Customer centricity in the spotlight: KPMG

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Customer centricity in the spotlight: KPMG

A recent KPMG report into customer experience excellence reveals a shift in focus within the C-suite, with 60 per cent of CEOs surveyed highlighting purpose-driven actions that drive long-term value for stakeholders as their main objective.

Further, 88 per cent of respondents see a clear corporate purpose as having the greatest impact on the building of strong customer relationships over the next three years.

Three sectors are featured; retail, energy, and the public sector, to highlight the key trends in organisational focus.

The report outlines changing public demands across these sectors, with an increased awareness towards ESG expectations, tailored customer experience and personalisation, as well as an element of human connection.


Retail

Even through a second year battling the challenges of the pandemic, retail maintains its market leading position in driving customer experience excellence, with the industry home to seven of the top ten brands.

“Retail as an overall category sees personalisation continuing to be the lead customer experience driver,” the report says.

“This level of personalisation moves beyond just personalised communications to one incorporating the involvement of loyal customers, personalised offers and services and, where relevant, personalised range suggestions.”

Lisa Bora, partner in management consulting corporates for KPMG Australia believes that the benefits of this approach extends beyond customer loyalty, and impacts revenue, retention and an uplift in engagement metrics.

Energy

The energy sector saw unprecedented levels of job losses and closures due to the pandemic, with expectations from customers, communities, and governments to deliver on empathy metrics remaining firm.

The industry stepped up to the plate, delivering steadily increasing empathy performances since 2018.

These metrics, as well as creating a consistent customer experience and meeting all customer commitments is particularly important for the energy sector which lies in the bottom 25 per cent of loyalty scores for all sectors examined in KPMG's research.

“The 2021 results show that customer experience efforts are recognised by Australian consumers,” the report says.

“However, the energy sector has more work to do to meet ever-evolving customer needs, with a continued focus on empathy, integrity and ongoing investment in personalisation.”

Public Sector

In all states and territories across Australia, the public sector has seen a significant positive shift towards delivering good customer experience, despite having to lean into service delivery.

Through the times of crisis, including COVID, bushfires, and floods, citizens relied on governments to develop and deliver new services efficiently and often digitally, expecting high levels of personalisation and empathy.

KPMG's research reveals the customer experience (CX) performance gap closing, with the public sector improving at twice the rate of the market average.

“Australians have seen a new and emerging standard from the public sector and they won’t easily accept a reverse of this, rather they will demand consistency across touchpoints and a culture of continuous improvement to ensure service delivery standards keep pace with increasing expectations,” the report says.

Moving forward, the authors of the report believe that the shifted focus towards customer experience, as well as the changing attitudes of customers, are here to stay.

Designing and delivering customer experiences that meet these changes and create more meaningful connections with customers should be a top priority for businesses across sectors, with the use of analytics, digital spaces, technological investment, and organisational alignment critical to capitalise on the shift.

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