The 2016 China Customer Experience Index report, which I co-authored with Asia Pacific CX team principal analyst Ryan Hart, went live last Thursday at Forrester’s CX Marketing Shanghai 2016 forum.

The report is based on Forrester’s CX Index™ methodology, which measures how successfully a company delivers a customer experience (CX) that create and sustain loyalty — as increases in customer loyalty tend to drive business growth. We use this methodology to create an annual benchmark of CX quality at large brands operating in the Chinese market. This year, we saw that several brands in the China CX Index have moved from the OK range to the good range.



We see notable improvement across the board:

  • All five industries rose. The overall CX Index scores for all five of the industries surveyed this year improved over last year, with 21 brands receiving significantly higher CX Index scores. No brand in China has yet made it into the excellent CX category — but there were no laggards bringing up the rear in the poor category, either. Overall, 5% of companies with poor CX Index scores in 2015 improved to OK; more importantly, 16% of historically mediocre companies improved their CX from just OK to good.
  • Financial service brands hold on to top spots. Banks and insurance companies have claimed the top five spots for two years running, but retailers — both traditional and digital-only — made the biggest CX gains. China Merchants Bank (CMB) was the outright CX leader in China this year. Not only did CMB lead all banks in meeting customers’ basic needs easily and effectively, but it also had the highest number of customers who indicated that they felt good about their interactions.
  • Online-to-offline (O2O) strategies fuel CX gains. Business leaders are shifting their focus to fuse O2O strategies, which are helping generate new CX improvements and innovations in industries such as retail. Suning had the biggest improvement in its CX Index score — 10 points — of all of the brands and industries we surveyed this year. In August 2015, Suning and Alibaba started a strategic alliance to build on synergies in eCommerce, logistics, and omnichannel initiatives. Since then, Suning has been refitting many of its stores as “Cloud Stores,” a new type of flagship store that aims to digitize brick-and-mortar shopping experiences.

For those who missed our CX Marketing Forum in Shanghai, you can check out this blog post by my colleague Travis Wu on the key takeaways from the event. Also, stay tuned for an upcoming post by Ryan Hart with more CX Index insights.