Businesses are struggling to provide personalised, connected experiences and their customers have taken notice. And while they’re not happy about it, consumers will still navigate through disconnected systems in order to get things done.
That’s a key takeaway from a study commissioned by API company MuleSoft, which was recently acquired by Salesforce.
According to the research, 84 per cent of Australian consumers believe that organisations in at least one of the four sectors surveyed – banking, insurance, retail, government – provide a disconnected experience.
The findings are contained in the report “Consumer Connectivity Insights 2018” which surveyed 8,000 consumers globally, including 1,000 Australians.
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Government services was seen as the worst performer, with 72 per cent of consumers saying they received a disconnected experience. The report argues this is likely is due to a lack of competitive pressure on governments to improve service delivery.
Retailers were the best performers, but still more than half (59 per cent) of Australian consumers said they received disconnected experiences.
In the private industries – banking, insurance and retail – a majority of Australian consumers said disconnected experience would make them consider changing to another service provider or vendor.
However Australian consumers are willing to preserve through disconnected experiences to get things done. Across the categories, between 60 and 71 per cent said they would not give up on an activity or request, even if the organisation’s processes made completing it difficult.
“The risks for organisations that fail to adapt are significant – more than 60 per cent of Australians have considered changing a service provider due to a disconnected experience,” a MuleSoft spokesperson said.
“While only a small percentage actually actioned this threat in the past 12 months, we can expect many more to act on their words if organisations do not act quickly to improve connectivity and personalisation.”
In Australia, the most personalised experiences are seen in the finance (70 per cent) and insurance (61 per cent) sectors. Meanwhile, government services – at all levels – are the least likely to feel personalised, with only 41 per cent of consumers saying government interactions feel personalised.
Consumers were also satisfied that to wait longer for complex transactions like applying for a mortgage, however expected opening a bank account or applying for a credit card to take less than a day.
Twenty-five per cent of Australian consumers said they would like to apply for a loan in under an hour, and 50 per cent want to be able to sign up to an insurance policy in the same timeframe. The research suggested that while consumers will accept longer timeframes, they will favour providers that are able to simplify connected experiences, reduce friction and make transactions occur faster.
The survey also examined consumer attitudes towards chatbots. 43 per cent of Australian consumers have engaged with a chatbot when contacting an organisation over the last 12 months; however, only 35 per cent of those who had used chatbots said their query had been completely resolved or answered.
The majority of Australian consumers said they believe there will be benefits from chatbots becoming more intelligent, resulting in a better level of customer service in the future and 50 per cent of Australian respondents cited 24/7 customer service and not having to wait on the phone as the biggest benefit of chatbots.