Customer experience is gaining more attention across all industry sectors, but business in Australia are struggling to graduate from good to great CX. 

According to the KPMG Customer Experience Excellence 2019 report, while many Australian organisations are putting effort into customer experience initiatives in Australia, these efforts often fail to impact the customer experience at scale.

Amanda Hicks, Partner in Charge – Customer, Brand and Marketing Advisory, KPMG Australia says Australian businesses are struggling when it comes to taking a holistic approach to delivering an excellent customer experience.

“Responsibility for the customer experience of each channel sits in siloed business units in many Australian companies. This means there’s a lack of overall strategy, or indeed a sense of what ‘the big picture’ looks like,” she says.

“Customer experience has been heightened as a topical conversation in the Australian market through increased attention over the past 18 months in areas as diverse as aged care and financial services.”

Hicks noted that traditional organisations, which are often tied to legacy ways of working, are struggling to keep up with the experiences provided by new digital competitors. 

 “The future challenge for these organisations will be successfully translating their physical presence into a digital blueprint that captures the essence of their brand,” Hick said. 

The report is based on a survey of more than 2500 Australian consumers about their interactions with over 110 local and international brands. 

Customer experience scores in Australia reflect good but not great delivery, according to consumers. In the 2019 study the average CEE rating in the Australian market was 7.14 out of 10, with about three-quarters of companies clustered between 6.5 and 7.5. The overall CEE rating in Australia was only marginally higher (0.04 points) than last year’s result. 

The report found that brands that deliver a strong experience, in addition to being authentically, community-led are viewed as delivering intrinsic customer value, which is higher-order value than the product or service experience in isolation. 

Top 50 CX Brands, 2019
Source: KPMG Customer Experience Excellence 2019 report

Singapore Airlines was the top ranked brand for customer experience by Australian consumers for the second year in a row. While financial services was the most dominant sector, according to the report. 

Financial Services brands accounting for seven out of the top ten highest ranked brands, led by RACQ Insurance (#2), Bendigo Bank (#3), PayPal (#4) and Afterpay (#5). Retailers Dan Murphy’s ( #8) and Subway (#10) completed the top 10.

Key takeaways by sector: 

  • Grocery Retail maintained its leading position for customer experience and improved its overall score to 7.4 out of 10 over the past year.
  • Financial Services has overtaken the Non-Grocery Retail sector since last year to become the second highest rated industry sector, with an overall ranking of 7.3. This ranking was driven by the strong performance of financial services brands in the top 10, as well as smaller brands and fintechs. 
  • Utility companies have been laggards in customer experience but improved strongly over the past year, though it remains near the bottom of customer experience rankings in Australia with a CEE of 6.75.
  • Public Sector customers are getting an experience a long way behind commercial CX. The sector ranked the lowest of all industry sectors with a CEE of 6.47.

According to the report, CX leaders make more money and have more engaged employees. In particular: 

  • The revenue growth of the top 50 brands in measured countries is 54 per cent greater than the bottom 50, at an aggregated level.
  • The EBITDA growth of the top 50 brands in measured countries is 202 per cent greater than the bottom 50, at an aggregated level.
  • Companies that lead in CX typically have 1.5 times as many engaged employees. Engaged employees are more motivated to go above and beyond to satisfy customers, leading to improved customer experiences.
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