US Companies Are Failing to Meet Customer Expectations – KPMG US CEE Report

The majority of US companies are failing to meet customer expectations according to the new KPMG US Customer Experience Excellence (CEE) report. The survey of 10,000 US customers across 282 brands shows a 5% decline from 2022, the lowest level since 2015. 

“US businesses went above and beyond to keep customers engaged during the pandemic, raising customer expectations,” said Jeff Mango, Managing Director, Customer Experience Lead, KPMG LLP. “However, companies’ post-pandemic recalibrations, together with the tightening of the labor market, have led to an overall decline in customer experience. On the other hand, brands that deliver technology efficiency with intimate customer empathy and understanding are seeing profitable growth.”

Leading organizations prioritize humanized experiences

Brands that lead the CEE index are balancing three major factors to improve results and counter escalating customer expectations:

  1. They rely on operating models that put the customer first—and orchestrate the experience they provide around this principle.
  2. They use a carefully selected mix of channels, technology, and human interactions that contribute to delivering on their brand promise.
  3. They use technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) as an enabler to solve their customers’ problems.

“AI and advanced technologies can play a critical role in elevating the total customer experience,” added Mango. “The leading US organizations in the CEE report utilize AI not to simply automate processes, but to engage with customers, help manage the customer lifecycle, and elevate the human experience.”

On automation and humanizing the customer experience, Jason Galloway, Principal, US Customer Advisory COE Lead, KPMG LLP, said, “Leaders in customer experience realize that consumers warm to personalities. If the emotional connection between brand and customer is to be sustained, AI and digital customer interactions need to be humanized, and express the brand personality. By balancing the human touch with automation, top brands can still lower costs to serve, reduce customer friction, and improve customer satisfaction.”

The Top 10 US Brands

Many of the organizations have been at the top of CEE index for many years. During each of the last five years, the first three have landed in the Top 10, and others have appeared in the Top 20.

  1. H-E-B    (landed at number one spot for the first time)
  2. USAA    (held the top or second position in the CEE index for several years)
  3. Navy Federal Credit Union   (has reclaimed a top three spot after four years)
  4. Sherwin-Williams  (reached the Top 10 for the first time, but has been in the Top 30 for years)
  5. Edward Jones  (rose 20 places to the Top 10 this year)
  6. L.L.Bean  (maintained the 6th spot for two years in a row)
  7. Barnes & Noble (first time to joins the Top 10 brands)
  8. Publix  ((has been in the Top 15 for last five years)
  9. Chick-fil-A (has been in the Top 10 for four of last five years)
  10. World’s leading online retailer (has been consistently in the Top 20 for the last five years)

For more information on the new KPMG U.S. CEE report, please click here.

Movers and Shakers

Movers and Shakers are organizations that have made significant progress in 2023, increasing their placement in the rankings by more than 60 places. These are:

  • Humana (advanced 119 places to 26 from 145)
  • DoubleTree by Hilton (advanced 84 places to 77 from 161)
  • Progressive Insurance (advanced 63 places to 94 from 157)

Top 10 Industry Performers

The report shows that Grocery Retail remains in the top industry position with an average score of 7.68 out of 10, a 3% decrease from 2022. Financial Services also remain in second place in with a score of 7.54, showing a 4% decrease from 2022, and Non-Grocery Retail remain in third place with a score of 7.45, down 4% from 2022. Restaurant & Fast Food also remains in fourth place with a score of 7.42, while Healthcare rises to firth place with a score of 7.33. The average score for all industries is at 7.28.

  1. Grocery Retail
  2. Financial Services
  3. Non-Grocery Retail
  4. Restaurant & Fast Food
  5. Healthcare
  6. Travel & Hotel
  7. Entertainment & Leisure
  8. Logistics
  9. Telecoms
  10. Utilities
  11. Public Sector

“Industries with more frequent interactions with customers have the edge over industries with less customer interactions,” said Mango. “This is one reason, together with freshness of tangible products, Grocery brands lead the CEE index, with financial services and non-grocery retail to follow. We see Telecom and Utilities towards the bottom of the list because they are hampered by poor customer service, while they are perceived to prioritize profit over experience.”


The research for this year’s US report was conducted via an online survey. More than 10,000 US customers were interviewed and asked to rate their experiences with 282 US brands across the six pillars of experience: 1. Integrity, acting ethically and demonstrably in the customers’ best interests 2. Resolution, focusing on proactively addressing customer problems 3. Accurately setting customer Expectations 4. Reducing the Time and Effort customers need to expend by enabling frictionless digital and, where possible, physical interactions 5. Delivering a Personalized experience with 6. Empathy and compassion.

For more information on the new KPMG US Customer Experience Excellence (CEE) report and to arrange an interview with Jeff Mango, please contact Andreas Marathovouniotis. 

Media Contact

Andreas Marathovouniotis

Andreas Marathovouniotis

Associate Director, Corporate Communications, KPMG US

+1 201-307-7608









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