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Around one in ten Canadian brands (11%) significantly improved their CX Index scores in the year from 2019 to 2020, according to Forrester's 'Canada 2020 Customer Experience Index'. This article is copyright 2020 The Best Customer Guide.

The CX Index also revealed that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, several industries saw an improvement in customer experience quality, including credit card issuers, direct banks, investment firms, and multichannel retail industries.

Indeed, compared to 2019, no industry averages declined in the 2020 CX Index, making it the second year in a row - actually also the second year ever - in which this trend had occurred.

Seven brands represented elite brands - the top 5% of brands in the entire CX Index - Chapters/Indigo, Costco Wholesale, Home Hardware, MEC, PetSmart, Toyota, and Well.ca. Of four new elite brands, only Toyota rose to its status due to a real improvement in CX quality.

Results further show that emotion is key to achieving brand differentiation. How an experience makes customers feel has larger influence on their loyalty to a brand than effectiveness or ease in every industry. In the multichannel retail industry, for example, among customers who felt valued, 87% plan to stay with the brand, 84% plan to increase spending with the brand, and 86% will advocate for the brand.

"While the COVID-19 pandemic has done little to disrupt the quality of experience Canadian brands provide customers, our rankings show those brands looking to break away from the pack and deliver better CX must shift their focus to understanding how customers are affected by experiences emotionally," said Sharyn Leaver, SVP of research at Forrester. "This will be a crucial differentiator in how brands can not only achieve and sustain customer loyalty but better distinguish themselves from the competition."

Conducted for the sixth year in a row, Forrester's CX Index results are benchmarked on a survey of more than 58,000 Canadian customers across 147 brands and 12 industries. The index aims to help brands identify the key drivers of a positive CX for their customers to help them prioritize their efforts. Even a minor improvement to a brand's customer experience quality can add tens of millions of dollars of revenue by reducing customer churn and increasing share of wallet. Additionally, superior CX leads to reduced service costs and lowers the cost of customer acquisition through word of mouth.