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Australian financial services delivery dips, says Forrester

According to Forrester's 2022 Australia Customer Experience Index (CX Index), the customer experience quality of both the banking and superannuation industries has declined significantly, with the average CX scores falling from 69.2 to 60.5 and 66.7 to 62.5 (on a 100-point scale), respectively. 

Bendigo Bank, Macquarie Bank, and Suncorp are the only brands to provide good customer experience this year, with the rest of the financial services firms mired in the OK and poor categories.

Forrester’s Australia CX Index benchmarks the CX quality of financial services brands across the banking and superannuation industries. It is based on a survey of more than 7,200 Australian adult consumers. These included 2,400 customers of eight banks and 2,108 customers of seven superannuation firms in Australia.

According to Forrester's CX Index, how an experience makes customers feel has a more significant influence on their loyalty to a brand than the ease or effectiveness of the experience. 

Among customers of Australian banks who felt valued, 90% plan to stay with the bank, and 81% plan to spend more and advocate for it. 

In contrast, of customers who feel disappointed, only 24% plan to stay with their superannuation firm, 12% plan to contribute more, and 10% will advocate for it.

In the banking industry, most banks saw their scores decrease, with National Australia Bank (NAB) and ANZ having a statistically significant decline. 

Commonwealth Bank is the only bank with a slight score increase. 

Bendigo Bank, newly added to this year’s study, emerged as the CX leader, with the highest percentage of customers reporting excellent experiences (56%) and the best performance across all three dimensions of CX quality (effectiveness, ease, and emotion). 

The bank embraced “digital by design, human when it matters” as its core operating model to digitise the right experiences while retaining its strong commitment to human customer service.

Similarly, the superannuation industry saw a fall in the CX score of every brand. 

Overall, more customers had poor or very poor experiences (47%) than good or excellent ones (38%). MLC Australia fared the worst, and Colonial First State (CFS) moved from second to first place in the rankings. 

CFS performed above average in customer service, the driver category with the largest impact on CX Index scores for superannuation firms.

“Since the pandemic, many financial services firms have been racing to create entirely digital experiences to entice customers away from physical channels,” says Riccardo Pasto, principal analyst at Forrester. 

“Our data indicates, however, that hybrid CX outperforms both purely digital and purely physical experiences. In 2022, the quality of hybrid CX delivered by Australian brands remained flat compared to the previous year. Brands must do more to connect the digital experience with appropriate and timely human engagement.”

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