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Customer Experience (CX) quality among Canadian brands has remained stable, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Canada 2021 Customer Experience Index from Forrester. This article is copyright 2021 The Best Customer Guide.

The pandemic changed customer needs and expectations in unprecedented ways. This is why brands maintaining stable CX quality is an achievement. Additionally, investment firms dominated the elite brands - the top 5% of brands in the entire CX Index - with RBC Dominion Securities, ScotiaMcLeod, and TD Wealth reaching this category for the first time.

CX Index data further reveals that emotion remains core to brands' CX success: Elite brands provide nearly four times more emotionally positive customer experiences, such as feeling appreciated and respected, which are critical to boosting loyalty. In the retail industry, for example, among customers who felt appreciated, 85% plan to stay with the brand, 82% plan to increase spending with the brand, and 85% will advocate for the brand.

"Brands achieved an important milestone this past year by largely sustaining CX quality despite the pandemic driving historic changes in consumer behaviors," said Harley Manning, VP and research director with Forrester. "The pandemic has also demonstrated that brands must differentiate themselves by recognizing human emotions. Our findings validate that, across every industry, how customers feel when interacting with brands strongly influences their loyalty toward those brands."

Conducted for the seventh year in a row, Forrester's Canada 2021 CX Index results are benchmarked on a survey of more than 38,000 Canadian customers across 97 brands and nine industries. Forrester's CX Index methodology helps CX leaders grow revenue faster, drive higher brand preference, and charge more for their products.

According to Forrester, 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.