The global pandemic has put immense pressure on organisations to transform their customer experience in order to meet the high expectations of Australian consumers. Genesys, a global cloud leader in customer experience and call centre technology, has revealed that since the pandemic, 69% of consumers believe that a company is only as good as its customer service, compared to the rest of APAC.
To better understand the evolving landscape, the Genesys® Connected Customer Experience report surveyed 11,000 consumers globally and more than 1,000 Australians, exploring the change in people’s feelings and expectations over the course of the pandemic. The report revealed how building trust and loyalty with consumers today requires companies to radically rethink the customer experience strategy and value proposition.
Key findings found that the pandemic left nearly one-third (31%) of Australians feeling less connected, finding it so hard that it has changed their lives completely. Australian youth felt the greatest effects of ‘pandemic life’, with two in five (almost 40%) millennials and Generation Z saying the pandemic has been difficult and life changing. Many mentioned being less happy, experiencing higher levels of anxiety, and feeling a toll on their mental health.
This evolving loss of connection has had a huge impact on how Australians engage with companies:
- The use of live webchat has increased from 38% to 43%, chatbots from 21% to 26%, and email from 41% to 44%
- Nearly half (48%) of consumers interact with customer service teams at least once a month, and a third (29%) at least once a week.
- 1 in 10 Australians admitted to calling customer service just to hear a human voice
Beyond frequency of engagement, Australian consumers also value high-quality customer experience:
- An empathetic experience was ranked as the highest importance, and 58% agreed they will choose an empathetic experience over a speedy resolution.
- The vast majority of Australians want customer experience employees to listen to them (84%), understand their needs (82%) and provide consistent answers (81%).
“Australia is in the midst of the most challenging period of the pandemic to date, and companies need to take note of how the current climate is redefining what customer experience means. As Australians’ expectations only increase over time, strategising and prioritising brand engagement to win customer trust, loyalty and connection needs a different approach. Brands can’t afford to overlook the importance of delivering empathetic experiences that build long-lasting emotional connections,” said Mark Buckley, Vice President, Australia & New Zealand, Genesys.
The study also revealed a service comeback for big brands. Three quarters (73%) of companies that customers think have excellent customer experience were large national companies – a stark contrast to the pre-pandemic times which praised small and medium brands as service leaders. The vast majority (89%) of people also rated these businesses with an extremely high satisfaction score between 8-10.
“The pandemic has caused big brands to raise the bar when it comes to customer experience, especially when in-store or in-person experiences have been impacted. Large companies have realised that they need to improve how they interact with customers, by not just relying on the most efficient or speedy resolution, but instead investing in empathy at scale. Australian consumers have shown they want to feel heard and know that their problems matter,” added Buckley.