New research has revealed that 57 percent of consumers are unhappy with the customer experience they receive in Australia and New Zealand. So, what are they unhappy with and what level of service do they expect to receive from brands?
According to findings revealed in Salesforce’s latest ‘State of the Connected Customer’ report, businesses in Australia and New Zealand need to close the gap between brand experience and customer expectations, especially retailers operating in an omnichannel environment.
“The customer experience expectations of both B2C and B2B customers have converged. Both have more information at their fingertips than ever before, and judge your brand on their best experience, regardless of industry,” Jo Gaines, the managing director of APAC, data and audience at Salesforce, said.
“Companies, like McDonald’s who are focused on product and customer experience, no matter where their customers are or how they choose to engage, are the trailblazers of the industry. Customers actively seek out the most innovative and progressive companies to meet their evolving needs.”
So, what are some of the findings of this report? Apparently, 80 percent of consumers said they value a brand’s customer experience as much as the products on offer, with 67 percent saying they are willing to pay more when a good customer experience is provided.
Some other key insights revealed include that 70 percent of consumers say their customer experience standards are higher than ever, with 62 percent of shoppers boycotting a company if it was more enjoyable to shop with its competitor.
One of the biggest factors influencing customers’ shopping behaviours is personalisation, with 85 percent of respondents saying they would be more likely to shop with a business that treats them like a person, not a number. The same goes for business buyers; with 85 percent of employees expecting the same treatment whether they’re buying on behalf of a company, or for themselves.
What’s driving increased consumer expectations? According to consumers, artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) technology, is, in part, forming their opinions of online and bricks-and-mortar businesses. In fact, 43 percent of respondents reportedly claim AI is actively transforming the expectations they place on businesses.
E-commerce marketplaces, such as Alibaba and Amazon have made great headwinds in the past by utilising innovative technologies to improve service offerings and increase the customer experience. While Australian consumers are yet to experience a lot of these benefits locally, with the pending release of Amazon Prime in Australia, and Alibaba taking steps to introduce its Tmall AI and AR technology to retailers in Australia and New Zealand, demand for evolved customer experiences is expected to continue growing as people get a taste of what’s to come.