With over one-third of Australian consumers having stopped purchasing from a company after a bad customer experience, the importance of prioritising customer experience for Australian businesses cannot be underestimated.
To gain insights into consumers’ perceptions of what makes for CX excellence, we partnered with Swinburne University’s CXI Research Group to undertake our annual state of customer experience in Australia survey.
This year’s CX research report: “The State of Customer Experience in Australia – Unlocking Consumer Trends for CX success” builds on data collected in our annual surveys since 2016. We compared the survey results to historical data and trends, where we explore the cost of poor customer experience, the ongoing evolution of the Australian customer experience, factors that are critical for success, and much more.
Here we present key findings from the research that you can use to enhance the customer experience in your business, both now and into the future.
Customer service delivery – there is room for improvement
More than two-thirds of consumers believe companies are placing no, low or only moderate importance on delivering excellent customer service – a perception that has not changed over the past seven years.
What makes for great service?
For three-in-four Australians, great customer service means accessing correct information, consistent information across both digital & human interactions, and accessing knowledgeable staff.
Are companies providing consistently positive experiences across all channels?
Six-in-ten Australian consumers had mixed experiences purchasing products and services in-store and online in the past year. In terms of different industries, the beauty and personal care industry stood out as having the highest ratio of positive experience responses.
The cost of poor customer experience
Our survey shows that a negative customer experience has a significant impact on whether consumers purchase from a company again – with one-third of consumers having stopped purchasing from a company after a bad customer experience.
Reasons for stopping purchasing
Lack of knowledgeable staff and no resolution of issues on first contact are the top reasons consumers stop purchasing with a company. Eight out of the top ten reasons consumers stop purchasing with a company relate directly to the knowledge, capability and professionalism of customer service representatives. This highlights just how important customer-facing staff are to building long-term relationships with consumers.
Australian consumers are very active in sharing their customer service experiences. Consumers tell more people about their negative customer experiences than their positive experiences. In general, a majority of customers share their customer experiences in person and tell one-to-five people – though negative experiences are shared more widely.
Customer service preferred channels
Simple enquiries: Australians have increased their preference for a broader range of digital service channels for simple enquiries. Company websites/FAQs and live chats (human-powered) have become the top preferred channels for simple queries.
Complex enquiries: Human engagement remains central to resolving complex queries. The top preferred contact channels for contacting companies for difficult enquiries are human assisted channels rather than self-service channels. More consumers than ever are preferring to speak to a real person on the phone (80%) or via live chat (50%).
Importance of real people
Automated voice responses and chatbots remain unpopular for solving problems or queries. Over 70% of consumers surveyed said that speaking to a real person instead of a chatbot is highly important.
In summary, for Australian consumers great customer service is about getting the right information, consistency and knowledgeable help. To maintain consistently great customer experiences – and improve reputation and sales – businesses need to ensure they have knowledgeable representatives who can solve customer queries at the first opportunity. Hence to ensure consumer experience expectations are met, it is critical for businesses to prioritise customer experience excellence in every interaction with customers.
Download our State of CX in Australia report to discover insights and strategies that you can use for your customer experience strategy and can assist with unlocking its full potential.