Every year, Beyond Philosophy engages top executives in Customer Experience Management (CEM) in our Global Leader Survey (GLS). We take this opportunity to learn more about the industry and the perceptions of the experts in our field on the performance of brands in the realm of CEM as well as identifying future trends for the field.

We ask them who they love for CEM and why. We also ask them who they don’t care for and why. Then we ask them what their challenges are, what trends they see, and how much time and energy they are going to invest in the area of CEM in the coming year.

This year’s survey had a few surprises, particularly in the Top 10 list.  There were a few new faces on the list and few old faces that were missing. Let’s start with the Top 10 first.

Customer Experience Trends 2013: Amazon Claims Top Position











Source: Global Leaders of Customer Experience Management Survey (GLS) 2013

As you can see, there are 4 new companies on the list, representing 40% of the list.  The experts said that these companies had the best customer experiences that they admired. The biggest reason that those surveyed gave was excellent customer service. Other key areas that our leaders identified as particularly important for their ranking of the top 10 included good communication ease of use of their experience, and quality of touch points, or places where contact occurs between the company and its customers.

Not surprisingly, Amazon.com sits in the number 1 spot. In my post, “A Message to Wall Street:” I refer to their Amazon’s letter to shareholders in which founder and CEO Jeff Bezos details his plans to build his company on a customer-centric foundation. They have made customer satisfaction and superior customer experience management a priority for years.

Newcomer John Lewis, a department store chain in the UK, will be no surprise to people in the UK. They have been admired by many for their employee engagement and the constant effort to exceed the customer expectations. Employee engagement is an important ingredient in the recipe for customer experience success. The company’s slogan since 1925 has been, “Never Knowingly Undersold.” This customer-centric focus is working for them, however, and is garnering the positive attention in thought leaders in the field.

We found fewer surprises on the bottom 10 list. Most of the companies that are here make fairly regular appearances in this position.  Here is the bottom 10 for CEM:

Global Leaders of Customer Experience Management Survey (GLS) 2013

Source: Global Leaders of Customer Experience Management Survey (GLS) 2013

One thing many of these companies have in common is that they have poor quality service. Almost half of our respondents identified this as the main reason they are on the bottom of the list. Many of these companies are huge brands which is common as customer experience management is more difficult to maintain when a company or brand is large and customer expectations are no longer being met.  For at least two of these companies, Walmart and Ryanair,  I have written about and I am not surprised to see them here.  As you can see in the graphic, both Banks and Facebook are suffering from bad press coloring the opinions of our experts.

Other common reason that they are on the bottom are related to the actual interaction. Either there is no care available, or when you get customer care they are poor at communication, problem solving, or just plain rude.  These factors are clearly damaging to a customer’s experience.

We believe at Beyond Philosophy that every customer experience needs to have a focus not only on the rational side of the experience but also the emotional part of the experience. The top companies do this. The bottom not so much.  Also, another thing the top have in common is that they have an excellent awareness about what their experience actually is and where they want it to go. The bottom, companies either don’t know or don’t care. The key takeaway here is to be on the top you need to understand the whole experience through the customer’s eyes both logically and emotionally and also use this information to design a customer experience for your organization that reflects the experience you want them to have.

Global leaders in Customer experience management have identified the top and bottom of the heap as it pertains to customer experience. Maybe you have similar experiences with these companies or one you would like to add to the list, either the top or bottom?

Colin Shaw

Colin Shaw is founder & CEO of Beyond Philosophy, one of the world’s first organizations devoted to customer experience. Colin has been recognized by LinkedIn as one of the top 150 Business Influencers in the world.  He is an international author of four best-selling books on Customer Experience. Colin’s company, Beyond Philosophy provide consulting, specialised research & training from our Global Headquarters in Tampa, Florida, USA.

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