The top brands in Australia for customer service & experience

20 September 2020 Consultancy.com.au

Over the summer months, professional services giant KPMG surveyed over 2,500 consumers across the country to shed light on which brands provide the best service and customer experience. As selected by Australian consumers, the top three brands for customer experience are First Choice Liquor, IKEA and Afterpay.

1. First Choice Liquor

Leveraging Australia’s soft spot for alcohol alongside a quick response in customer cadence to the Covid-19 crisis, First Choice Liquor has been named Australia’s customer experience leader for 2020.

First Choice Liquor did the basics right over that last twelve months, with customers highlighting product range, availability and price-side value thanks to competitor price matching. “They have a great variety of merchandise to choose from, and their prices are fairly competitive. The greatest advantage is that they price match,” said one respondent to the researchers. 

An enjoyable purchase experience led by friendly, cheerful and helpful staff was also sighted as a key driver of their high scores. “ […] they will even help you to the car if needed […] staff are always helpful and informative.”

First Choice Liquor was able to adapt well to Covid-19 thanks to minimal disruption to their commercial cadence. Large store setups could be easily adapted to social distancing measures without impinging too much on the instore experience. While the click & collect process wasn’t perfect during the lockdown peak, it was seen by most customers as reliable.

First Choice Liquor, IKEA and Afterpay

 2. IKEA

Another organisation seeing strong results after delivering only minor changes in its commercial cadence in response to Covid-19 is Swedish-origin giant IKEA. Much of this can be attributed to Australians looking after their home environment as they spend more time working, playing, exercising and resting at home.

Many customers used their time in lockdown to set up home offices, gyms or generally upgrade their immediate environment. IKEA could meet this increased demand because customers found the transition to IKEA’s website seamless and easy to navigate.

The same design principles helping create an historically excellent on-premises experience were used to ensure a useful familiarity as customers moved online. “I normally buy my IKEA products from the store but since Covid-19 I’ve bought my products online. This has been relatively straight forward,” said a satisfied respondent. 

Competitive pricing as a focus of the value equation was also a significant driver for IKEA’s higher scores. “IKEA is an absolute lifesaver when it comes to affordable furniture. Their prices are more than reasonable and currently, I am in the process of picking out a couch, bookcase, TV table and bedside table on the IKEA website.”

3. Afterpay

Customers feel that Afterpay has changed the way they shop online and have rewarded them with a top five spot in KPMG’s ranking for the second year in a row. As digital shopping became the avenue for Aussie’s to get ‘back to basics’, Afterpay was there to enable the transition as seamlessly as possible. 

By enabling them to buy products and pay for them in four interest-free fortnightly instalments, customers say Afterpay’s simple payment structure helps them budget by setting clear expectations. “I like that I am able to spread out my payments and I limit myself, so I don’t get overwhelmed with debt.”

And when things don’t go to plan, customers comment on Afterpay’s reliable and helpful customer service. “I returned goods I had purchased, and I had a query regarding the credit, and I received a prompt email.

The convenience and support customers feel using Afterpay’s product means they proactively look for online shops offering Afterpay as a payment option. “I have used this service on many of the items I have purchased and always look if this is available on websites before I purchase anything.” 

About the study

The survey was conducted at the height of national lockdown (from March to May 2020), and as a result, Amanda Hicks, KPMG’s National Managing Partner, Brand and Marketing, said that a shift has been visible in the customer experience priorities of customers. “There has been a shift in sentiment towards safety, security, transparency and reliable delivery.”

Other brands that landed a top 10 position in KPMG’s ranking are Boost Juice, Rebel, PayPal, Red Energy, Dan Murphy’s, ING and Best&Less.


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