It’s Not Me, It’s You: Why Aussie Shoppers Abandon Retailers

Ally Feiam By Ally Feiam | 24 Aug 2021

Do retailers really ‘wow’ consumers in Australia? Apparently not. Here’s what retailers should know, and how they can fix it.

In a new study from Freshworks, 43 percent of Aussie consumers say they are happy to avoid a retailer altogether if its communication is poor. If a call centre wait time is too long, 19 percent of shoppers say they would veto the brand – a further 17 percent said they would also abandon a brand if the response time to their query were too exhausted.

Insensitive communications will result in 14 percent of shoppers abandoning a purchase. Ten percent said they would leave a brand behind if they sought out a competitor with more effective pandemic-related responses.

So what does this mean? In short, a retailer must make sure that the image they portray as effective communicators be actioned too. It’s not enough to say that you offer great customer service or experience; you actually have to do it.

The research further indicated that more than half of Australians (56 percent) believe that customer service in action doesn’t match what retailers promise, and that’s a big issue. As such, 55 percent of consumers expect brands to know about and consider their values when communicating.

So, for retailers to take action, they must consider a few things. To start, 36 percent of consumers would prefer to avoid automated or scripted responses without offering a solution. Naturally, 38 percent say that one of the biggest bugbears is waiting too long to respond from a retailer’s representative. A further 35 percent say that being passed from one department to another without a resolution can also cause consumers to turn their back on a brand.

So, what is the solution? It’s time to wow your customers, not just to compel them to buy, but post-purchase too. While it seems glaringly obvious, a huge chunk of retailers in Australia are missing the mark when it comes to helping customers online.

When something goes wrong, 54 percent of consumers expect a quick resolution. This means that 43 percent do not expect to be put on hold, 42 percent want a speedy response, and 37 percent expect the customer service agents to be polite. What’s more, it’s time to get real … to an extent.

Over half (54 percent) of Australian consumers say that they admire companies that use a mixture of self-service and humans in their customer service. Furthermore, 31 percent say that they’d be happy to resolve an issue themselves using self-service options rather than customer service channels, but that doesn’t mean that retailers should veto human interaction altogether. In fact, according to the global survey, 71 percent of consumers say they would rather talk to a human to solve their problems.

Eighty percent of consumers also said they want more honesty from retailers, and 67 percent expect more empathy. “Customers rule the world, and many of them have shown empathy by adjusting expectations for companies over the trials and tribulations of the pandemic,” explained Stacey Epstein, the Chief Marketing Officer at Freshworks.

“We are seeing now that many will exchange information about everything from personal values to salary information for personalised service that improves their experience. The takeaway for companies is that they can no longer separate their product from the customer experience; instead, it is a business imperative for companies to make it easy to delight their customers through thoughtful, easy and speedy interactions that reflect customer values.”

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