Monday, 11 July 2016 17:25

NZ telcoms providers risk customer losses if no lift in digital services: SAP

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NZ telcoms providers risk customer losses if no lift in digital services: SAP Image courtesy of Stuart Miles, freedigitalphotos.net/images

The continuing loyalty of New Zealanders to a particular brand is seemingly dependent on their online experiences, and the country's telecoms providers have fared poorly in this area in the eyes of their customers, according to a newly published survey  by SAP.

The survey shows that across all industry sectors, online customers unsatisfied with their digital activities are far less likely to remain loyal to a brand than those satisfied with their experiences.

And, telecommunications, along with consumer goods retail and government, was one of three NZ industry sectors with the lowest digital experience scores in the SAP survey, with more unsatisfied than satisfied customers – although New Zealand performed best in government among mature markets across the Asia-Pacific region.

In fact, with an overall digital‑experience score of ‑15%, the NZ telecommunications industry scored positively in just three of the 14 attributes ranked by consumers.

And, with three quarters of telco services consumers interacting digitally with their provider — the second highest levels of engagement among all industries  SAP says brands in the telecoms sector are “at risk of losing customers if they do not improve the digital experiences delivered”.

“With continued significant levels of investment expected for the sector, telecommunication providers must invest in technologies that help them understand their customers as individuals, delivering personalised and exciting experiences,” SAP suggests.

“Brands have access to a plethora of customer data empowering them to do this if managed correctly, and those that do it successfully will differentiate themselves from competitors beyond simply price points and products.”

Overall, for all brands in all sectors, the SAP survey reveals that just 17% of consumers that are unsatisfied with the digital experience say they would remain loyal, in stark contrast to the 79% of satisfied customers “delighted” with their digital experience who said they would remain loyal to a brand.

The study, undertaken by SAP, shows that New Zealanders who are “delighted” with their digital experience are over four and a half times more likely to remain loyal to a brand than those who are unsatisfied.

And, of the 2500 consumers who rated over 6500 digital interactions against 14 digital-experience attributes, over a third (37%)were unsatisfied with their digital experiences, in contrast to 31% who said they were delighted with the digital experiences provided.

SAP says, however, that two New Zealand brands that bucked the trend and performed “at the top of their industries” included Bank of New Zealand in the banking sector and AA Insurance in the insurance sector, while Netflix scored highest in the media and entertainment sector and highest among all industries.

Of the eight industries assessed for the report, banking was the top performer, closely followed by insurance, with SAP revealing that both sectors returned positive digital experience scores, “with more delighted than unsatisfied customers”.

After banking and insurance, retail groceries was the next best performing industry with a score of zero (meaning they have an equal amount of both delighted and unsatisfied customers).

The survey highlighted what SAP says was a link between the digital experience and business outcomes.

After an examination of New Zealander’s data privacy and personalisation preferences, analysis showed New Zealanders who are “delighted” with the digital experience are more willing to share private data than those who are unsatisfied, with the results varying across different types of data:

•    40% of delighted consumers would disclose their buying preferences;
•    28% their social media usage;
•    25% their health records; and
•    21% their Web browsing history.

But, these percentages fall among unsatisfied consumers by 13%, 8%, 4% and 4% respectively.

The survey shows that safety and security of online services was by far the most important digital experience attributed to consumers, with 72% of respondents ranking it as one of the most important components of their so-called “delightful” digital experience.

The next most important attributes were services that are “available anytime on my terms (42% ), and cohesive, integrated, and simple (42%)”, while those brands that performed well also scored significantly higher in the more emotional attributes, such as “predicts, my preferences” and “excites and engages me”, the report says.

“These findings demonstrate the strong connection between the digital experience and business outcomes in New Zealand,” said Graeme Riley, managing director, SAP New Zealand.

He cautions that the vast differences between consumer loyalty, advocacy, and willingness to share personal information highlights the “urgency with which the country’s brands must prioritise improving the digital experiences they deliver for their customers, and demonstrates the rewards available to those that do”.

“With SAP’s New Zealand Digital Experience Report, we’re offering a framework to help organisations measure and manage their digital experience performance from their customers’ perspective. Whilst these frameworks might differ by industry, the central component will always be the customer.

“Brands that perform best in this new digital marketplace are those that unite their people and processes on a single system to deliver on their customers’ ever increasing demands.”

To access the full SAP New Zealand digital experience report click here.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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