Almost one in two Australian companies (46%) believe customer experience (CX) drives revenue, but just 11% are qualified as ‘CX Champions’ meaning there are only a few organisations in Australia delivering exceptional customer services, according to Zendesk’s CX Accelerator report.

APAC organisations know they aren’t quite meeting rising expectations, with 31 % of Australian businesses scoring ‘very good’ on their ability to act on customer feedback, ahead of Japan (12%)  and Singapore (19%) ) but lagging behind South Korea (21%) and India (58%).

In addition, only 31% of Australian businesses are ‘very quick’ on turning feedback into change – a sign that APAC organisations are too slow at addressing customer feedback. While not too far ahead of Singapore (22%) and South Korea (22%), Australia is more advanced than Japan (12%), but falls behind India (58%).

Zendesk chief operations officer, Jeff Titterton said, “In an increasingly tough economy, businesses have a challenge on their hands to stay agile and keep things running efficiently while meeting customers’ demands in order to keep them coming back.

“Our latest research shows it’s clear that success is dependent on engaging your customers in relationship-driven conversations and investing in technology that enables your team to deliver nothing less than exceptional service, and make sure it’s all integrated across your business.”

Zendesk chief operating officer for APAC, Wendy Johnstone added, “During times of economic uncertainty, nothing becomes more important than the retention of existing customers. More than ever, APAC organisations are recognising the importance of increasing customer loyalty through delivering exceptional customer service.

“That’s why investing in CX will continue to be a critical driver of growth and success for organisations in the future. At Zendesk, we remain committed to partnering with organisations in the region to deliver a personalised experience that will exceed customer expectations.”

Customers are clear they want more control over how they engage with businesses, and organisations have a huge opportunity to invest in AI-driven solutions to empower their customers with quick resolutions. In fact, when compared to Starters, 44% more APAC Champions use a mix of chatbots and human representation when it comes to customer service channels.

Where businesses need to focus is in how they balance between automation and the human element of the customer experience. This requires a deeper understanding of customer behaviours to place automation where it is most effective and provide agent support where it can have the greatest impact.

The data deluge is overwhelming business leaders, and they are still lacking meaningful insights into how to drive better, more personalised experiences for customers. Just under one-third (30%) of Australian organisations have their CX reported in real time; with 31% saying the comprehensiveness of their CX metrics has room for improvement and only 26% saying that they are “very strong” in this area.