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How Does Geography Impact Customer Experience?

CX programmes are adopted by many organisations across the globe, each with a different approach and ultimate goal. Whilst the concept of CX is namely the same wherever you look, we’re really interested to see and share how it’s interpreted across different countries.

In our CX Trends Study we compared customer experiences in the UK and Germany, two major European economies. We delved into what emotions consumers and brands associate with positive and negative experiences, loyalty and personalisation.

We found that emotion plays a huge part when it comes to CX. As customers, we base our experiences on whether something makes us happy, sad or even indifferent. What emotions do we feel when we have a positive experience? Do we feel satisfied, important or reassured? Our survey identified that 35% of consumers in the UK felt safe and reassured when they had a positive experience in comparison to 40% in Germany.

Whilst it makes sense to feel reassured when we are happy with something, we saw a higher percentage of Germans (13%) who felt excitement when they had a positive experience, with an underwhelming 2.5% of UK consumers experiencing the same emotion. The question is, why is there such a stark difference in this particular emotion? Do Germans express more emotion than Brits? Do they have different values in the exchange process which means their expectations might be lower than neighbouring countries? Or are British people simply harder to please?

Our study also showed that over 20% of British consumers surveyed ranked reassurance as one of their top emotions associated with loyalty to a brand. In comparison, this halves in Germany to 10%. That said, enjoyment and excitement remain significantly higher in Germany than in the UK.

Looking at negative experiences, the differences between UK and German consumers were similarly as stark. When asked what emotions they most associate with something negative, 34% of German consumers said anger was their primary emotion, in comparison with 8% of Brits. In addition, open-ended comments such as “burning anger and hatred” were received by consumers in Germany — some of the most emotive comments submitted in the report.

The CX Trends Study provided lots of rich and valuable statistics from across several different countries helping us to understand the true emotions of our consumers. In a world where expectations are constantly changing, it’s vital that brands stay in tune with their customers’ ever evolving emotions. From this, we can start to understand and learn that some consumers are more emotive in their reactions and develop their CX approach appropriately.

No two customers are the same which is why different CX programmes must cater for all, wherever they are globally. Without this guidance, brands and customers really will be ‘worlds apart’. We’d love to hear your views — have you encountered these differences? Have you been surprised by the nuances in global customer expectations?

We’ll be exploring these differences and more in our next CX Trends study, which will be published early 2018.

About Author

Simon Fraser Vice President, XI Strategy

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