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Empathy and Personalisation: The Key to Gaining Trust of ANZ Consumers

Announcement posted by Genesys 21 May 2020

It’s a more efficient but somewhat apathetic world when it comes to customer service, according to a new survey from leading customer experience technology provider, Genesys®. The company gauged the sentiments of consumers in six countries: Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom (U.K.) and the United States (U.S.). While a majority (71%) believe that customer service has become more personalised in the last five years through the use of technology, nearly half (48%) still note a distinct lack of compassion in how they are treated. 

While many consumers say customer service experiences have become more personalised, others believe they have not yet reached their full potential—providing an opportunity for companies to truly stand out. Just 21% of survey respondents say their customer service experiences have become “much more” personalised and half of those surveyed (50%) say their experiences are only “somewhat more” personalised. While Australian views on personalisation were in roughly in line with the global average, New Zealand stood out as believing interactions were less personalised (33%) leaving much room for improvement in the ANZ region.

Despite the increase in personalisation in customer service, only half (52%) of all survey respondents feel they are shown empathy when contacting an organisation to resolve an issue. 

What’s worse, participants sense this lack of commiseration from companies with which they regularly do business.

“Businesses that recognise the inextricable link between empathy and truly personalised experiences hold the key to establishing customer trust and long-term loyalty – especially as we navigate the longer-term impacts of COVID-19,” said Merijn te Booij, Chief Marketing Officer at Genesys. “With Experience as a ServiceSM, we’re helping organisations leverage cloud and artificial intelligence technologies to individualise the service they deliver, while showing customers they’re truly heard and understood.” 

Know your Customers 

Younger consumers especially recognise the benefits of personalisation. They know what they want, how they want it and when, and are more willing to share personal details to get it. Three-quarters of Millennials (76%) and Gen Zers (76%) in the survey said customer service experiences have become more personalised in the last five years, compared to 69% of Gen Xers and 66% of Boomers.

Consumers of varying ages expect different levels of empathy, with older generations wanting more understanding from organisations. While most Gen Zers (63%) believe businesses work to resolve issues with empathy, only half of Gen Xers (50%) and even fewer Boomers (47%) feel the same.

Perhaps because they’re more accustomed to exercising patience, parents seem a bit more likely to hear empathy from customer service representatives. More than three in five parents (61%) say companies show empathy when resolving an issue, significantly more than their child-free peers (48%).

Location, location, location

The survey data also shows that the degree to which consumers recognise personalised service varies depending on where they live. While consumers in Germany (77%) and the U.K. (75%) are the most likely to say that customer service has become more personalised in the past five years, a third of those in other regions think service has become less personalised.

U.S. respondents were the most likely to say they experience empathy from their service providers (58%). It’s the reverse in Germany (47%) and Japan (40%), where less than half said the businesses they deal with feel their pain.

Rather surprisingly, city dwellers (58%) are considerably more satisfied with the level of empathy they receive than participants in the suburbs and rural areas (both at 49%). Perhaps the pace of city life leaves less time for pleasantries, so the empathy bar is lower?

Below are some additional highlights from the survey conducted in the Australian and New Zealand (ANZ) region:

  • When asked whether they felt organisations empathised with them, Australian respondents were in line with the global average across almost all demographics. Slightly more generous, 57% of New Zealanders felt that organisations they contacted regularly empathised with them, up 5% on the global average and higher across many of the demographic bands.
  • In line with other regions, both Australian and New Zealand Gen Z and Millennials feel that technology has enabled more personalisation in their customer service experience in the last five years – up to 80% of Millennials in New Zealand compared to an average of 67% for all age groups, and 79% of Millennials in Australia compared to the national average of 70% for all age groups. 
  • When asked if consumers feel “the organiations you regularly do business with empathise with your situation or the issue you're contacting them to resolve” urban Australian and New Zealand respondents were more vocal in their displeasure as compared to their regional counterparts, at 40% and 41% respectively, down from both the national and multi-country location averages.

Research results:

Press and analysts may request a copy of each country’s survey findings from the Genesys media relations team. For Australia and New Zealand contact genesys@zadroagency.com.au

Research Methodology

The online survey was conducted by Wakefield Research in April 2020. Participants were 5,000 adults ages 18+, balanced by gender, in the following markets: 1,000 in the U.S., and 800 each in Australia, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, and the U.K.

About Genesys

Every year, Genesys® delivers more than 70 billion remarkable customer experiences for organisations in over 100 countries. Through the power of the cloud and AI, our technology connects every customer moment across marketing, sales and service on any channel, while also improving employee experiences. Genesys pioneered Experience as a ServiceSM so organisations of any size can provide true personalisation at scale, interact with empathy, and foster customer trust and loyalty. This is enabled by Genesys CloudTM, an all-in-one solution and the world’s leading public cloud contact centre platform, designed for rapid innovation, scalability and flexibility. Visit www.genesys.com/en-sg.

©2020 Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, Inc. All rights reserved. Genesys, Genesys Cloud, Experience as a Service, and the Genesys logo are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Genesys. All other company names and logos may be registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective companies. 

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