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Disconnected customer experience a significant risk for Australian SME businesses, new stats reveal

Disconnected customer experience a significant risk for Australian SME businesses, new stats reveal

A new report has found that customer loyalty is at risk for organisations unable to provide seamless experiences across all channels, and timely access to information.

Application network provider, MuleSoft, has released the Australian results of its Consumer Connectivity Insights 2018, which surveyed more than 1,000 Australians out of more than 8,000 consumers globally.

The report found that 84 per cent of Australian consumers believe that organisations in at least one of the four sectors surveyed — banking, insurance, retail and government — provide a disconnected experience.

Government services was seen as the worst performer, with 72 per cent of consumers saying they received a disconnected experience, likely due to a lack of competitive pressure on governments to improve service delivery.

While retailers were the best performers, still more than half, 59 per cent, of Australian consumers said they received disconnected experiences, highlighting more needs be done to satisfy customers.

In private industries, a majority of Australian consumers said disconnected experience would make them consider changing to another service provider or vendor: banks at 61 per cent, insurance at 67 per cent, and retailers at 67 per cent.

The report also found that the level of personalisation varies considerably between industries.

In Australia, the most personalised experiences are seen in the finance and insurance sectors, at 70 and 61 per cent respectively. Meanwhile, government services at all levels are the least likely to feel personalised, with only 41 per cent of consumers saying government interactions feel personalised.

Minutes, not days

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MuleSoft VP of Asia Pacific, Will Bosma, said the gaps in customer expectations are problematic.

“Across all industries, organisations are falling short in delivering connected customer experiences. Australians are calling for on-demand experiences where their needs are meet in minutes not days.

“The risks for organisations that fail to adapt are significant. More than 60 per cent of Australians have considered changing a service provider due to a disconnected experience. While only a small percentage actually actioned this threat in the past 12 months, we can expect many more to act on their words if organisations do not act quickly to improve connectivity and personalization.”

The report also revealed that while many organisations are adopting chatbots, improvements need to be made to ensure this new technology is effectively responding to customer needs.

Mr Bosma said that while 43 per cent of Australian consumers have engaged with a chatbot when contacting an organisation over the last 12 months, only 35 per cent of them say their query had been completely resolved.

“The majority of Australian consumers said they believe there will be benefits from chatbots becoming more intelligent, resulting in a better level of customer service in the future.

“Only 22 per cent said there would be no benefit.”

Mr Bosma said that half of Australian respondents cited 24/7 customer service and not having to wait on the phone as the biggest benefit of chatbots.

“In addition to chatbots, Australian consumers expressed some interest in securely interacting with organisations via popular messaging services such as WhatsApp, Viber or iMessage.

“However, consumers were overall divided on the utility of these services, with retail being the only industry where more than half — 52 per cent — of consumers expressed interest in using these kinds of communication channels.

“In banking, insurance and government, less than half of consumers wanted to be able to use these channels to interact with providers.”

The global survey was independently carried out by Opinium Research. The total sample size was 8,019 adults from the UK, US, Germany, Holland, Australia and Singapore.

Disconnected customer experience a significant risk for Australian SME businesses, new stats reveal
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