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Customer experience – local versus global maturity

Customer experience – local versus global maturity

‘Glocal’ brands are leading the market in Australia when it comes to customer experience, but it’s not too late for Australian brands to step up and take back control.

Carmen Bekker

Partner, Customer Brand & Marketing Advisory

KPMG Australia


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Global organisations are providing non-local product and service options for Australian consumers, and are delighting their customers more consistently than their Australian competitors, according to KPMG’s Customer Experience Excellence Report for 2018.

This challenges Australian companies to pinpoint what differentiates their local brand, and to be aware of the global points of difference that might undermine their local advantage.

However, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to perfecting customer experience (CX). Instead, CX excellence is achieved through a detailed understanding of the customer, and the value your products and services bring to their lives in a crowded and globalised marketplace.

A global environment

Australian consumers are connected, empowered and unified with their global peers. They expect the latest in movies, music, fashion and technology, and receive it thanks to the influx of global organisations into the market (e.g. Netflix, H&M, Amazon and Spotify).

Therefore, consumers are now spoilt for choice. They are realising the benefits of shopping from global businesses, as our Customer Experience Excellence (CEE) research shows.

What is the glocal benefit?

A ‘glocal’ brand offers an experience that translates across different cultures. It appreciates and appeals to the uniqueness of the local culture and lifestyle, offering a highly personalised and localised experience.

This is underpinned by experience in delivering profit margins in highly competitive markets. They have had to optimise, rethink, fail and climb to be stand-out brands in their geographies of origin.

They bring reputational excellence, thanks to an optimised business model, and a thorough understanding of their key customer segments. They have a global validation of their product offering.

As an example, programme streaming business Netflix offers a subscription for unlimited consumption, but consumers are served TV shows and movies that are most relevant to their local geography.

How glocals rate

KPMG’s CEE scores are based on weighted averages of The Six Pillars of Customer Experience in order of importance to Australians: Personalisation, Integrity, Expectations, Resolution, Time and Effort, and Empathy. Respondents also provided input on Advocacy, Loyalty and Value for Money.

Customers rated global brands more favourably on Time and Effort to achieve a desired result, Personalisation to the customer needs, and the brand’s ability to consistently meet their Expectations.

A 0.31 point increase (out of 10) in a customer’s likelihood to recommend a brand to friends and family was seen for global brands over local brands.

Leading industries

The industries where the global advantage was most powerful were Entertainment and Financial Services, with a 13 percent and 9 percent average increase respectively on the overall CEE scores.

In Financial Services, global brands were positively differentiated by their ability to meet customer experience needs by offering Personalisation, consistently meeting their Expectations, and to a lesser extent than the Entertainment industry, Time and Effort to achieve a desired result.

Case study – PayPal’s approach

PayPal, a global finance and technology company, rated No. 4 in the overall CEE scores. PayPal is known for making online payments safer, flexible and more convenient. It specialises in a ‘no touch offering’, which allows the PayPal experience to be seamless and integrated.

The company has embedded data-driven customer experiences into its call centres by aligning service approaches to the call statistics from the customer. For example, if a customer has called multiple times in a week, staff can tailor their service before they pick up the call. This personalisation may be one of the reasons for PayPal’s successful rating.

Local learnings

Local business are unable to compete with glocals on economies of scale. However, they do have the advantage of knowledge of their markets that a glocal company may take years to understand.

To compete with glocals on CX, local companies need to embrace digital mechanisms, and hone in on The Six Pillars of Customer Experience to improve in each area, with a goal to delight their customers in each interaction.

The challenge is balance of investment – finding a way to meet customer expectations today, while still investing for the future. This means creating a customer-centric, connected enterprise with the customer at the centre of business, and embedding products and services into the lives of Australian consumers.

You can find out more about how global and local companies are rating when it comes to CX in KPMG’s Customer Experience Excellence Report for 2018.

Australian brands face challenges setting themselves apart, but there are clear ways to get noticed. Find out more in Customer experience – turn effort into impact.

© 2020 KPMG, an Australian partnership and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”) is a Swiss entity. Member firms of the KPMG network of independent firms are affiliated with KPMG International. KPMG International provides no client services. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm.

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