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Customer experience failures of Australian brands

Technology & Data

Customer experience failures of Australian brands


Big W, Woolworths and Telstra provide some of the worst customer experiences in Australia, according to a Forrester Survey. These brands were among the lowest-scoring on the Forrester CX Index which failed to find any Australian brand that provides ‘excellent’ customer experience.

The Australia Customer Experience Index 2015 gives an understanding of the quality of customer experience by Australia’s leading companies. Looking at 58 Australian brands over eight industries, the report finds that smaller companies are leading the pack, that technology is not necessarily the answer and that Australian brands are missing the emotional connection with consumers.

50% of brands say that improving CX is their top strategic priority with 48% saying that improving CX is not a top priority but it is on their list of strategic priorities. Although no Australian brands provide ‘excellent’ customer experience, the survey also found that very few brands provide ‘very poor’ experience.


overall ratings


48% of Australian brands surveyed are making incremental improvements to CX, a drop of almost 10% from 2014. 24% focus on changing their business model to align with CX innovations, up from 19% and 24% are focusing on radical CX innovations, up from 18%.

Only 2% of brands said that customer experience was not on the company’s list of strategic priorities and that they weren’t focusing on customer experience.

Emotional leverage

The report compares how each brand in each industry handled the three Es of customer experience:

  • Effectiveness: customers get value from the experience,
  • ease: customers get value without difficulty, and
  • emotion: customers feels good about the experience.

Australian brands don’t value emotional leverage as much as they should and are instead focusing on providing an easy or effective experience to customers. The survey found that the leading brand in all eight industries delivered more of the right emotional experiences than any of its competitors.

Highest-scoring brand(s)

  • Auto/home insurers: RACQ,
  • banks: Bendigo Bank,
  • credit card providers: Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac Bank,
  • digital-only retailers: Amazon,
  • internet service providers: iiNet,
  • traditional retailers (stores and digital): The Good Guys,
  • TV service providers: Optus, and
  • mobile service providers: Amaysim.

Lowest-scoring brand(s) 

  • Auto/home insurers: QBE,
  • banks: National Australia Bank (NAB), Westpac,
  • credit card providers: ANZ,
  • digital-only retailers: Big W,
  • internet service providers: Dodo,
  • traditional retailers (stores and digital): Woolworths,
  • TV service providers: Foxtel, and
  • mobile service providers: Telstra, TPG.

Technology not the only answer

Bendigo Bank and ING Direct top the CX Index. While they’re both in the banking industry, their approaches to customer service vary greatly. Bendigo Bank is a traditional bricks-and-mortar bank, compared to ING Direct, which operates entirely online, confirming that CX is less about the business model and more about how the business is conducted.

The same can be said about the retail industry, in which The Good Guys and Amazon received the same CX Index score. However, no brand in the retail industry received more than an ‘OK’ experience, suggesting the retail industry has a lot of room for improvement.

Technology providers such as pay TV, mobile and internet service providers had mainly ‘poor’ experiences, with few brands in the industry getting a score of ‘OK’. The report credits the low scores to the reliance the industry has on contracts as a means of customer retention.

The report concludes that while online options are necessary to remain competitive, they are not the only factor in becoming a CX leader.

Top 10 brands in Australia Customer Experience Index 2015 

  1. Bendigo Bank,
  2. ING Direct,
  3. RACQ,
  4. Youi,
  5. Suncorp Bank,
  6. Commonwealth Bank of Australia,
  7. RACV,
  8. Bankwest,
  9. ANZ, and
  10. Coles Insurance.





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