Consumers in Australia and New Zealand have the highest customer experience expectations in the world, according to a new survey from software firm Adobe.
The survey, of 1,000 shoppers in the two countries, reveals the danger of losing customers for businesses that don’t make it easy to buy online. Nearly half (48%) of the buyers surveyed said that they’d abandoned their shopping carts due to a poor customer experience.
The top three deal breakers likely to lose the sale are no-cancellation policies for travel packages (51%), hidden fees (50%) and a lack of returns policies for marketplace sellers (47%).
The use of technology is not an issue. Around two-thirds (66%) said they’d happily buy using a completely automated interaction if it’s done well, paving the way for AI to play an increasing role in the customer experience.
But ANZ shoppers are also demanding, with 79% expecting a tailored experience from the organisations they transact with.
It’s worth noting in the Adobe Experience Index: Consumer Experience Expectations Score & Insights report for Australia and New Zealand isn’t just about retail but all consumer-facing business sectors.
The index found the financial services sector was a standout leader in customer experience across most metrics, rating highest for customer service (68%) and online experience on both apps (81%) and websites (79%).
And while “older” (over 35) consumers are more aligned with well-known brands and trust them, but the danger among younger shoppers (aged 18-34) is that if you disappoint, they’re twice as likely as older customers to complain about their experience on a review site or social media.
Yet surprisingly, the younger cohort expressed far more patience when things weren’t going well. Just 38% said they’d walk away from their shopping due to a poor customer experience, compared with over half (52%) of shoppers aged 35 and over.
Fewer than two in five (38%) of 18-34-year-olds say they would abandon their shopping carts
As part of the study, people were asked to rate potential customer experiences from neutral (I would expect this) to strongly positive (this would delight me) with the results converted to a scale from 0 to 100.
When it comes to retailers, what impresses consumers the most are things such as online retailers providing samples as part of their loyalty program (score of 61), automated hotel settings and preferences on arrival (55) and using mobile apps as hotel keys and no need for check-ins (55).
Bad 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.
But brands need to keep young people happy to maintain their reputation, with 18-34 cohort more than twice as likely as their older counterparts to complain about a bad experience on a review site or social media.
The research indicates brands should focus on time-saving and convenience innovations, with experiences such as synced vehicle touch screens at drive-throughs and smart check-out lines at stores were seen as the most impressive technologies of the future.
The new findings reinforce data from the Adobe Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2019 Digital Trends report released earlier this year, which revealed that while customer experience is a key consideration for businesses, implementation is low, with more than half (54%) of global companies categorising their customer experience maturity as either ‘not very advanced’ (46%) or ‘immature’ (8%).