Report: Data privacy, frictionless experiences major gaps in Aussie CX

New SAP report highlights the gap between customer experiences and their ever-higher expectations of organisations they interact with

Responsiveness, frictionless experiences and transparency around consumer data use are hefty customer experience considerations for Australian consumers. Yet most organisations they’re dealing with aren’t living up to expectations, a new report has found.

The new Heart Matters Study was conducted by Qualtrics on behalf of SAP Consumer Experience and surveyed nearly 6000 consumers across Asia-Pacific including Australia. The report explored both the impact of key societal issues such as people, planet and prosperity on how consumers rate the brands they engage with, as well as fundamental aspects of delivering customer experience, from omnichannel personalisation to privacy and data.

To do this, the report asked consumers about current experiences they are having in these areas and compared this to their expectations of brands. Significant gaps between expectations and experiences emerged.

For example, businesses are not keeping up with the data privacy expectations of their customers when digitising their offering, with organisations falling short of expectations by up to 50 per cent. Across Australian respondents, 84 per cent want full transparency into how their personal data is being used. Yet only 34 per cent said they have experienced this from a business. Australian expectations were also found to be higher than the APAC average (74 per cent).

The same percentage want companies to secure their data and not share it with third parties. However, only 34 per cent said they were experiencing this level of data protection right now. Another data-oriented finding was that 82 per cent of consumers expect full control of how they want to be engaged with. However, only 45 per cent cited current experiences with organisations provided this.

Frictionless experiences was another notable consumer expectation. The report found ‘responding to a customer query within 24 hours’ to be one of the highest rated aspects of customer centricity at 82 per cent. Yet there was a 41 per cent gap between that and how Australians experience this with brands they’re interacting with currently. In addition, 83 per cent of local respondents rated ‘resolving customer issues in less than interactions’ as an expectation, yet only 43 per cent reported experiencing this.

On the omnichannel personalisation front, trust and responsiveness also shone through as top priorities. For example, 81 per cent of Australian respondents expected delivery options they can trust, yet only half are experiencing these currently. Other top expectations are being easy to transact with across multiple channels, and service options that allow consumers to transact how they want to.

From a people, planet and prosperity perspective, top expectations for Australian consumers are to treat suppliers ethically, actively work to reduce gender and racial inequality, and respect the rights and welfare of workers. Again, there were at least a 30-point difference between these expectations and the experiences local consumers are having right now.

Further down the list was implementing specific policies in place to reduce and report their carbon emissions and carbon footprint at 57 per cent, with 36 per cent of local consumers citing this as an experience with organisations today.

Commenting on the findings, SAP Customer Experience A/NZ executive general manager, Scott Treller, said the acceleration of digital during the Covid-19 global pandemic has elevated many expectations consumers have of business they interact with today.

“While it’s positive that brands have adapted quickly to the pandemic by embracing digital tools, the findings highlight the concerns that Australians have around how brands are collecting and using their data,” he said. “Today’s consumers are digitally savvy and intentional about the information they share. As a result, they expect assurance that their data is secure.

“Brands need to ensure that they protect customer information and offer the ability to control how it’s used, if they are to gain trust, and ultimately business, from consumers.”

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