Genesys has revealed that since the pandemic, Australian consumers have the highest expectations, and feel most strongly (69 per cent) that a company is only as good as its customer service, compared to the rest of APAC.
The Connected Customer Experience report, which surveyed 11,000 consumers globally and more than 1,000 Australians, explored the change in people’s feelings and expectations over the course of the pandemic. It revealed how building trust and loyalty with consumers today requires companies to radically rethink the customer experience strategy and value proposition.
Key findings include how the pandemic left nearly one-third (31 per cent) of Australians feeling less connected, finding it so hard that it has changed their lives completely. Australian youth felt the greatest effects of ‘pandemic life’, with two in five (almost 40 per cent) millennials and Generation Z saying the pandemic has been difficult and life changing. Many mentioned being less happy, experiencing higher levels of anxiety, and feeling a toll on their mental health.
This evolving loss of connection has had a huge impact on how Australians engage with companies:
- The use of live webchat has increased from 38 per cent to 43 per cent, chatbots from 21 per cent to 26 per cent, and email from 41 per cent to 44 per cent
- Nearly half (48 per cent) of consumers interact with customer service teams at least once a month, and a third (29 per cent) at least once a week.
- 1 in 10 Australians admitted to calling customer service just to hear a human voice
Beyond frequency of engagement, Australian consumers also value high-quality customer experience:
- An empathetic experience was ranked as the highest importance, and 58 per cent agreed they will choose an empathetic experience over a speedy resolution.
- The vast majority of Australians want customer experience employees to listen to them (84 per cent), understand their needs (82 per cent) and provide consistent answers (81 per cent).
“Australia is in the midst of the most challenging period of the pandemic to date, and companies need to take note of how the current climate is redefining what customer experience means. As Australians’ expectations only increase over time, strategising and prioritisng brand engagement to win customer trust, loyalty and connection needs a different approach. Brands can’t afford to overlook the importance of delivering empathetic experiences that build long-lasting emotional connections,” said Mark Buckley, Vice President, Australia & New Zealand, Genesys.
The study also revealed a service comeback for big brands. Three-quarters (73 per cent) of companies that customers think have excellent customer experience were large national companies – a stark contrast to the pre-pandemic times which praised small and medium brands as service leaders. The vast majority (89 per cent) of people also rated these businesses with an extremely high satisfaction score between 8-10.
“The pandemic has caused big brands to raise the bar when it comes to customer experience, especially when in-store or in-person experiences have been impacted. Large companies have realised that they need to improve how they interact with customers, by not just relying on the most efficient or speedy resolution, but instead investing in empathy at scale. Australian consumers have shown they want to feel heard and know that their problems matter,” added Buckley.
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