Forrester's Australia 2020 Customer Experience Index: Financial Services Brands Struggle To Differentiate CX Quality

Suncorp and Colonial First State top banking and superannuation rankings; communication and customer service are the most important drivers, respectively

SYDNEY, Oct. 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- According to Forrester's (Nasdaq: FORR) Australia Banking and Superannuation Customer Experience Indexes (CX Index™) 2020, CX quality in the two financial services industries remains undifferentiated.

Forrester surveyed the customers of five banks -- ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank (NAB), Suncorp, and Westpac -- to determine how they perceive their experiences with these banks and identify the key CX attributes that drive loyalty. Three of the "big four" banks -- CommBank, NAB, and Westpac -- sit within just over 2 percentage points of each other. Australian banks have been quick to adapt their CX in response to the pandemic, but it was not enough to move the needle beyond just meeting customer expectations.

Scores of all seven brands included in the superannuation industry -- AMP, AustralianSuper, BT Financial, Colonial First State, MLC Australia, REST, and Sunsuper -- fall within a range of just 6 percentage points. In contrast to the banking industry, the superannuation firms improved their industry average by 1.3 percentage points amid COVID-19, during which they experienced rapid regulatory changes that allowed customers A$15 billion in early fund releases.

Forrester's CX Index data consistently shows that ensuring emotionally positive experiences boosts customer loyalty. Across all industries, how an experience makes customers feel has greater influence on their loyalty to a brand than the effectiveness or ease of their experiences.

In the Australian banking industry, for example, among customers who felt valued, 78% will advocate for the bank, 75% plan to spend more with the bank, and 66% plan to stay with the bank. In contrast, making customers feel annoyed and frustrated is most harmful to brand loyalty. Out of the superannuation customers who feel frustrated, just 11% will advocate for the brand, 18% say they will stay with the brand, and only 16% plan to spend more with their provider.

"While digital interactions have risen in importance because of the pandemic shutdowns, our data indicates that in-person interactions still evoked the most positive emotions for both banking and superannuation customers," said Riccardo Pasto, senior analyst at Forrester. "When designing their customer journeys, financial services firms must prioritise a balanced experience with a hybrid approach of human interaction enabled by digital channels. Building emotional connections through digital experiences is key to improving CX and differentiating from your competitors."

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About Forrester's CX Index
Forrester's CX Index is the most complete and powerful CX tool in the market today. The CX Index connects quality and loyalty measures to specific revenue drivers, giving leaders the unprecedented ability to guide CX investments that produce revenue return. Forrester's CX Index methodology helps CX leaders grow revenue faster, drive higher brand preference, and charge more for their products. Forrester's CX Index helps brands identify the key drivers of a positive CX for their customers to prioritise efforts. Even a minor improvement to a brand's customer experience quality can add tens of millions of dollars of revenue by reducing customer churn and increasing share of wallet.

About Forrester
Forrester (FORR) is one of the most influential research and advisory firms in the world. We help organisations grow through customer obsession. Forrester's unique insights are grounded in annual surveys of more than 690,000 consumers and business leaders worldwide, rigorous and objective methodologies, and the shared wisdom of our most innovative clients. Through proprietary research, data and analytics, custom consulting, exclusive peer groups, certifications, and events, we are revolutionising how businesses grow in the age of the customer; learn more at forrester.com.

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