State of Customer Engagement

Three opportunities for Australian businesses to continue accelerating their digital transformation


  • Kristen Pimpini.jpg
    Kristen Pimpini
  • May 19, 2021
TLDR

Three ways Australian leaders can diversify their communications to maximise engagement, conversion, and ultimately, connect with customers.

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In a country as large, diverse, and remote as Australia, businesses can optimise brilliantly for their local area but struggle to take the lead on a statewide, national, or even regional scale.

As the digital accelerant of the decade, COVID-19 showed, a digital overhaul could catalyse customer engagement for the better. In fact, results of our second annual State of Customer Engagement Report reveal that digital communications were critical to business survival in 2020.

To better understand these opportunities, let’s look at three ways Australian leaders can diversify their communications to maximise engagement, conversion, and ultimately, connect with customers.

Omnichannel communications still present a myriad of opportunities

Australian businesses are less likely to increase their number of communications channels than fellow APAC businesses.

Of those surveyed, we found that Australian businesses are only 35 percent more likely to increase their number of communications channels compared to 53 percent of companies in Singapore and 50 percent in Japan. This indicates that firms building on their customer engagement capabilities have ample opportunity to take the lead in this space.

Decision-makers are already taking note. On average, Australian companies are planning to add 3.7 new channels in the next 12 months, outpacing the global average of 3.5. 

Across APAC, the top five channels firms have chosen to invest in include live chat, web-based chatbots, interactive voice response, in-app chat and in-app calling. In other words, conversational customer experience is where the region is investing—Australian businesses who heed this change will likely continue to gain favour with customers.

The era of the personal touch

Going digital is an opportunity to improve how we connect with customers, and Australia has ample room to do so. Globally, digital customer engagement rose to 58 percent during the pandemic, but Australia moved slightly slower at 50 percent. 

This leaves a remaining 50 percent of interactions happening offline, the highest in the APAC region, giving Australia the chance to create these new touchpoints where they haven’t existed before.

There is no better time than the present, and customers are more ready than ever to embrace new channels. Video proved to be one of the best channels to help businesses stay connected to individuals during COVID-19. More than half of Australian businesses reported that it helped to strengthen customer relationships, increased access to their products or services, and was a more efficient use of company resources.

It is promising that 76 percent of organisations are now leveraging this channel in Australia, only slightly falling behind the 79 percent of APAC and global firms are doing the same. In the short term, this increases the possibility of gaining additional conversions while building out long-term loyalty.  

A little investment can go a long way

When a business invests in their communication channels, they invest in customer relationships.

Despite the increase in communications channels generating high-quality returns, only 41 percent of Australian businesses plan on increasing their investment in customer engagement compared to 48 percent in APAC. This figure drops to 39 percent among highly regulated industries, including finance, government and healthcare.

For savvy decision-makers in Australia, this offers a chance to capitalise on an early mover advantage and establish meaningful connections with stakeholders. Beyond that, 2020 has shown us that enterprise decision-makers in Australia can take confidence in the benefits of digital engagement.

State of Customer Engagement

Learn more about how COVID-19 drove digital transformation across the globe in our State of Customer Engagement report coverage.

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Communication for good | Spring 2021
  • Communication for good | Spring 2021
  • COVID-19 and the new normal | Winter 2020
  • Digital trust | Summer 2021
  • Pre-SIGNAL special | Fall 2021
  • Retail in 2021 | Summer 2021
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Kristen Pimpini.jpg

Kristen Pimpini

Kristen Pimpini, Regional Vice President, Australia & New Zealand at Twilio: With 15+ years of sales leadership, Kristen has led technology companies across Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific. Kristen lives and breathes the importance of strategic client relationships. Building trust is key and delivering value as a “thinking partner” is the recipe for success. Neither can be achieved without a deep understanding of an organisation's opportunities and challenges.