Adobe has today released the Adobe Experience Index, revealing that consumers in Australia and New Zealand are leading the world in customer experience expectations.
The global index surveyed more than 1,000 consumers from Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) and found that seamless and personalised experiences are key to keeping customers happy.
Seventy-nine percent of ANZ consumers demand tailored experiences from organisations and 66 per cent are happy to have completely automated interactions if done well.
Consumers rated potential customer experiences on a continuum from neutral (I would expect this) to strongly positive (this would delight me) and those scores were converted to a scale from 0-100.
According to the research, consumers are most impressed with online retailers providing samples as part of their loyalty program (score of 61), automated hotel settings and preferences on arrival (55) and using mobile apps as hotel keys and no need for check-ins (55).
Consumers aged over 35 are more likely to agree that brands know and respect them as well as delight them at every turn.
The survey shows that if these expectations are not met, businesses’ bottom line could be impacted with almost half of all ANZ online shoppers (48 per cent) saying they have abandoned their shopping carts due to a poor customer experience.
In fact, the top three experience breakers (those that anger consumers) are a lack of returns policies for marketplace sellers (47), hidden fees (50) and no-cancellation policies for travel packages (51).
Unsurprisingly, younger people are the most patient when it comes to poor customer experiences.
Fewer than two in five (38 per cent) 18-34-year-olds say they would abandon their shopping carts due to a poor customer experience, compared with over half (52 per cent) of shoppers aged 35 and over.
Bad customer experience also turns away potential repeat customers, with over a quarter (28 per cent) of young consumers and over a third (38 per cent) of people 35+ saying they would stop buying from a company altogether.
However, brands need to keep young people on their side as their reputation may be at stake.
18 – 34-year-olds are more than twice as likely as their older counterparts to complain about a bad experience on a review site or social media.
Adobe Australia and New Zealand managing director, Suzanne Steele (featured image) said: “It’s no surprise that Australians and New Zealanders have high consumer expectations.
“In the past few years, we’ve seen an explosion of online businesses in the region, which has given consumers more choice than ever before.
“I believe we are at a crossroads, where managing customer experiences is becoming business critical.
“Organisations that listen to what their customers want and leverage data to deliver personalised, seamless experiences in real-time will be the ones that succeed in this increasingly competitive market.”
According to the Adobe Experience Index, the financial services sector was the standout winner in customer experience across most metrics, rating highest for customer service (68 per cent) and online experience on both apps (81 per cent) and websites (79 per cent).
Travel and Hospitality had the highest rating for ease of checkout across all sectors (74 per cent), while Media and Entertainment struggled to meet customer expectations and was rated the worst at accessing content via a website (66 per cent).
When it comes to the future of customer experience, the research indicates brands should focus on time saving and convenience innovations.
The findings showed that synced vehicle touch screens at drive-thrus and smart check-out lines at stores were seen as the most impressive technologies of the future.
The new findings reinforce data from the Adobe Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2019 Digital Trends report released earlier this year, which revealed that while customer experience is a key consideration for businesses, implementation is low, with more than half (54 per cent) of global companies categorising their customer experience maturity as either ‘not very advanced’ (46 per cent) or ‘immature’ (8 per cent).