CMO

Report: Customers and post-purchase experience remains disconnected

New R/GA global research including Australia shows what consumers value post-purchase and the experiencing they're really getting

Post-purchase help and communications, plus a sense of belonging to a community, are vital factors influencing loyalty across Australian consumers. Yet these elements continue to be a let down for many of us when engaging with brands, a new survey has found.

A fresh global research project conducted by advertising and marketing agency, R/GA, found more than half of Australian customers surveyed experience disappointment and a disconnection between the promise of a brand and the reality. For example, 52 per cent said their first time using a product or service wasn’t completely positive, while 54 per cent cited a disconnect between what a brand has promised versus the reality.

When compared with Asia-Pacific countries, R/GA found customers in Australia placed product and service curation as their last priority, emphasising post-purchase help and communication as more important.

For instance, when asked what they’d most like help with after a purchase, the top responses from local consumers were: Getting the most out of purchases; making life easier / lightening the load; helping to continue learning; and answering my questions. Just shy of half of respondents chose ‘just answer my question’ (49 per cent), while 42 per cent chose ‘getting the most out of my purchase’.

The R/GA survey also reported 78 per cent of Australian consumers now expect a seamless experience. More than four in five (82 per cent) also look for some degree of recommendation or curation from the brands they’re buying into, with only 16 per cent stating this was unimportant.

What’s more, the report highlighted 72 per cent of consumers are eager for a personal relationship with the brand, and 63 per cent are interested in live or digital brand communities or programming events post-purchase. Two-thirds specifically said they wanted to engage in live educational services such as coaching, content and community post-purchase.

Yet only 23 per cent of consumers considered themselves to be part of a brand community or member following a purchase, against 37 per cent who declared they weren’t, and 20 per cent weren’t aware of any community to be part of. According to the report, 58 per cent purchased their product based on the brand experience the product allowed them to gain access to.

Another report finding was that while 84 per cent of Australian consumers say customer loyalty programs are important, only 12 per cent sign up after a purchase.

The survey encompassed 16,000 respondents across the US, EMEA and Asia-Pacific including Australia from June through to September 2020. These were five 15 service verticals globally, seven of which were the key focus in Australia: Automotive, banking, insurance, retail, superannuation, telco and utilities.

“It is clear there is a disconnect between what Australians expect from brands and what they are getting,” commented R/GA VP and managing director of Australia, Michael Titshall. “The moments immediately after a purchase are critical for a strong relationship to be formed between customer and brand. But with a focus on getting the sale done, many brands are not delivering on their promise and therefore not fostering long-term repeat customers.

“We see an enormous opportunity to drive business growth through post-purchase innovation.”

Among R/GA’s top tips on addressing the disconnect are shifting the focus to helping people make the most of their purchases by building genuine relationships; ensuring post-purchase basics are smooth and seamless; focusing on proactive customer care; and taking on more of a responsibility to bring communities together.

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