Customer loyalty is at risk for organisations unable to provide seamless experiences across all channels and timely access to information, according to a new report.
MuleSoft’s Consumer Connectivity Insights 2018 found that 84 per cent of Australian consumers believe that organisations in at least one of the four sectors surveyed (banking, insurance, retail, government) provide a disconnected experience.
Government services was seen as the worst performer, with 72 per cent of consumers saying they received a disconnected experience. While retailers were the best performers, 59 per cent of Aussie consumers said they received disconnected experiences.
In private industries, a majority of Australian consumers said disconnected experience would make them consider changing to another service provider or vendor, with insurance and retailers at 67 per cent, and banks at 61 per cent.
In Australia, the report found that the most personalised experiences are seen in the finance (70 per cent) and insurance (61 per cent) sectors. Meanwhile, government services – at all levels – are the least likely to feel personalised, with only 41 per cent of consumers saying government interactions feel personalised.
Chatbot hype falls short in meeting customer expectations
Mulesoft’s report revealed that while many organisations are adopting chatbots, improvements need to be made to ensure this new technology is effectively responding to customer needs.
It found that 43 per cent of Aussie consumers have engaged with a chatbot when contacting an organisation over the last 12 months, but only 35 per cent of those who had used chatbots said their query had been completely resolved or answered.
Furthermore, 27 per cent were asked to call a customer service representative directly, with 22 per cent said the chatbot was unable to resolve or answer the query because it didn’t have access to the necessary information or systems, and 14 per cent said they were directed to a web form.
The majority of Australian consumers believe there will be benefits from chatbots becoming more intelligent, resulting in a better level of customer service in the future. Only 22 per cent of Australian consumers said there would be no benefit).
Half of those Australian consumers surveyed cited 24/7 customer service and not having to wait on the phone as the biggest benefit of chatbots.
In addition to chatbots, Australian consumers expressed some interest in securely interacting with organisations via popular messaging services such as WhatsApp, Viber or iMessage.
However, consumers were overall divided on the utility of these services, with retail being the only industry where more than half (52 per cent) of consumers expressed interest in using these kinds of communication channels.
In banking, insurance and government, less than half of consumers wanted to be able to use these channels to interact with providers.
Aussies resilient despite difficulties
Australian survey respondents were fairly loyal to service providers across industries despite less-than-optimal connected experiences.
The majority of Australian consumers (between 60 per cent and 71 per cent) said they would not give up on an activity or request, even if the organisation’s processes made completing it difficult.
Australian consumers are also relatively accepting of the time taken to perform various types of transactions, according to the report.
For example, a majority of Australian consumers believe opening a new bank account (88 per cent) or applying for a credit card (76 per cent) should be relatively instantaneous – taking under a day. However, most accepted they would have to wait longer for more complex transactions like applying for a mortgage.