Australian businesses are delivering better customer experiences than in previous years but there’s still plenty of room for improvement, according to new research from Forrester. 

Forrester today released the rankings of its Australia 2019 Customer Experience Index (CX Index) which shows that while the overall CX quality in Australia improved significantly from 2018, two-thirds of the brands are still delivering just OK experiences. 

The number of brands that received OK scores also declined from 77 per cent to 68 per cent this year. However, like last year, no brand has risen to the excellent category or improved their scores significantly enough to emerge as a true CX leader. 

In 2019, 13 per cent of brands delivered good CX, up from just six per cent in 2018, with two brands rising from the OK category. 

The findings are based on a survey of more than 8,000 Australians which is used to benchmark the CX quality of 31 brands in the multichannel banking, retail and superannuation industries, as well as the federal government sector. 

ING Direct overtook Bendigo Bank (last year’s leader) to claim the top spot, and JB Hi-Fi completed the top three. 

To get head and differentiate themselves, brands need to focus on emotion, which moves the CX needle more than ease or effectiveness, the analysts said.

According to the research, the top-performing Australian brands provided an average of 12 emotionally positive experiences for each negative experience; the lowest-performing brands provided less than one emotionally positive experience for each negative experience. 

“Brands that want to achieve CX leadership should focus on emotion,” said Riccardo Pasto, senior analyst at Forrester and author of the report. 

“How an experience makes customers feel has a bigger influence on their loyalty to a brand than effectiveness or ease in every industry. Elite brands build loyalty by making customers feel confident, happy, and valued; CX laggards foster resentment by making customers feel annoyed, disappointed, and frustrated.”

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