If you don’t care about customer experience, chances are your business’s bottom line will suffer, according to the latest data from Zendesk. The findings from the Customer Experience (CX) Trends Report 2021, show that customer experience is increasingly crucial to business outcomes. In fact, new data suggests two in five customers will switch to a competitor after a single bad customer experience, with four in five making the change if they have multiple bad experiences with a brand.
Conversely, good customer service pays off in spades, with research suggesting over half (55 per cent) of Australian customers will spend more for better online experiences and nearly three in five (57 per cent) will do the same for better customer service.
Commenting on the trend, Wendy Johnstone, Chief Operating Officer, APAC, Zendesk says businesses across Australia have embraced digital transformation at incredible speed over the past twelve months. However, operating in a new environment can have teething problems.
“Customer experience has never been more important and we think this accelerated adoption of technology is likely to continue in 2021. For many Australians, a positive experience is the difference between nurturing customer loyalty or switching to a competitor. Organisations need to ensure they have the right strategies, processes and technology in place to empower customer support teams to deliver outstanding experiences and drive business success,” said Johnstone.
What makes a good customer experience?
Empathy is key. Over half (59 per cent) want customer service agents to be empathetic. The values of a business are also playing a key role in purchasing decisions. Just under half of those surveyed want to purchase products or services from companies that prioritise diversity, equity and inclusion, and two-thirds want to buy from companies that are socially responsible.
Online experiences will continue to play an important role in 2021 following the switch to digital during the pandemic. The research found that two out of five Australians used a new channel to engage with customer support in 2020, and over half (57 per cent) will continue to use it moving forward.
While many Australian companies have embraced customers’ switch to digital and accelerated technology adoption, others are still not enabled to work in a distributed world. Over half of customer service agents in Australia report feeling overwhelmed, while almost two thirds (64 per cent) report they don’t have the right tools to work successfully from home.
5 CX trends you can’t ignore
Stay ahead of the digital curve
Companies are adopting technology at light speed, and it’s adapt or get left behind. Organisations identified as ’high-performing’ in APAC based on metrics such as CSAT (customer satisfaction) and reply speed, are more likely to have adopted omnichannel solutions, with over half (54 per cent) offering self-service in addition to other key channels including phone, email or messaging, compared to just 20 per cent of low performers.
Be part of a more conversational world
As customers adopt new behaviours, the soaring popularity of messaging apps opens the door for more streamlined, conversational experiences. Sixty-nine per cent of customers in APAC have tried a new way to get in touch with customer service in the last year. For many, that includes using messaging for support requests over apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, which have spiked significantly during the pandemic with social messaging up 117 per cent in APAC since February 2020.
Realise the power of employee experience
In an increasingly distributed world, companies must rethink how they work smarter across teams. Many employees still don’t feel like they have the right tools to succeed in this new and often distributed environment, whether it’s keeping track of their performance indicators, staying connected with their colleagues, or feeling supported by their companies. Forty-one per cent of managers in APAC say they don’t have the right analytics tools to measure success for remote teams, and 49 per cent of agents don’t have the right tools to work successfully from home.
Set teams up for success by emphasising agility
Facing continued volatility, service and support organisations must find ways to keep up with their customers. Customer experience leaders cited the ability to quickly adapt to the evolving needs of customers as their biggest challenge in 2020 and the highest priority going forward.
Make it easier for customers with a focus on CX
Unprecedented in speed and scale, the recent surge in online channels puts pressure on companies to meet rising expectations as customer experience takes centre stage. The vast majority (74 per cent) of customers in APAC say they are willing to spend more with a company that offers a good customer experience, while 75 per cent will still take their business elsewhere following bad experiences.
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