Consumers across Australia are calling on organisations to bring an improved human touch to their customer experience, according to The Customer Experience Edge: Australia report launched today by Qualtrics and SAP’s Centre for Experience Management.
At a time when organisations are adopting digital, self-serve, and AI-powered technologies, consumers say making it simple to access human-like experiences when needed – such as engaging with a real person – would have the biggest impact on improving their customer experience (44 per cent). This is buoyed by the finding 45 per cent of Australians prefer to have service interactions through a real person, compared to a third (34 per cent) who say their preference depends on the nature of the interaction, and 21 per cent who favour digital platforms.
Other customer experience improvements consumers want to see include being able to perform more service on mobile apps (29 per cent) and receiving a seamless experience across all digital touchpoints (26 per cent). Improving the helpfulness of customer service representatives is also one of the most impactful issues organisations need to address to improve their customer experience, ahead of mobile app ease of use, offering more digital payment options, and speed of delivery and service.
“With many organisations rethinking and redesigning their customer experience programs, these findings are a critical reminder to not forget the importance of bringing human-like experiences to these touchpoints.
“Delivering programs, products, and services with a customer-first mindset is more important than ever, and a key part of this is ensuring customers receive the experiences they desire while frontline employees are enabled with the tools and systems to quickly and easily understand and take action on what matters most to customers,” said Lara Truelove, author of The Customer Experience Edge: Australia and Program Leader for the Centre for Experience Management.
Human engagements make or break the customer experience
The interactions tending to leave a greater impression on Australians, either good or bad, are those involving frontline customer service representatives. Analysis of qualitative feedback shows helpful and courteous services and knowledgeable representatives are the top reasons why consumers recommend a company. In contrast, lack of knowledge and rude staff are the top two reasons someone would complain about the organisation.
Being able to understand and rapidly act on customer feedback is essential to successful CX programs. However, the study found satisfied and unsatisfied customers will share their feedback in different ways. Consumers willing to recommend a company are more likely to respond to a survey, or submit feedback through the website or app. Customers leaving a complaint prefer to give feedback through the website, make a phone call, or send an email.
Will Santry, vice president and head of customer experience, SAP ANZ says, “Customer experience today is all about creating personalised experiences that recognise and even predict what a customer wants, to keep them coming back for more. To deliver these experiences, bring to life a new era of empathy, and deepen customer understanding, organisations need intelligent solutions that enable them to humanise every touchpoint with the customer.”
Three areas to focus on for experience improvement
The Customer Experience Edge: Australia report highlights three areas for organisations to prioritise in improving their customer experience:
Empathy at the frontline – The world needs more frontline heroes, in human to human interactions that make or break the experience. Organisations should focus on selection, onboarding, and skilling to set frontline team members up for success, and when designing experiences identify and focus on the moments and scenarios requiring empathy. Frontline employees must be enabled to clearly articulate the outcomes customers are focused on and empowered to solve issues.
Agency at the frontline – Customers rely upon frontline employees to achieve with them and for them, and this will continue to be the case. Enabling employees to provide accurate advice, solve issues and anticipate needs and issues is imperative. Central to this is ensuring frontline employees can identify and resolve common service and service recovery tasks.
Digital self-serve – Digital edge customers expect interaction convenience – to achieve what they want to, in the channels of their choice, in their digital ecosystem. The leading organisations will look at common service tasks that can be delivered through self-serve, and ensure the customer can be engaged in their desired way.
The study is based on responses from 3,150 consumers in Australia aged 18+, and was carried out in December 2022 and January 2023 using online panels. Respondents were required to have had a recent experience (within the previous 90 days) with specific brands. Most respondents evaluated five brands.
Conducted by Qualtrics and SAP, with the support of Digital Industry Singapore (DISG), this first customer experience benchmark study in Australia establishes a baseline in keystone metrics that indicate performance of brands in delivering customer experiences and measures of loyalty. It is a comprehensive customer experience study, equipping organisations with comparative data to better understand the types of services and engagements people in the country want.
Independent brand and digital agency, Archibald Williams (AW) has been appointed to lead the NBA account across the APAC region. The NBA is one of the most prestigious sporting leagues in the world and basketball is one of the fastest-growing sports in Australia. Effective immediately, AW said it was “excited” to work across all digital, […]
B&T's shining a light on industry folk prior to adland. Preference given to anyone purporting actual UFO abduction.
Leading digital outdoor company QMS has announced it is the first-ever inaugural partner for Most Contagious APAC, the landmark London event by creative and strategic intelligence company Contagious, which will be showcased in Australia on Tuesday, 12 December in Sydney and Wednesday, 13 December in Melbourne. Most Contagious is an event that delivers key advertising […]
Omnicom’s data and analytics division Annalect has partnered with Meta, giving it access to Advanced Analytics (AA) – one of Meta’s privacy-focused measurement solutions – to provide Omnicom’s clients with future-proof, next-level measurement. Omnicom is the first holding company to have access to AA. AA allows advertisers to combine their first-party data with Meta’s ads […]
WPP’s AKQA has launched Fixmas.gift, an environmentally conscious AI-powered DIY assistant, affectionately known as Fixie, for a one-stop solution for all things repair. Fixmas.gift hosts an array of guides and inspiration to empower people to prolong the lives of their belongings or purchase pre-owned items that need a little love and care. Fixie can: Help […]
Marc Collister (pictured) of P2 Content Creators spills the beans on his 2024 predictions drawing from two decades of experience in the advertising, film and television industry. I’m certain it will come as no surprise that in 2024, we can expect our industry to move at breakneck speed again. With even more rapid shifts in […]
Zeno Australia has announced expanded creative design capabilities and the appointment of Jim Michell (lead image) to its senior leadership team. The new moves support strong growth in the region. Zeno Australia’s clients, including Abano Healthcare, Motorola and Yorkshire Tea, can now tap into a suite of creative design services to augment the agency’s work […]
Assembled Media, is drawing upon the creative power of TikTok Creator Marketplace to help generate unique, impactful content for iconic stationery brand, BIC. The social activation campaign titled ‘A Pen for Every Side of You’ promotes the flexibility of BIC’s 4 Colours pen and is active nationwide on the BIC Stationery TikTok account. The campaign […]
Pinterest reckons jellyfish & moody cowboys will be big in 2024. Refused to be drawn on the return of shoulder pads.
IAB Australia has launched ‘Evolution in Market Mix Modelling’, the fourth module in its Marketing Measurement Innovation Series, which has been developed by IAB Australia’s Ad Effectiveness Council. The module explores what is driving the increased use of MMM and how the technique is evolving with advances in computing power and machine learning to provide […]
Scope3, the collaborative sustainability platform leading the decarbonisation of media and advertising, announced the addition of digital out-of-home (DOOH) to its emissions measurement. With DOOH ad spending predicted to grow from $17B in 2023 to nearly $24B by 2028, measuring this channel brings us one step closer to understanding the total impact of digital advertising […]
NRF 2024: Retail’s Big Show Asia Pacific, is now open for online registrations for the main conference. Jointly organized by the National Retail Federation and Comexposium, Retail’s Big Show Asia Pacific will take place from 11 – 13 June, 2024 at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Singapore and is expected to draw thousands […]