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A/NZ businesses unable to meet changing customer expectations, Zendesk states

Australian and New Zealand businesses are struggling to meet customers’ expectations, according to new research from Zendesk, the customer service software company.

The Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 2020 analyses how businesses can drive customer loyalty, what matters most to people when they engage with businesses, and what distinguishes leading companies from their competitors.

With technology changing the way customers interact with brands, businesses in New Zealand are faced with increasing expectations for quick, seamless and easy customer experiences (CX), the survey shows.

As a result, customer satisfaction levels across ANZ are at their lowest in five years.

For consumers in New Zealand, the difference between a good customer experience and a bad one is just two short hours, Zendesk states.

On average, the first reply time that is considered ‘good service’, be it a phone call, email or message, is one hour and forty minutes, whereas a response time of only three and a half hours is considered ‘bad service’.

With customers increasingly likely to abandon a brand after a bad experience, the pressure is on for businesses to offer channels that enable them to respond quickly to customers, within the two-hour window, Zendesk states.

While businesses in NZ are increasingly addressing customer experience as a business priority, Zendesk’s research highlights an opportunity to provide faster and more efficient responses to customers.

In New Zealand, 7,890,995 tickets were raised by customers using Zendesk in 2019. Yet many of the channels people prefer for fast, efficient resolutions aren’t being offered – the majority of tickets were raised by email with far fewer tickets raised on instant messaging platforms like chat and social messaging, according to Zendesk.

Zendesk customer experience strategist Malcolm Koh says, “We’re seeing businesses including Uber, Airbnb and the likes changing the way brands interact with customers. Customers now compare every business interaction to the best customer experience they’ve ever had, raising the stakes for acquisition and loyalty higher than ever before.

"Providing unique and personalised experiences comes down to truly understanding your customers and meeting the what, when and how customers want to engage with your brand."

Koh says, “Automation is a great support of businesses in understanding the unique expectations of customers. Not only does automation increase efficiencies on the back-end, it also enhances customer experience on the front-line due to automated refunds, greater access to customer information and seamless self-service.”

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