CXPA Finland: Elisa puts in the most effort in their Customer Experience Management

The customer experience professionals network CXPA Finland has released the best performers of the annual State of Customer Experience Management in Finland study. The top scorers include new organisations and familiar names like teleoperator Elisa, that reached the top spot this year.

Based on the annual study that examines the State of Customer Experience Management (CEM) in Finland, Elisa devotes the most attention and resources to their customers’ experiences. This year, the second spot was shared by Raute and Tamro, both first-timers in the TOP 3. Elisa is a pioneer in telecommunications and digital services. Raute is a global supplier of plywood and veneer mills. Tamro is the leading service provider and distributor of pharmaceuticals and health products in Finland. The recent report conducted by CXPA Finland and Shirute was recently published at the CXPA Summer event at LähiTapiola’s Tiirasaari.

The other TOP 10 organizations were Fortum (4th), Tieto (5th), Telia (6th), VR Group (7th), Elo (8th), Veikkaus (9th) and Valio (10th).

Director, Development and Research of Customer Experience at Elisa Minna Virtanen commented their first position: ”We are flattered to gain this position in this study, conducted amongst Finnish organizations’ personnel. In addition, we are continuously following customer satisfaction at Elisa level, by asking about it directly from our customers.”

“Customer experience management is, for us, an area where we work hard and that we develop for our customers with the help of a wide range of experts”, continues Katja Bäckström, who is in charge of Elisa’s digitalisation solutions business.

Small steps forward from last year

Approximately a quarter (26%) of the Finnish organizations that responded to the survey this year reached  the second highest (Executive) level. Over half (54%) of the respondents reached the second lowest (Apprentice) level, and one fifth (20%) still remain on the lowest (Survivor) level. This year, none of the participating organisations reached the highest CEM maturity level (Visionary). The results show that the level of maturity in customer experience management as a whole has remained on the same level as last year, and that there is still room for improvement. On the average, the Shirute Customer Experience Management Index™ score of Finnish companies is 49% (scale 0%-100%).

“It is starting to look really good, although progress could be faster. Organizations are very seriously putting in important effort to their customer work. A big part of the respondents have raised the customer experience management amongst their main strategic goals and invest even more than before to the CX/EX development projects. This can also be seen on the TOP 10, as it included organizations from very different sectors”, rejoices Sirte Pihlaja, CXPA Finland’s Head of Team and CEO of Shirute, the customer experience agency that conducted the research.

Altogether, 92% of the organizations aim to stand out from their competitors by developing customer experiences and three out of four say that the development efforts in customer experience management related activities have made a positive impact on their operating results. Out of all the respondent organizations, almost half (48%) see other competing goals as major challenges to developing customer experiences, and four out of ten see the lack of a clear CX strategy as one of their main challenges. Both numbers have dropped since last year, which means that less organisations are seeing these as challenges for developing customer experiences in their respective organisations. There are less challenges across the board than before.

Customer experience management is being invested more in strategy and practice   

Customer experience management has been raised in almost all (96%) respondent organizations to the strategy level, and in seven out of ten organisations, it has been defined as a main strategic goal for the organisation. There is a significant increase to last year, when only 61% said it was a main strategic goal. Approximately nine out of ten (88%) organizations have ongoing development projects, compared to 62% last year.

“Based on the CEM survey, organizations appreciate and pay attention to the strategic importance of customer experience management. Building a customer-oriented culture is clearly on the rise, and respondents want to enhance it”, Pihlaja highlights.

Vice President of Raute Corporation Group, Timo Kangas,tells that Raute has always been customer-centric, during its many years of company history. “We have systematically built our services to cover everything from planning our customer-facing project investments to the aftercare maintenance and modernizing services. This has been challenging, as we work globally in many countries and cultures, offering a wide portfolio of services, and working with multiple sub-contractors on different time zones.”

“To be able to succeed in all of our encounters with the customer, we started our trainings from the very basics, from greeting the customer to maintaining the customer relationship systematically by everyone working at the customer interface. Training has been renewed and connected to assure the overall quality that our customers receive. That has helped us to respond to the expectations of our customers. We have been moving forward on this road, but the journey continues. We appreciate it a lot that we are recognised amongst the awarded companies. This tells us that we have been doing the right things. In Raute’s new strategy, we have raised customers and customer relationships even more clearly into the focus, because we believe that their importance and value can only increase in the future”, Kangas comments.

Employee communication and engagement are keys to creating a customer-centric culture

“Based on the study, employee communication and engagement are important actions that organizations want to invest in to further the people experiences they deliver. Organisations want to invest in these areas in their CX/EX development projects, and also into creating a more customer-centric organization culture. After all, employee experience has been proven to directly enhance customer encounters”, Pihlaja comments the results.

Customer experience will be further developed in three out of four respondent organizations within the upcoming 12 months, and as many as three out of ten will invest considerably more in these activities. The most important investments in customer contact channels will be made in developing omni-channel customer experiences, digital channels and social media.

Customer Experience Manager, Susanna Helenius, from Tamro rejoices of their success in the CEM survey and states that their good overall score is a direct  result from a persistent development process on creating new CEM practices. Supreme customer experience has been in Tamro’s strategy since 2017.

“Our frameworks are well defined and we have already taken big steps forward in our thinking. We work with passion and put our heart into everything we do, and we want this to show. We have a lot of different customer-oriented projects going on. One example is the co-creation space built on our business premises, where we can – together with our customers – create new services and practices, define different customer journeys and find new development points”, explains Helenius.

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The State of Customer Experience Management in Finland is the most comprehensive study evaluating the CEM capabilities and competences of Finnish organisations. Management skills in respondent organizations were evaluated using the Shirute Customer Experience Management Index™.

This index measures e.g. how systematic and goal-oriented the activities are, how well the respondents are organising themselves, how much they co-ordinate their various CX development projects, how customer experiences are measured, and how much they invest or plan to invest in customer experience management.

It is important to notice that the index evaluates only how systematic the intentions of the participants are, as reported by themselves. It does not take a stand as to the content of the customer experiences, nor their quality from the point of view of customers, i.e. the results of the CEM activities. This aspect can be measured with other indexes that are based on excercises such as focus group interviews, customer journey mapping etc (see e.g.

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The data was gathered through an online form and phone interviews in May-August. The target group consisted of randomly selected top 500 companies and the most famous Finnish brands. A total of 84 customer experience management professionals, from 56 organisations from over 15 different industries responded to the survey. More than a half (57%) of these organisations average a turnover of more than 100 million euros. Nearly half (48%) of the respondent organizations employ over 1 000 people.

The study was carried out for the seventh time in Finland this year. It is based on an international study done in the USA for many years, conducted by Temkin Group. As partner companies in the survey with CXPA Finland and Shirute were also Awards International and Focus Group.


CXPA Finland ( is the local organization of Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) in Finland. We gather as a community of customer experience management professionals. Our goal is to get companies to offer even better customer experiences and increase their success. We regularly organize interesting events and business cooperation. Our activities are based on volunteering and corporate donations.

Customer Experience Professionals Association ( is an international non-profit organization for anyone interested in managing and developing customer experience. It is similar to the Finland-based community Mobile Monday, whose operations have spread widely around the world. Currently, there are over 7 000 members in 80 countries, most in the United States and the UK. The founders of CXPA are Bruce Temkin, former Vice President at Forrester, customer experience and Jeanne Bliss, Veteran Consultant for customer experience management. At the local level, the active members of CXPA are responsible for the operations.

Shirute ( is Finland’s first customer experience agency. Customer Experience Path®, CX Play® and TosiLeikki® are registered trademarks owned by Shirute. We are a founding member of the International Customer Experience Association (CXPA).

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Read the summary of the Shirute State of Customer Experience Management 2019 study.


Additional information: CEO Sirte Pihlaja, tel. +358 (50) 5700 190.

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Customer Experience 2 tops the charts as the #1 best selling book on Amazon e.g. in the “Customer Service” and “Consumer Behaviour” categories in multiple countries (USA, UK, Canada and France, etc), making the co-authors Best Selling Authors on three continents. Sirte Pihlaja, the CEO of Shirute, is a Finnish CX/EX expert, who has been evangelising CX all over the world during the last 25+ years. Her passion is using creative methodologies in creating great CX and EX. That is why she wrote about customer-centric culture and on the Role of Play in Business.


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