• US customers are six times more likely to have an outstanding experience than customers in the UK 
  • Most US industries outperform their UK counterparts – with telecoms and the public sector the exceptions

US companies are outpacing their counterparts in the UK when it comes to customer service, according to new research by KPMG Nunwood.

The firm’s Customer Experience Excellence Centre surveyed over 7,500 US consumers about 243 brands across ten sectors. It found that a customer is six times more likely to have a great experience in the US than a customer in the UK.*

US companies outperformed the UK across almost all of the industry sectors analysed by KPMG Nunwood. Telecoms and the public sector were the only exceptions to this trend, with no organisations in these sectors featuring inside the top 100 in the US.

However, UK companies are slowly closing the gap on their US rivals.*

David Conway, Director at KPMG Nunwood, said: “UK companies are gaining on their US counterparts when it comes to customer service, but are at least three years away from being their equals.

“This is partly due to the structural barriers which exist in UK organisations and continue to inhibit their progress. UK companies are often simply not designed to deliver a seamless customer journey, with customers suffering as they pass through each silo of the business. No matter the good intentions of each department, the result for the customer is too often disruptive.

“The US particularly outperforms the UK when it comes to resolving customers’ problems. They remove management layers, and empower employees to make decisions and deal with issues as the customer’s first point of contact. This great service leaves the customer feeling better about the organisation than before the problem arose. This is known as the ‘service recovery paradox’ and is unfortunately still a holy grail for many UK businesses.”

The KPMG Nunwood research found that leading US brands recognise the importance of focusing on the detail, with many offering ‘signature experiences’ which sit alongside multiple other sequential micro experiences, that together create a great overall experience.

Top 5 lessons from the US for UK companies:

    • The board must set a clear sense of customer purpose
    • Attention to detail is critical in order to provide a consistently high quality experience to customers. Achieving this can give companies the edge over their competitors
    • Ensure the customer purpose is in the brand
    • Have a comprehensive customer experience strategy that clearly defines how customer service will be delivered and how problems will be resolved
    • Set clear organisational priorities to tackle the issues damaging customer service and promote best practice so every staff member understands their role in the business

Top 10 US Brands 2016:

US BRANDS 1

Top 10 UK Brands 2015:

US BRANDS 2

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Notes to editors:

For press enquiries please contact

Frances Shennan, Senior PR Manager at KPMG: +44 (0)7584 202794/frances.shennan@kpmg.co.uk

About the KPMG Nunwood Customer Experience Excellence (CEE) Centre US Report

The KPMG Nunwood CEE Centre surveyed over 7,500 US consumers about 243 brands across ten sectors and ranked the top 100 US brands by the customer experience they provide. The survey is a celebration of excellence, highlighting the brands which go above and beyond to understand how American best practices can be applied to challenges for UK organisations.