CEM 2021:
Elisa takes back the lead in customer experience management

Based on our study on the current state of CEM in Finland, the Finnish telecom and digital service provider Elisa is this year’s leader in managing their customer experiences. The energy company Fortum places second together with hotel chain Sokos Hotels.

  • 60 Respondents
  • 50 Organisations
  • 30+ Industries
  • 55 Index

Top companies 2021

See 2020 results


The results show that Finnish organisations are on a slightly lower level in their customer experience management maturity compared to last year.

This year, one company was able to get a high enough overall score to reach the highest level of maturity (Visionary). The second highest maturity level (Executive) was reached by about a fourth (26%) of respondents (2020: 29%).

As many as 54% of the respondents achieved the Apprentice level (2020: 59%), and only 14 percent (2020: 12%) stayed at the lowest level (Survivor). On average, Finnish organisations reached an overall score of 55 for Shirute Customer Experience Management Index™ (on a scale from 0 to 100) (2020: 53).

Finnish organisations are confident that they provide good customer experiences. 

Altogether, 70% of the respondents believe that they offer better customer experiences than their rivals (2021: 70% / 2020: 72%/ 2019: 76 %/ 2018: 61%/ 2017: 68%/ 2016: 63%/ 2015: 83%/ 2014: 68%/ 2013: 84%).

The goals of the respondents are set high. Almost all organisations want to stand out from their competitors in their industry by developing their customer experience (2021: 91% / 2020: 97%/ 2019: 93 %/ 2018: 90%/ 2017: 89%/ 2016: 95%/ 2015: 64%/ 2014: 70%/ 2013: 88%). Almost a fourth aim to become better than any other organisation across industries (2021: 18%/ 2020: 23%/ 2019: 27 %/ 2018:23%/ 2017:30% / 2016: 31%/ 2015: 27%/ 2014: 27%/ 2013: 9%).

The efforts for customer experience management are concretely visible in business figures.

As many as 72% of the respondents (2021: 72%/ 2020: 79%/ 2019: 76 %/ 2018: 81%/ 2017: 85%/ 2016: 89%/ 2015: 88%/ 2014: 81%/ 2013: 77%) indicate that customer experience management related activities have had a positive effect also on the results of the organisation during the past year.

Respondents have recognised the strategic importance of customer experience management in their businesses.

Customer understanding is in the overall strategy for 93% of the organisations (2021: 93%/ 2020: 98%/ 2019: 96 %/ 2018: 93%/ 2017: 94%/ 2016: 93%/ 2015: 88%/ 2014: 95%/ 2013: 98%). As many as 66% of the respondents have defined customer experience management as one of their main strategic goals (2021: 68%/ 2020: 66%/ 2019: 71 %/ 2018: 61%/ 2017: 61%/ 2016: 70%/ 2015: 58%/ 2014: 61%/ 2013: 53%).

A decreased number of the organisations have or are considering a dedicated budget for customer experience management – investments still increase.

Over half of the organisations (2021: 58%/ 2020: 63%/ 2019: 53%/ 2018: 48%/ 2017: 56%/ 2016: 49%/ 2015: 49%/ 2015: 47%/ 2014: 48%/ 2013: 49%) already have or are considering a dedicated budget for customer experience management. Slightly more than one tenth of the respondents (2021: 12%/ 2020: 8%/ 2019: 13%/ 2018: 16%/ 2017: 11%/ 2016: 12%/ 2015: 19%/ 2014: 21% / 2013: 18%) are planning to have a dedicated budget, whilst 8% had such plans last year. Now less than half (46%) of the respondents have a dedicated budget. This number has decreased significantly from 58% last year.

Almost seven out of ten say that they intend to invest more on CX development projects during the upcoming 12 months (2021: 67%/ 2020: 75%/ 2019: 73%/ 2018: 73%/ 2017: 74%/ 2016: 82%/ 2015: 68%/ 2014: 74%/ 2013: 59%). All in all, 25% believe they are going to invest a lot more (2020: 32%).

The amount of development projects has decreased from last year.

This year, only as many as 63% of the respondents report that their company has a lot of development projects related to customer experience development (2021: 63%/ 2020: 87%/ 2019: 88%/ 2018: 62%/ 2017: 88%/ 2016: 77%). There is a significant drop from last year’s results.

Development projects are coordinated in 67% (2020: 56%) of the organisations represented in the results. However, one-third (33%) of the respondents’ organisations (2020: 34%) have not assigned a person responsible for customer experience development.

The number of employees responsible for customer experience development has decreased from last year.

Most commonly, 1-2 employees work full-time in CX development, in a fourth of the companies (2021: 1-2 /2020: 3-5/ 2019: 1-2 / 2018: 1-2 / 2017: 3-5/2016: 1-2).

The majority (58%) of the respondents’ organisations have a team or person in charge of customer experience management (2020: 71%). The number of organisations with a director(s) in charge of customer experience management has decreased slightly (67%).

The State of Customer Experience Management in Finland 2021 (TOP 10 scores):

1. Elisa

2. Fortum

2. Sokos Hotels

4. LocalTapiola

4. Mandatum Life

6. Stockmann

7. Valio

8. Hospital District of Satakunta

9. Elo

10. Fennia

10. Verohallinto

About this study


The State of Customer Experience Management in Finland is the most comprehensive study evaluating the CEM capabilities and competences of Finnish organisations. CXPA Finland and Shirute have been studying the current state of CEM in Finland since 2013. The study is originally based on research conducted in the U.S. by Temkin Group.

The participating organisations were evaluated against the Shirute Customer Experience Management Index™ to understand the level of CEM maturity in Finland.

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 exercises such as focus group interviews, customer journey mapping etc. Or try one of our CEM Audits to receive our expert opinion on your skills in various CEM competency areas.


The data was gathered through an online form and phone interviews in May-December.

The target group consisted of top 500 companies, public administration and the most famous brands in Finland. Altogether, 60 CX professionals from 50 organisations from over 30 different industries participated. Four out of ten (40%) of these organisations average a turnover of more than 100 million euros. A little bit less than half of them (45%) have over 1 000 employees.

The study consists of about 20 questions answered by customer experience management practitioners. Based on their answers, they are scored against the Shirute Customer Experience Management Index™. The index evaluates five areas related to customer experience management:

  1. Scope
  2. Organisation and governance
  3. Culture
  4. Processes
  5. Tools

The overall index score is based on the average points the organisation scores for sub-indexes in each of these categories.

Buy report

Please read the press release related to this study. If you would like more detailed information, you can buy our full report. If you need the report in English, please do reach out to us.

You can read more about CEM Benchmark on our website. We can also provide you with a deeper analysis of your results. If you need an expert view on your current state, we can audit your CEM practices in different capability areas and help you kick-started to the next level.

Buy report (in Finnish)


Sirte pihlaja
Sirte Pihlaja
+358 50 5700 190
  • Myynti

    sales (at) shirute.com
  • Muut tiedustelut

    sales (at) shirute.com

If you want us to present the scores of your organisation personally, please leave us with your contact information and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

If you have not participated in this study earlier and would like to, please let us know and we will take care of including you.

    CXPA Finland is the local networking team of the global Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) in Finland. We want to help organisations provide great customer experiences to build their success.We organise events with different CX/EX themes on a regular basis.
    Shirute is the first Customer Experience Agency in Finland. Customer Experience Path® is a registered trademark of Shirute. We are one of the founding members of the global Customer Experience Professionals Association.
    Surveypal delivers enterprise-class feedback management and survey software as an integrated or stand-alone online service. Designed for companies of any size, Surveypal allows businesses to collect, analyze and share critical feedback information and turn it into actionable insights.
    MyCustomer.com is the leading online resource for customer service and customer experience professionals, with over 50,000 members. We have been sharing news, practical advice, best practices, case studies and resources for nearly two decades, covering every facet of customer experience management.