From insurance to booze to self-care: which brands are providing the best customer experience?

Every year, KPMG Australia surveys thousands of Australians to evaluate which brands are providing the best customer experience (CX).

The research is based upon long established thinking how around people engage with brands (the six pillars of customer experience excellence): integrity, resolution, expectations, time and effort, personalisation and empathy. It provides great insight into how businesses interact with consumers, but also gives a fascinating perspective into what products have been front of mind for Australians throughout the pandemic.

In the years before COVID-19, Australian’s top 10 CX brands tended to come from the international airline or financial services sectors. When people thought of the best brand experiences, Singapore Airlines or Emirates would be top of mind, or perhaps a perennial favourite such as Bendigo Bank or Paypal.

However, starting in 2019, the KPMG CEE report has started to pick up on some very interesting trends shaping the Australian consumer’s view.

In 2019, as we coped with a season of bushfires and floods, Australian’s were no doubt pre-occupied with the financial impacts of these major disasters. Perhaps as a result, the insurance sector was over-represented, with consumers rating RACQ Insurance as number 1, and NRMA and RACV both ranking in the top 10.

In 2020, during lockdowns, we saw a “back to basics” mentality, as Australian consumers turned to alcohol, flatpack furniture and leisurewear to get us through the pandemic. First Choice Liquor was the first choice for customer experience, with IKEA second and Rebel and Best&Less cracking the top 10.

This year’s research is published today, with much of Australia recently out of lockdowns or looking towards the latter stages of the pandemic.

What is show’s is that Australians are shifting towards self-care and preparing for a return to normality – with online beauty brand Mecca taking top place, and Priceline and Chemist Warehouse also recognised in the top 10. Alcohol is still helping to soften the transition between lockdowns with First Choice Liquor is in second place. Also, Consumers don’t just want to feel good as we move towards the Christmas holiday season, they want to look good too: online fashion retailer The Iconic and Specsavers also make the top 10.

Being ranked at the top of the list Customer Experience Excellence is a big achievement for any brand, and even more so in a time when businesses are grappling with both a major shift towards buying online and significant supply chain challenges. The brands that appear on the KPMG Customer Experience Excellence top 10 are noteworthy not just because their products are in demand, but for how they meet (and exceed) the Australian publics expectations.

As we move into 2022, it will be fascinating to see which brands appear in this list towards the end of the year. I think many people would be happy to see the return of the pre-2019 period, when travel and entertainment were front of mind when it came to the best brand experience.

2021 2020 2019
1.     Mecca 1.     First Choice Liquor 1.     RACQ Insurance
2.     First Choice Liquor 2.     IKEA 2.     Bendigo Bank
3.     Bendigo Bank 3.     Afterpay 3.     Afterpay
4.     Bunnings 4.     Boost Juice 4.     NRMA Insurance
5.     Afterpay 5.     Rebel 5.     Dan Murphy’s
6.     Specsavers 6.     PayPal 6.     RACV Insurance
7.     Priceline 7.     Red Energy 7.     The Iconic
8.     Chemist  Warehouse 8.     Dan Murphy’s 8.     Grill’d
9.     The Iconic 9.     ING 9.     Suncorp
10.   Paypal 10.   Best&Less 10.   Mitre 10

Read the full report. 

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