Customer experience (CX) is a term thrown around a lot in the retail industry, but how many businesses are actually prioritising their customers’ needs?
A large portion of ANZ businesses (78 percent) claim customer experience is not a priority at a board level, with lower-level management scrambling to find ways to present consumers with the customer experience they’re looking for.
Research from Dimension Data, however, has revealed that CX is vital for fostering consumer loyalty, with 90 percent of respondents to Dimension’s ANZ survey saying it’s an essential part of a company’s service. A further 85 percent of respondents reportedly said CX is the perfect way to differentiate their business, 62 percent a key driver of economic growth and 62 percent said it even helps to reduce expenses.
In fact, according to this body of research, ANZ businesses, including online retailers, are more interested in building consumer trust and loyalty than they are about competitive differentiation and cost-cutting.
However, despite strong sentiment towards the benefits of providing a strong CX, only 11 percent of businesses believe they are delivering an experience that consumers would happily recommend to others. According to Dimension data, this CX disconnect is leading to an ‘artificial reality’, where CX is often spoken about and promoted, but not actioned on.
“Although brands acknowledge how crucial CX is, there is still a misunderstanding as to who within the business is responsible for driving it. There’s an artificial reality between organisations’ CX ambitions and implementing real change that benefits the customer,” said Michael Slip, the general manager for customer experience at Dimension Data Australia.
The next 12-months, however, could be a pivotal period of change for the online retail sector. When speaking to digital retailers about their priorities in 2019, and the trends they believe will take off, CX was a common point of interest.
Phil Suggate, the co-founder of EasyShed, for instance, said: “Retailers that are providing a well-integrated and engaging omnichannel experience (both online and offline) will see strong growth and continue to rapidly gain market share.”