Study: Australian Consumers Say Marketers Are Doing Customer Experience Wrong

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Despite increasing investment from brands in marketing technology, nearly half of Australian consumers say brands aren’t meeting their expectations when it comes to the customer experience (CX).

On top of this, even fewer remember the last time a brand exceeded expectations, according to results of a global survey commissioned by Acquia.

Today’s consumers have more options than ever before and high expectations of the brands they choose. Leave them unsatisfied or betray their trust, and they’ll go elsewhere.

As the marketing landscape becomes more competitive and demanding, marketers need the very best insight, tools, and resources to compete. Yet, companies and data remain more siloed than ever.

The findings of Acquia’s inaugural global survey on the state of the CX pose interesting questions about the disconnect between consumers and marketers, as well as the return on investment gained from an ever-growing inventory of marketing solutions.

More than 5,000 consumers and 500 marketers across Australia, Europe and North America provided input for the report, Closing the CX Gap: Customer Experience Trends Report 2019.

It exposes several disconnects — that marketers rate their effectiveness much higher than consumers, that consumers are sceptical of how their personal data may be used by brands, and that consumers expect personalised customer experiences.

It also shows that earning a customer’s loyalty is critical, and the need to earn and keep their trust through CX is imperative.

Acquia director of marketing in Asia Pacific and Japan Nicole Stirling said: “It’s time for marketers to recognise that things have changed and that consumers are well-positioned to make the most of their new power.

“Consumers have high expectations and they have the numbers and are generally determined to seek out the best brand experience possible.

“Unlike ten years ago, consumers have become extremely adept at using technology to research and transact.

“There’s no hesitancy about ordering from a company on the other side of the world. Leave them unsatisfied or betray their trust, and they’ll go elsewhere.

“This research shows that technology has become more of a barrier than an enabler for a great customer experience.

“As the marketing landscape becomes more competitive and demanding, marketers need the very best insight, tools, and resources to compete.

“Yet, companies and data remain more siloed than ever.  Marketers now need to take back control and out in place strategies that provide the right level of personalisation and data privacy to drive compelling customer relationships.”

The report examines the CX gap through the lense of three frames: people, technology, and data.

Results uncover several areas where marketers and consumers don’t share the same view of the world. Key findings uncovered in the report include:

While 54 per cent of Australian consumers polled believe brands are failing expectations for a good CX and two-thirds could not recall when a brand exceeded expectations, marketers don’t share this sceptical view of their own work.

In fact, 89 per cent of Australian marketers feel they are hitting the mark in delivering engaging customer experiences.

Yet 71 per cent of the same marketers polled felt disappointed by their own experiences as consumers.

72 per cent of Australian marketers feel like technology has made it harder, not easier, to offer customers personalised experiences.

Overwhelmed and inundated with often-siloed tech, getting a clear view of customers often proves challenging.

Seventy-two per cent of marketers said complex technology makes personalising the CX difficult, yet 61 per cent of marketers surveyed globally plan to spend more on marketing technology in 2019.

The data also shows that consumers prefer a personalised brand experience, but they’re sceptical about whether brands have their best interest at heart —  and they’re concerned about the personal information brands hold about them.

Marketers overwhelmingly indicated they’re confident in their data privacy practices with respect to personal information, with 92 per cent feeling that they are doing a good job ensuring compliance with data regulations.

The report concluded: “We have the opportunity to break the mould with today’s strategic marketing initiatives, capitalising – albeit thoughtfully – on mobile applications, chatbots, conversational interfaces, email, social, and so many other touchpoints to create personal, meaningful, and valuable experiences for customers,”

Acquia chief marketing officer Lynne Capozzi said: “Blindly investing in martech isn’t the answer. Fundamentally, marketers and consumers aren’t on the same page when it comes to experience or data privacy, and that needs to change.”

An ebook highlighting the findings and providing analysis is available for download at Closing the CX Gap: Customer Experience Trends Report 2019.

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