Australians view customer experience as more important now compared to a year ago, according to the recently released Zendesk Customer Experience (CX) Trends Report 2021.

The data has shown that more than one in two (55%) Australian customers will spend more for better online experiences and nearly three in five (57%) will do the same for better customer service. In addition, almost two in five (38%) customers will switch to a competitor after one bad experiencing, rising to four in five who will make the switch after multiple bad experiences.

When it comes to what makes a ‘good’ experience, customers are increasingly viewing empathy as key. Over half (59%) want customer service agents to be empathetic, while just under half want to buy from companies that prioritise diversity, equity, and inclusion, and two thirds want companies to be socially responsible.

Online experiences will continue to play an important role in 2021 with the research revealing that two out of five Australians used a new channel to engage with customer support in 2020, and over half (57%) will continue to use it moving forward.

While many Australian companies have embraced customers’ switch to digital and accelerated technology adoption, others are still not enabled to work in a distributed world. Over half of customer service agents in Australia report feeling overwhelmed, while two thirds (64%) report they don’t have the right tools to work successfully from home. Organisations appear cognisant of this, with three in five looking to invest in new ways to engage employees in the future.

Zendesk chief operating officer for Asia Pacific, Wendy Johnstone said companies have embraced digitalisation at an incredible speed over the last year in response to the dramatic shifts in the landscape.

“Customer experience has never been more important, and we think this accelerated adoption of technology is likely to continue in 2021. For many Australians, a positive experience is the difference between nurturing customer loyalty or switching to a competitor,” she said.

“Organisations need to ensure they have the right strategies, processes, and technology in place to empower customer support teams to deliver outstanding experiences and drive business success.”