Personalised and seamless experiences are the magic words for businesses that want to keep their customers happy – and if automation is done right, most consumers will embrace it too.
The Adobe Experience Index found that consumers across Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) highest customer experience expectations in the world.
Out of 1001 consumers, 79% demand tailored experiences from organisations they deal with, and 66% are happy to have completely automated interactions, but only if those interactions are programmed well. Older consumers are less likely to be comfortable with completely automated interactions, particularly for everyday experiences.
“It's no surprise that Australians and New Zealanders have high consumer expectations,” says Adobe ANZ managing director Suzanne Steele.
“In the past few years, we've seen an explosion of online businesses in the region, which has given consumers more choice than ever before. I believe we are at a crossroads, where managing customer experiences is becoming business critical.
Organisations can also significantly improve their customer experience by making technology transparent, and delighting customers at every turn.
The financial services sector scored highest for customer experience, rating highest for customer service (68%) and online experience on both apps (81%) and websites (79%).
Travel and hospitality had the highest rating for ease of checkout across all sectors (74%), while media and entertainment struggled to meet customer expectations and was rated the worst at accessing content via a website (66%).
Consumers also revealed what is likely to impress them – that includes everything from free samples as part of a loyalty program, right down to using mobile apps as hotel keys and no need to check in at the hotel desk.
While consumers are easily impressed, they can also be irked by organisations' policies and rules.
The top three experience breakers include a lack of returns policies for marketplace sellers, hidden fees, and no-cancellation policies for travel packages.
While the younger generation (those aged 18-34) are more likely to use social media as their complaints platform, they're also more likely to be patient when it comes to poor customer experiences.
Fewer than two in five (38%) 18-34-year-olds say they would abandon their shopping carts due to a poor customer experience, compared with over half (52%) of shoppers aged 35 and over, the report says.
Poor customer experience also turns away potential repeat customers, with over a quarter (28%) of young consumers and over a third (38%) of people 35+ saying they would stop buying from a company altogether.
The future of customer experience lies in time saving and convenience innovations, the Index suggests. Those innovations could include synced vehicle touch screens at drive throughs and smart check-out lines at stores. These, consumers noted, could be the most impressive technologies of the future.
Organisations that listen to what their customers want and leverage data to deliver personalised, seamless experiences in real-time will be the ones that succeed in this increasingly competitive market,” concludes Steele.