Personalisation and integrity are top priorities for customers in India

12 November 2018 3 min. read
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As India’s consumer market expands rapidly in tandem with its economy, expectations from customer experience are growing in scope and in magnitude, according to a new report from global professional services firm KPMG. Personalisation and integrity are the two biggest priorities in India’s customer experience domain. 

India’s economy is on a strong growth trajectory, projected by some to become the second largest economy in the world by 2020. While this growth has largely been inequitable in nature, there remains an increasingly prominent trend of urbanisation and the emergence of a middle class.

With the rapid growth of a middle class comes a tendency towards consumption, which has driven many to predict strong expansion for India’s consumer market in the near future as well. According to Big Four accounting and advisory firm Deloitte, the consumer market in India is expected to surpass the $1 trillion mark between 5 and 8 years from now.

The six pillars of customer experience excellence

However, growth in the consumer market does not entail a mere spike in spending and revenues. In a new report, KPMG has detailed how increasing prosperity and a propensity to consume have brought with it more nuanced and specific demands in terms of the overall customer experience.

The firm notes a change in attitudes among consumers in India from one that would accept a basic level of functionality to one that demands higher standards and quality from every product. Consumers are now willing to incur larger costs to obtain a greater degree of personalisation in their purchase.

Another trend that has impacted consumer attitudes in India – much like the rest of the world – is the increasing scope of the digital sphere in the customer experience. A consumer now has a variety of different channels through which to access, purchase and offer feedback on products.

“With a very high rate of internet penetration, brands need to weave in customer experience elements into their core omni-channel operating models that deliver experience through efficiency (e2e),” said the report. Nearly 850 million people across India are expected to have online access by 2025.

In order to offer structure to the analysis of such a rapidly changing domain, KPMG has developed a mechanism to evaluate various aspects of consumer experience. This framework rests on six pillars of excellence in customer experience, namely personalisation, integrity, expectations, resolution, time & effort and empathy.

Non-grocery retail pillar performance

Based on these six pillars, the firm conducted a survey amongst more than 2,500 respondents in India, who were requested to evaluate the customer experience with 108 different brands in the country, spanning 9 different sectors.

The survey revealed a slight tendency amongst Indian customers to prioritise personalisation of the customer experience, which entails the strategic development of an emotional connection with the brand. Nearly 19% of the respondents rated personalisation as an essential component of consumer experience excellence.

Integrity – referring to trustworthiness of a brand – came in as a second priority, also with nearly 19% of the vote. Other priorities, in order of preference amongst consumers, were time & effort (16.5%), resolution (16%), expectations (15.5%) and empathy (14.6%). Personalisation and integrity were the factors that had the highest impact on customer loyalty as well as further advocacy.