Forrester's Malaysia 2021 Customer Experience Index Shows Lack Of Differentiation Among Banks

Ranks customer experience of seven Malaysian multichannel banks; reveals the effect of CX on customer loyalty.

Forrester's Malaysia 2021 Customer Experience Index Shows Lack Of Differentiation Among Banks
Photo by Izuddin Helmi Adnan on Unsplash

According to Forrester's (Nasdaq: FORR) 2021 inaugural Malaysia Customer Experience Index (CX Index™), banks in Malaysia provide average customer experience with little differentiation between each brand. Based on a survey of more than 2,000 consumers in Malaysia, Forrester's CX Index benchmarks the CX quality of seven multichannel banks — AmBank, Bank Rakyat, CIMB Bank, Hong Leong Bank, Maybank, Public Bank, and RHB Bank — across three key dimensions: emotion, effectiveness, and ease of use. Customer experience professionals in Malaysia can use this report to understand the effect that CX has on customer loyalty and the factors that drive CX quality to deliver better experiences to their customers.

According to Forrester's CX Index methodology, how an experience makes customers feel, through a collection of either positive or negative feelings, has a bigger influence on their loyalty to a brand than effectiveness or ease. As an example, among customers in Malaysia who felt valued by their bank, 41% plan to remain a customer, 61% plan to spend more with it, and 69% will recommend it to family or friends. In contrast, among customers who felt frustrated with their bank, only 10% plan to remain with the brand, 17% will spend more with it, and just 14% will recommend it to family or friends.

The report further reveals that all seven banks fell in the OK category, with all scores falling within a very tight range, indicating a lack of differentiation within the industry, primarily driven by the challenge that the Malaysian banks face with building positive emotional engagement with their customers. Maybank emerged as the leading brand and outperformed all other brands in customer retention, with 41% of customers planning to stay with the bank. Across the three key dimensions of CX quality — ease, effectiveness, and emotion — customers rated Maybank the most effective and easiest to work with. The bank also received positive emotional feedback from 52% of its customers, just below Bank Rakyat's 53% mark in that category.

"For Malaysian customers, 2021 has been marked by the struggle to contain the COVID-19 pandemic," said Tom Mouhsian, principal analyst at Forrester. "During this tumultuous year, feeling confident, happy, and valued mattered the most to customers to remain loyal to a brand. In such an undifferentiated market, the ability to invoke positive emotions will be critical to delivering differentiated experiences. Our research indicates that 80% of Malaysian firms will be implementing or expanding their digital transformation by the end of 2021 to provide better experiences. This investment is not going to be enough, however, to differentiate CX. In addition to investing in digital experiences, businesses must connect emotionally and empathetically with their customers. To achieve this, CX pros must have a disciplined approach to envisioning, designing, and delivering a consistently high-quality customer experience."

Forrester's CX Index methodology helps CX leaders grow revenue faster, drive higher brand preference, and charge more for their products. Forrester's CX Index helps brands identify the key drivers of a positive CX for their customers to prioritize efforts. Even a minor improvement to a brand's customer experience quality can add revenue by reducing customer churn and increasing the share of the wallet. Additionally, superior CX leads to reduced service costs and lowers the cost of customer acquisition through word of mouth.


  • Download Forrester's 2021 Malaysia CX Index report (client access required).
  • Learn about the Forrester Decisions for Customer Experience service.
  • Check out how to revitalize CX measurement and prioritization.