Between 2017 and 2018, customer experience in the Czech Republic improved slightly, which was probably no coincidence because positive developments also occurred between 2018 and 2019. This progress could be seen in all sectors, although the improvement in Telecommunications lagged somewhat behind the overall growth rate.
Pillars of customer experience (Integrity, Resolution, Expectations, Time and Effort, Personalization, and Empathy) saw growth throughout the monitored period (2017–2019). Companies improved most in the Expectations pillar. This means that when customers are purchasing a service, companies are better at meeting their expectations. It also may be that companies have learned to actively manage customer expectations, i.e. to adjust them in advance to ensure that the customer is not disappointed and, ideally, is pleasantly surprised.
Integrity, i.e. brand trustworthiness, continues to have the greatest impact on overall customer experience in the Czech Republic. Nonetheless, the influence of this pillar is declining, which could be a welcome development because high trustworthiness of a brand and fair behaviour towards customers would be normal in a mature market, not a differentiating factor. Conversely, we can observe a markedly greater impact on customer experience in Empathy, a pillar that brands can influence particularly in employee interactions with customers.
Customer experience depends on several circumstances: address, income level, whether it’s a weekend or a weekday, and other factors. Age is very important and therefore we focused on customer experience through the eyes of different generations. Not only does the current age and life situation of the customer play a part, but also their date of birth and the conditions under which they grew up. All these factors affect how discriminating a person is, and what aspects of service are important to them.
In this publication, we distinguish between these age groups:
To give a better picture of the generations, we present personas representing each age group. The experience of one generation cannot be distilled into one persona, but concrete examples can help us understand the various age groups. Companies commonly engaged in transforming their customer experience and working with personas know this, since it gives them a clearer understanding of who they should be targeting and catering to. We used the same generational personas in the chapter on employee experience. We did so because in terms of customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX), it is important to be able to empathize with both the customer and the employee equally.
|Employment||student, works as a barman|
|Family||single, has a girlfriend, in no hurry to start a family, “wants to live a bit while he can”|
|Constraints||Tadeáš does not have enough money for hobbies. He worries about the future – about how to get on in his career, and whether his relationship will last. Tadeáš has to deal with those in authority (parents and teachers), who expect him to show discipline. He is annoyed when the technology he relies on, such as transport timetables, does not work. Sometimes he gets bored.|
|Likes||Fun, adventure, travel, functioning online platforms and social networks, positive feedback, and respect from his peers.|
|Employment||electrical maintenance engineer|
|Family||wife, one small child, with another child on the way|
|Constraints||He does a lot of work for little money. He and his family have a strong desire for a place of their own but do not have the money at the moment. Petr is timepressed and is having a tough time balancing work and family. Sometimes, he wonders if he has made the right choice and what the point of life is.|
|Likes||Spending time with his children and friends, occasionally going back to his “freedom” years. Meaningful work, promotion opportunities or finding another, better job.|
|Employment||manager at a medium-sized company|
|Family||husband, three children, one at high school, two at primary school|
|Constraints||Because of her demanding job and the various needs of her children, she does not have much time, especially for her partner. Her relationship with her teenager is going through a bad patch. At work, Alena feels a decline in performance and flexibility, as well as competition from younger people and pressure from above. She is worried about possible changes in her job.|
|Likes||Relaxing moments with her family, meeting friends, cultural activities, and aesthetic experiences. A job well done, when things work as they should. Promotion and the chance to use her experience.|
|Employment||works in the complaints department of a telecommunications company|
|Family||divorced, lives with her boyfriend; her adult children have left home|
|Constraints||Starting to notice health issues – her own and those of her friends. She is experiencing empty nest syndrome, and her children do not visit very often. Sometimes, Věra feels lost in the world of new technology and the new ways of doing things. Everything is happening too quickly, and she is not sure what she can trust.|
|Likes||Gardening, walks in the country, moments when there is understanding, appreciation and harmony. A healthy body. The chance to share with others her life experiences and the lessons learnt from them. Being able to support younger members of her family.|
The study results indicate that customer satisfaction increases with age. It is also true that the older the generation, the greater the impact of customer experience on brand loyalty. There is no difference between the postwar generation and Generation X in this respect, but the study results show that brand relationship gets weaker from Generation X to Generation Y, and from there to Generation Z.
What could explain the difference between older and younger generations? For example, Tadeáš typifies a group that likes to switch between different experiences. For him, the value lies in new things. Each product or service he uses can be compared with another, and something that is just average will not be good enough. Věra, conversely, appreciates the tried and tested. She has been using the same services for a long time, is happy that they work and, unlike Tadeáš, has little need for innovations. Věra has been satisfied with “her” services over the long term and has developed a loyalty to them.
How the pillars influence brand loyalty in differentgenerations
Generation Z ranks the Logistics and Utilities sectors the worst. Both lag behind in the Personalization and Time and Effort pillars, and Utilities falls behind in the Integrity pillar. Generation Z is most represented in the following sub-categories: cinemas, streaming services, clothing retailers, and restaurants and cafes.
Generation Y shows a similar pattern to Generation Z, but with several differences. Compared with Generation Z, Generation Y rates the Empathy pillar more highly, especially in Financial Services and Telecommunications.
Members of this age group have a more favourable opinion of the Time and Effort pillar in the Travel and Hotels sector, and generally better appreciate the Student Agency, Liftago (taxi service), Czech Airlines (ČSA), ČD/ České dráhy (Czech Railways, train operating company) and Čedok (travel agency) brands. When it comes to purchasing groceries, toys, and the services of financial advisors, Generation Y is more likely to do so online than Generation Z.
Members of Generation X are often customers of travel agencies, car companies, estate agents, insurance companies, and building savings banks. Compared with Generation Y, its members are more satisfied with utility companies and logistics companies, particularly in the Personalization, Time and Effort and Integrity pillars. In Logistics, Generation X appreciates Česká pošta (Czech Post) more than other generations do. Regarding the travel agencies sub-category, members of this age group express more satisfaction than other generations with Čedok.
The Older Generation differs from Generation X in that it generally gives higher marks to the Time and Effort and Resolution pillars. Members are most often found among the customers of large, established banks (Česká spořitelna and ČSOB), supermarkets (Penny Market, Lidl, and Kaufland), DIY companies (Hornbach, Mountfield, and OBI), pharmacies, and utility companies.