PA is a consulting, technology and
innovation firm. We define success as
achieving exceptional results that have a
lasting impact on businesses, communities
and individuals worldwide.
This principle has remained the cornerstone
of our ethos since 1943 – and it continues to
underpin everything we do.
Our clients choose us because we challenge
convention to find the solutions that really work
– in practice, not just on paper. Then we roll up
our sleeves and get the job done.
At PA we don’t just believe in making a
difference. We believe in making the difference.
PA CONSULTING GROUP
Great customer experiences are not built overnight.
Organisations know strong customer experience management
is essential for long-term success, but often stumble when
deciding which resources and initiatives to prioritise
Nordic head of Business Design
Claus Høyer Madsen
Nordic head of Digital
In our research, we surveyed 95 international
senior professionals across a range of sectors and
we have defined eight customer experience
dimensions that form the foundation of any
customer experience strategy – understand your
customers, be driven by insight, innovate as usual,
balance the approach, differentiate value
propositions, design the journey, provide channel
choice, personalise the experience.
And we did not stop there. We then went on to
define how these dimensions are correlated with
best practice to develop our Customer Experience
Management Maturity Model. The model sets out
where organisations should be starting their
customer experience management journey and in
what order they should be implementing initiatives.
Our research reveals that the value of this
prioritisation should not be underestimated.
In fact, an organisation that increases its customer
experience management score by 10% can expect
to see a boost in its customers’ satisfaction by 5%.
In turn, a 10% increase in customer satisfaction is
seen to improve financial results by around 5% –
enabled by an increase in revenue and growth of
We also found that most of the organisations
we surveyed are placed at the bottom end of
our maturity model – with very few achieving
the highest maturity level of customer
We urge these companies to up their game,
consider the right customer experience
management ambition for them and adopt the
appropriate mindset to compete and thrive.
A number of leading organisations, detailed
throughout our report, demonstrate that by
rethinking their approach to customer experience
management and by prioritising initiatives
correctly, great opportunities can be seized.
5. ABOUT OUR
We surveyed 95 international senior professionals
from a range of sectors to identify a best practice
approach to customer experience management that
drives greater market performance and financial
The respondents came from a variety of sectors
including energy, financial services and public sector;
organisations with a national, international and global
reach; and those with revenues ranging from millions
to multi-billion dollars.
From this research we developed our Customer
Experience Management Maturity Model. The eight
dimensions that make up our model, which we explore in
more detail on page 9, were ranked on each maturity
level – depending on the number of best practices
associated with them and their importance to that level.
The most important best practices for each maturity level
were then mapped against the eight dimensions to create
a priority list for what best practices should be focused on
to improve your score for the dimension in question.
Our research revealed that the most important
capabilities to the lower levels of maturity were also
important to the higher maturity levels – indicating
that as organisations improve their customer
experience management maturity, they need to be
building on foundational ‘basics’.
This methodology allows organisations to clearly see
what dimensions, and associated best practices, require
prioritisation to move up along our maturity model to
achieve the level of ambition appropriate for each.
DEVELOPING OUR CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE MATURITY MODEL
6. Our survey results reveal that improving your organisation’s
customer experience management score by 10%, and taking
your organisation through each stage in our Customer
Experience Management Maturity Model, can boost your
customers’ satisfaction score by 5%.
To put this into context, organisations that have improved
their customer experience management score by 10%,
e.g. from 6 to 6.6, have seen a 5% positive impact on how
satisfied their customers are. Your customer satisfaction can
be measured by how successful you are in providing value
to customers, your ability to retain customers and attract new
customers, and your ability to bring new products and
services to the market.
THE IMPACT OF GOOD
CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE MANAGEMENT
increase in your
The survey results also prove that a similar effect is true for
converting satisfied customers into strong financial results
– a 10% increase in the former is proven to lead to around 5%
increase in the latter compared to competitors.
This means that a 10% improvement of your customer
experience management score is likely to improve your
financial results by 2.5%.
It is clear that the importance of keeping customers satisfied is
hitting home, with 80% of CEOs stating that customer
experience is the main area they are competing on – up from
30% compared to a few years ago*.
*Finding from PA’s 2014 customer experience survey
results by around
increase in your
7. Improves customer
to competitors by
results compared to
8. 8 CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
We have identified eight capabilities, outlined on the right, that organisations can evolve and improve to
achieve customer experience management maturity. Based on our extensive experience, and drawing on
best practice, these dimensions formed the foundation of our survey. We asked respondents to rate their own
ability to execute on each of these dimensions and the respondent’s average score of these dimensions
constitutes their customer experience management score.
In figure 1 we have highlighted the average score of all companies in relation to each dimension.
UNDERSTAND YOUR CUSTOMERS
Of the eight customer experience management dimensions,
organisations rated ‘understand your customers’ as what they are
best at managing. Given that customer segmentation has been a
well-recognised, well-integrated business discipline for many years,
companies have built up strong capabilities within this dimension.
PA customer experience expert, Jacob Klit, comments:
“In general, all companies have segmented their customers. However,
this segmentation is often ‘inside-out’-driven based on industry codes,
sales volume or cost-to-serve parameter from an operation point of view.
These companies are therefore missing out on the full potential of driving
top line growth and customer centricity. Building effective and relevant
customer relationships to grow B2B accounts or share of wallets among
consumers requires implementation of need-based segmentation.
Need-based segmentation, based on for example psychographic
and behavioural characteristics, is used by best practice B2C and B2B
companies – but is not that difficult to implement. It can actually be
completed in around 12 to15 weeks”.
We have highlighted
the overall highest
and lowest scoring
dimensions in our
PERSONALISE THE EXPERIENCE
At the other end of the spectrum is
personalisation. This is a relatively new
discipline that requires a whole new set of
skills and it is the dimension we see
organisations struggling to master.
As Dave Peters, CEO and founder of Emagine,
warns: “Getting personalisation right requires an
all-or-nothing approach. The aim of
personalisation is to foster a better customer
relationship that is rooted in value and relevance
for the individual; marketing to one, not many.
It’s about understanding a customer’s needs
and preferences and connecting with them in
a manner that suits them in order to extract
maximum customer value and protect the
7.4 /10 5.5 /10
9. 5.5 /10
6.2 /10 6.5 /10
UNDERSTAND YOUR CUSTOMERS
Your organisation identifies customer needs and this
helps you to allocate resources to product development,
marketing, service and delivery programmes.
You track your customer experience quality for each of
the segments using the customer segment perceptions
as the ultimate test of what is ‘good’.
FIGURE 1: HOW ORGANISATIONS RANK THEMSELVES ON THE EIGHT KEY DIMENSIONS
BE DRIVEN BY INSIGHT
Your organisation has an accurate, consistent and
shared understanding of who your customers are,
what they want and how they perceive the interactions
they are having with your company today.
INNOVATE AS USUAL
Your organisation constantly experiments,
measures, learns with your customer and
adjusts to develop the optimal experience
across all channels.
BALANCE THE APPROACH
Your organisation optimises the balance between the
rational and emotional interactions, i.e. the functionality
and the feelings that your product or service ignites.
DIFFERENTIATE VALUE PROPOSITIONS
Your organisation has clear and unique value propositions
for each of your customer segments based on specifically
defined customer needs.
DESIGN THE JOURNEY
Your organisation clearly maps customer
touchpoints and interactions, defining how to
interact with the customers in these touchpoints.
This means knowing where the ‘magic moments’
and ‘pain points’ are, and how to build new
experiences that resonate with your customers.
PROVIDE CHANNEL CHOICE
Your organisation formulates and executes
a clear channel strategy to engage all
customers and allows them to seamlessly
move between the channels they choose
to interact in.
PERSONALISE THE EXPERIENCE
Your organisation creates a personalised experience
based on the customer’s interests, previous
experiences, their purchase and
10. PA’S CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
MANAGEMENT MATURITY MODEL
From our research it became clear that there is a clear
sequence in the way best practice companies build up
their customer experience management capability. The
unique maturity model that we have developed, based
on their responses to more than 50 questions related to
customer experience management, clarifies the customer
experience priorities of any organisation – dependent on
the customer maturity they have already achieved.
Our Customer Experience Management Maturity Model,
outlined in figure 2, displays which capabilities need to
be developed to meet each of the four levels within the
model – ‘market-driven’, ‘customer-driven’, ‘relationship-
driven’ and ‘experience-driven’ – together with the best
practices required to build the capabilities.
It is important to note that while it is possible to start
working towards the more advanced capabilities required
in the later stages of maturity, it is essential for
organisations to master the more basic capabilities
to ensure long-term success.
It is also vital for organisations to not lose focus on the
lower level capabilities as they advance further up the
maturity model – the basics must always be maintained
to enable your high-level capabilities. Your organisation
will, for instance, need to implement customer
segmentation well to enable personalisation.
We found that the vast majority of organisations
we surveyed are still placed at the bottom at
‘market-driven’ and very few have made it
to the ‘experience-driven’ level.
Many organisations rate themselves well on certain
dimensions such as ‘understand your customers’ and
‘be driven by insight’, but there was no consistency
through the dimensions that make up the required steps
taking them up the model’s levels. This can be a cause
for concern since improving customer experience
management enables companies to outperform their
competitors through improved customer satisfaction.
• Fix the basics of your
• Understand your customers
• Understand the value you
provide to them
• Use analytics to create
overview of product portfolio,
sales and earnings.
• Build and attract digital skills
• Enable personalisation
• Build relationships and
include customers in
• Build organisational capacity
to quickly act and react to
• Explore and optimise channel
• Create new ways to engage
the customer and revisit and
redesign service ecosystems
• Remain curious and agile
• Leverage the full potential of
• Make top management
• Enforce customer-centric
mindset – and focus on it daily
• Design customer journeys to
deliver ‘magic moments’
• Understand what drives
customer demand and
behaviour – and build
capability to predict it
• Actively use customer
analytics to drive development
of new offerings.
good to great
great to excellent
excellent to world-class
FIGURE 2: PA’S CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE MANAGEMENT MATURITY MODEL
12. CASE STUDY
IMPROVING THE BASICS
This international airline was looking to target its customers
on a more personal level using strong, evidence-based
The carrier had various sources of data at its disposal,
including frequent flier information, customer satisfaction
surveys, transaction and booking data, and customer
complaints. However, these were all analysed in silos
– preventing the airline from creating integrated insights.
PA took an approach deeply rooted in analytics to create
a number of ‘myth busters’ about the preconceptions the
airline had about its customers. We identified six clear
customer segments and a profile was created for each
segment to understand what truly mattered to them.
We also found that many customers were not booking with
the airline directly – a key area where the organisation was
losing money. Therefore, converting them to book with the
carrier, and not through an agent, became a main priority
for the organisation.
As a result of this analysis, we were able to identify £35
million of incremental revenue opportunities.
During their engagement with
us, PA provided some really
excellent insights into our
consumer needs and
expectations – including their
service and technology
requirements. The level of
insight gained through PA’s
customer modelling expertise
went well beyond what we
believed was possible using
core analytical techniques alone.
the needs of your
A single view
Ensure your employees
understand their own role in
meeting the customers’
Develop a strategic
management framework that
outlines your organisation’s
policy on a single view of
brand, product and/or service,
customer and channel.
Your company should have
a clear overview of your
including profitability and
lifecycle of individual items.
Ensure you share this
knowledge with the
employees who are
responsible for sales and
Your sales planning and
budgeting should be based
on history and projections,
and you should implement
rigorous sales performance
Is your company able to
monitor profitability per
product/service category and
item based on near-real time
data? If the answer is no, this
should be made a priority.
Two customer experience management dimensions are especially important when fixing the basics of your organisation’s
customer experience: knowing your customers and segmenting your customers’ needs.
Through our research, we identified the five most important capabilities that will improve your ability to execute on these two
dimensions. In essence, it is these capabilities that are the foundation for performing well at the market-driven level.
14. With up to 70,000 passengers passing through the doors of the
airport each day, it is safe to say the airport’s employees have
their work cut out for them.
With high aims for passenger growth and own place in the
transportation landscape, the airport identified service
excellence as one of the key ‘breakthrough’ areas that would
take its customer experience from ‘good’ to ‘great’.
Having already won the industry award for great service five
times in the last ten years, the airport engaged PA to help define
service excellence and develop the service value proposition for
each of the five customer groups. Working with the leadership
team, we defined customer personas, customer journeys and
the desired experience for each customer, together with
initiatives to improve the service delivery.
PA also supported the development of five ‘playbooks’ for each
customer group that outlined service standards, guidelines and
key performance indicators. Furthermore, we put together over
200 initiatives for how airport staff could interact with customers
within each touchpoint, defined the governance model, created
a roll-out plan and initiated the development of their training
from good to
GOING FROM GOOD TO GREAT
As a result of PA’s work,
the airport now has a clear
view on how to continuously
improve its customers’
experiences in the next three
years and is in a good state
to start embedding the new
service excellence concept
across the entire organisation.
Top management is
accountable for customer
brand and values
Data-driven and timely
analysis of customer
Most leaders understand the
importance of having a
but not all leaders take active
steps to develop one.
Clear communication and role
modelling is key here.
assign clear responsibility and
accountability in the top
management for the
Customer experience related
A prerequisite is that you can
measure the customer
related financial results in
clearly defined key
You must develop a clear
overview of all customer
journeys linked to the touch-
points in which value is
Ensure your employees
understand and embody your
products or services but also
your brand, heritage, story
and company values.
Your customer analytics must
be data-driven and timely
– and provided at multiple
times throughout the year,
so you can monitor changing
You should also be capable
of responding to these
When you have developed the capabilities that enable you to perform at a market-driven level, you are in a position to start
working towards the next level in the maturity model.
Organisations that are customer-driven manage clear customer segments and segmented value propositions, but also identify
where ‘magic moments’ occur and find a fine balance between the rational and the emotional interactions with their customers.
Below are the capabilities required for your organisation to reach the customer-driven level.
16. To meet increasing customer demands, and deliver a seamless
experience across all channels, a large retail bank wanted to
harness the power of digital and transform its business model.
The bank quickly realised it had a wealth of transaction data
from different applications available which it could use to create
insights into its customers to help it improve service and develop
Working shoulder-to-shoulder with the bank, we designed
an advanced data analytics platform and ran several insight
projects, delivered within 6-8 weeks which identified all customer
journeys, predicted how customers were going to behave in
those journeys and identified any areas within those journeys
where bottlenecks would occur.
Using this data-driven approach, the bank was able to
significantly improve its level of customer service. Within 1 year
alone, we were able to remove 400,000 unnecessary and costly
interactions with customers. Not only did this lead to a potential
€4 million reduction in costs, but customers also received more
efficient responses to their queries.
GOING FROM GREAT TO EXCELLENT
As a result of our work, the bank
now has a well-trained customer
service team that successfully
generates and completes insight
projects, innovates new
methods for analysing data and
is able to capitalise upon
business benefits. This has
already led to new business and
improved conversion rates for
the number of people visiting the
website, making appointments
and buying products.
Clear roles and
Your company must have
clearly assigned roles and
responsibilities when it comes
to interacting with the
Collect real time demand
forecasts that are
consolidated and presented
Do you know what your
customers do and not just
what they say?
Your organisation should be
capable of using systematic
tracking of target customer
segments when it comes to
behaviour, preferences and
The digital age has brought
about new ways to engage
and serve the customers, and
being digital requires a new
culture, mindset and different
ways of operating.
Your organisation needs
strong in-house digital skills,
with employees across the
value chain who understand
the online, digital world and
can take advantage of the
Your customers’ resources
and skills should be applied
creatively in a continuous and
structured process to shape
the future product and service
This way, boundaries of
innovation and product
development are extended
well beyond your company to
include your customers, their
cultural resources and skills.
Moving from customer-driven to relationship-driven requires a new set of capabilities. At this stage, companies typically have most
of their service excellence related capabilities in place.
Companies at this level develop capabilities that enable them to understand individual customers as they strive to appreciate what
their product or service really means to their customers, and to develop a personalised experience based on their purchase and
Apple is a prime example of an organisation that focuses on building a relationship with its customers. At its stores, Apple
employees will actually try to ‘down-sell’ customers on what they are looking to buy in an attempt to save them money. Apple’s
approach reportedly results in fewer products being returned, higher sales rates on add-on services, fewer technical issues and
minimal employee attrition*. The company’s 40% gross margin also speaks volumes**.
If you are aiming to reach the relationship-driven stage, focus on the following key capabilities.
18. CASE STUDY
GOING FROM EXCELLENT TO WORLD-CLASS
banking at a
As a result of our work, the
organisation now has a clear
view on what technologies can
improve its customer
To help this financial services firm boost its customer experience and
stay a step ahead of the competition, we worked with the bank to design
an innovation unit devoted to trialling new mobile banking features.
We helped them launch an experimental banking application in two
countries, using agile principles, and tested 13 experimental features in
Reaching around 2,000 customers, we collaborated with the bank to
track the impact the new features were having on its customer
experience. These features ranged from using fingerprint ID to log into
mobile banking, to novel money-saving ideas and graphical illustrations
of transaction data.
For each trial, we monitored whether the new feature appealed to its
customers. For instance, did customers continue to use the feature or
switch it off after trying it out? And what comments did they have about
the feature’s impact on their own user experience?
This approach, based on prototyping tests and which saw us releasing
incomplete features to customers, is unconventional in the financial
services sector, but allowed us to quickly test new ideas and
continuously evolve the features based on behavioural data and
We went on to recommend the features that proved to be popular with
customers and should be implemented – with the bank rolling out the
fingerprint touch ID function across iPhone users with much success.
To advance to the highest level in our maturity model, two customer experience management dimensions are vital. Firstly, your
company needs a clear channel strategy to engage all customers, and customers must be able to seamlessly move between
different channels. The other dimension relates to your organisation’s ability to constantly innovate, measure and learn with your
We have identified the five most important capabilities that will improve your organisation’s ability to execute on these two
is a focus in daily
New offerings driven by
Quickly acting and
reacting to market
Your company must run
improvements as part of
normal operations –
as opposed to projects that
need to be prioritised, initiated
and closed down.
The development of new
products and services should
be driven by systematic
customer analytics of
behaviour, preferences and
Digital skills are not enough.
Your entire organisation must
understand the drivers of
success and actively explore
the opportunities in the ‘digital
Is your company able to act
and react to changes in the
Market changes relate to new
product or service offerings,
adjusting to fluctuations in
demand and innovating in
Our research suggests that
companies at this level utilise
external resources to get the
right competencies and
inspiration when necessary.
20. SECTOR HIGHLIGHTS
Many companies in the consumer and manufacturing sector
come from a very traditional background that is focused on
the ‘product push’ – meaning they are in the early stages of
our maturity model. A particular area they need to improve
on is omni-channel. In the financial services sector, for
example, it is easier for organisations to achieve a
seamless customer experience because they do not have a
physical product to sell. For organisations that do, it is much
more difficult to achieve – and many are struggling.
For companies to succeed with customer experience,
they must turn their focus away from a manufacturing,
‘product push’ approach to one that is market-facing
and innovation-driven, with strong sales and
Burberry is one of the most cited examples of great
customer experience. This is because the retailer
customises its products to meet consumer needs and uses
digital to great effect to build immersive and engaging
experiences for its customers.
CONSUMER AND MANUFACTURING
Consumer and manufacturing expert
Drawing on our experts’ insights, we outline how four example sectors – consumer and manufacturing, government,
financial services, and transportation and logistics – stack up when it comes to customer experience management.
There is a lot of room for organisations in this
sector to improve. Train companies, for instance,
are rather poorly regarded in the sphere of customer
experience because of frequent disruptions to
services, cancellations and high ticket prices.
However, it is not all bad news. Airlines have a
more advanced ticket pricing structure, loyalty
programmes to reward customers and clearer
defined customer segments.
Looking to the future, the sharing economy is an
area that I think will really be taking off. Companies
such as BlaBlaCar, which helps people travelling
between cities to split the cost of a car journey, have
grown in popularity. However, we are now seeing
consumers taking more power into their own hands
to find opportunities to share travel within their own
For organisations to stay competitive they need
to focus on addressing their customers’
problems, digitising and optimising the efficiency
of their services.
TRANSPORT AND LOGISTICS
Transport and logistics expert
21. If you ask financial services firms today what their
number one priority is, many would say it is customer
experience. However, many well-established companies
are failing to turn this ambition into a reality.
We are seeing disruptive players entering the market.
Friendsurance, for instance, offers peer-to-peer
insurance that rewards small groups of users with a
cash-back bonus at the end of each year if they do not
make a claim. It is this type of organisation – one that is
designed to focus on the customer and draws on the
sharing economy – that is revolutionising the sector.
With more of these innovative and customer-centric
options coming into the market, the incumbents
must improve their customer experience or risk
Financial services expert
When we look at the public sector, regulation and
legacy systems are hindering organisations from using
their citizens’ or customers’ data to the best effect.
The siloed way in which they are organised is also
making it tricky for various government departments
and agencies to connect their insights and data.
Organisations must invest the time to create a new
culture that puts their customers at the centre
– a very different mindset than most are used to.
However, there are some standout organisations that
excel in this area. In Denmark, the Danish Business
Authority has an online portal that offers digital
solutions and cross-channel support for its customers
(companies). This has led to quicker and more
effective query handling, higher customer satisfaction
scores and better employee engagement.
What sets these leading organisations apart is that
their top management really champions great
customer experience and takes their employees on
the customer experience journey with them.
Public sector expert
IS YOUR ORGANISATION A LEADER IN
CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE MANAGEMENT?
To find out if your organisation is a customer experience management
leader, complete the following self-assessment.
Consider the extent to which you agree or disagree with the following statements.
My organisation identifies customer needs and this helps us to allocate
resources internally. We track customer experience quality for each
segment to perform the ultimate test of what is ‘good’.
My organisation has clear and unique value propositions for each of
our customer segments based on clearly defined customer needs.
My organisation has clearly mapped the customer touchpoints and
defined how to interact with the customers in these touchpoints,
knowing where the ‘magic moments’ and ‘pain points’ are.
My organisation optimises the balance between the rational and
emotional interactions (i.e. feelings that we should ignite).
My organisation has a good understanding of who our customers are,
what they want and how they perceive their interactions with our
My organisation provides the customer with a personalised experience
based on purchase and behavioural history.
My organisation has a clear channel strategy to engage all customers
and the customer can seamlessly move between the different
My organisation constantly experiments, measures, learns with our
customer and adjusts to develop the optimal experience across all
I can do this! I’m getting there I need help!
23. or visit
To speak to one of our experts about developing your
Organisation’s Customer Experience Management Capabilities,
Claus Høyer Madsen
The four steps outlined in our Customer Experience
Management Maturity Model are the foundation for success
if organisations are to succeed at customer experience
These are not short-term fixes, but areas that need
to be developed and nurtured over time. As the thriving
organisations cited throughout this report demonstrate,
success is achievable – but only through challenging your