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Deeper cultural understanding = better brand performance

A deeper understanding of kiwi culture cultivates better brand performance

The top three ranking brands in KPMG New Zealand’s Customer Experience Excellence report approach their customer experiences with a mind-set that’s unique to New Zealand.

Our inaugural landmark report reveals what New Zealand consumers value most from their favourite brands.

The report

The KPMG Customer Experience Excellence (CEE) report has been undertaken globally for the last eight years - completing over two million individual consumer evaluations in 14 markets worldwide, and this year is the first time New Zealand consumers have participated.

Based on a survey of almost 55,000 consumers across 14 markets, the report identifies which brands consumers ranked highest for customer experience excellence. 2,504 Kiwi consumers evaluated 124 New Zealand brands.

To be able to answer questions about a brand, consumers were required to have interacted with that brand within the past six months. At least 100 consumers per brand were required for that brand to be included in the final KPMG research results. In total 62 brands made the cut, with the top ten featured in the report to highlight the actions their taking to deliver exceptional customer experiences.

These brands were ranked across the KPMG ‘Six Pillars of Customer Experience Excellence’;

— Personalisation: Using individualised attention to drive an emotional connection.

— Integrity: Being trustworthy and engendering trust.

— Expectations: Managing, meeting and exceeding customer expectations.

— Resolution: Turning a poor experience into a great one.

— Time & Effort: Minimising customer effort and creating frictionless processes.

— Empathy: Achieving an understanding of the customer’s circumstances to drive deep rapport.

These Six Pillars are the DNA of every outstanding customer experience and lay the foundation for consumers to identify the leaders in each country. “The pillars allow a psychological understanding to be paired with the economic values that give us far more insight into than legacy customer experience indicators such as NPS (Net promoter score)” says Simon Hunter, a KPMG Partner.

The results

“The top two pillars for New Zealand consumers were Personalisation and Time & Effort. The organisations who score highest in these areas are seeing the greatest impact to customer loyalty and advocacy,” Baxter McConnell, Head of Customer Experience, KPMG New Zealand.

Of the 62 brands that made the cut, the top three leaders of customer experience were Farmlands Co-operative Society, Air New Zealand and Kiwibank. These three brands excelled at consistently providing personalised experiences that make it easy for consumers to choose to interact with them. KPMG found this success started with a fundamental understanding of their consumers and a strong belief in the identity and purpose of each organisation’s mission.

“Many of our staff grew up in the local communities they now serve through Farmlands,” says Peter Reidie, CEO of Farmlands. “This reinforces our sense of family. We are in a business where our shareholders trust us with their livelihoods, so every interaction with them should return that faith.”

The report also showed that organisations who are delivering the best customer experiences, both in New Zealand and globally, are doing so by understanding how digital pathways integrate with traditional channels and creating a seamless omni-channel experience.

“Customers are increasingly ‘mixing and matching’ as they unbundle and then reconfigure their buying experience to suit their individual needs,” says KPMG’s Baxter McConnell. “Firms that invest in understanding how, when and where their customers prefer to shop are creating a competitive advantage that drives economic value.”

“Listening to feedback and keeping customers at the core is integral to how we do business. We’ve invested significantly in technologies that improve our customers’ travel experiences, like our Airband for unaccompanied minors, AI chatbot Oscar and mobile app,” says Anita Hawthorne, General Manager Customer Experience at Air New Zealand. “Coupled with our innovative inflight products, modern fleet, new and refreshed lounge spaces, and unique Kiwi style of service our people provide, these enhancements help to make the entire customer journey seamless.”

The New Zealand findings were in stark contrast to our neighbours in Australia who saw international brands Emirates and Singapore Air take out the top two places.

The economic impact

The leading organisations in the report also demonstrate a clear understanding of the link between the quality of the experience delivered and the value created.

“Increasingly we are able to quantify how much customers are willing to pay for an improved experience and how many will walk away from a brand after a bad experience,” says Simon. “Our research shows that EBITDA growth of the top 50 global customer experience leaders is 202% greater than the bottom 50, at an aggregated level.”

About the research

Conducted through an online survey and completed in late 2017, the research took in the views of almost 55,000 consumers in 14 different markets: Australia, China, Denmark, France, Italy, India, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, UAE, the United Kingdom and the United States. More than 1,400 brands were reviewed in total, resulting in almost 600,000 individual brand evaluations. The research was conducted on behalf of KPMG International by KPMG Nunwood’s Customer Experience Excellence Center. Available local market data can be found on our website at kpmg.com/customerfirst.

About KPMG

KPMG is a global network of professional services firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. We operate in 154 countries and territories and have 200,000 people working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.

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