shopping behaviour. Brands now need to evolve their thinking from customer experience to citizen experience by making seamlessness and inclusivity their priority. According to the latest X Index report, India is the only country to register a lower overall score in 2021 in comparison to 2020. There is a gap that needs addressing for brands in India to score high in the CX journey. This shows how the understanding of the evolving expectation of the consumers is critical to maintaining the health of CX, growth and brand imagery. While meeting functional criteria around seamlessness, simplicity, and efficient customer service, brands must also go the extra mile to make a lasting impression in their customers’ minds.”
Sumeer Mathur, national strategy head and managing partner, Havas Worldwide India, added, “Interestingly, out of all the parameters that we measure to arrive at a final score, the Brand image has emerged as the strongest contributor to the X Index, representing 46% of India’s score. This hints at the fact that while ecosystems and the touchpoints were expanded during this new normal, brands also need to maintain continuous engagement to reinforce their image while also making it part of their CX. Conversely, it could also mean that Indian brands are under leveraging other parameters and relying too heavily on the brand image alone to determine the customer experience.”