Study exposes “overwhelmingly poor” and “feeble” customer experience among brands in Singapore

Leading brands in Singapore are producing dismal customer experiences, with a report suggesting they are “feeble” and “overwhelmingly poor”.

Singaporeans are “difficult to please”, according to the Forrester report

Of 16 brands studied by research firm Forrester, 12 were “poor”, two “very poor” while two edged into an “ok” category.

None were classed as “good”, let alone “excellent”, the two other available categories.

In mitigation, the Singapore Customer Experience Index – the first study of its kind produced by Forrester in Singapore – noted that Singaporeans “are difficult to please” having become “used to a fast pace of change”.

“Our inaugural Singapore CX Index shows that their overall perception of the quality of their experiences with brands is poor,” Forrester concluded.

The two top-rated brands were both banks – DBS and OCBC – but even they were at the lower end of the “ok” category. The two lowest ranked were government bodies; the Housing and Development Board and Land Transport Authority.

Overall, Forrester described the government’s CX performance as “feeble” that harmed its mission to achieve compliance and advocacy among Singaporeans.

Among the companies to achieve a “poor” rating were Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Thai Airways, AXA, NTUC Income, Aviva and UOB Bank.

In the private sector, Forrester reported that shoddy CX drives customers away, reduces revenues and prevents customers from recommending a brand.

Airlines fared the best in retaining loyalty with 53% saying they would stick with an airline, but banks struggled with only 37% saying they would continue doing business with their bank.

But even that was better than the auto and home insurance sector which had the lowest loyalty retention of just 26%.

The report spelt out how virtually all brands failed on all three experience metrics – emotion, ease and effectiveness, with only DBS and Singapore Airlines singled out for being able to “differentiate their CX on emotion, ease and effectiveness”.

DBS provided the easiest experience with 53% saying they had a smooth ride dealing with the bank

Airlines overall fared best on emotion, with 47% of consumers finding their experience “emotionally positive”, with Singapore and Emirates the top two at 51%.

Banks were the easiest to deal with (47%) with DBS top with 53%. The report attributed the DBS score – which was 13 percentage points above the index average – to its journey mapping and digital processes for account openings and credit applications.

Nevertheless, the overall picture across all brands was “overwhelmingly poor”, Forrester found.

“Brands that fail to deliver satisfying experiences risk weak customer loyalty in the customer experience dimensions of retention, enrichment and advocacy,” the report said. “This limits their opportunities to drive revenue growth.”

The results were based on a survey of 3,792 Singaporeans.


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