There are no brands in Australia delivering an excellent customer experience, although the proportion offering a good experience has doubled in the past year, research from Forrester shows.

The Australia 2019 Customer Experience Index was based on a survey of more than 8,000 Australian adult customers with, Forrester’s CX Index methodology being used to benchmark the CX quality of 31 brands in the multichannel banking, multichannel retail and superannuation industries, as well as the federal government sector.

This found that while the overall CX quality in Australia improved significantly from 2018, two-thirds of the brands are still delivering just OK experiences.

In 2019, 13% of brands delivered good CX, up from just 6% in 2018, with two brands rising from the OK category. And for the second year in a row, no brand had manged to climb into the excellent category or improved their scores significantly enough to emerge as a true CX leader.

With approximately two-thirds of brands in the OK category and 18 brands clustered close together, firms have an opportunity to differentiate themselves and gain a competitive advantage by moving up to the good and excellent categories, the reported noted.

And the way to achieve that is by infusing positive emotions in their interactions with customers in order to make a significant impact on customers’ perception of their CX quality.

The top performing Australian brands – which include ING Direct, Bendigo Bank and JB Hi-Fi – 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.”

Sourced from Forrester; additional content by WARC staff