27 May 2014
Customers in China are more vocal and actively express views on the quality of services provided by banks, insurers and e-retailers, compared to global counterparts, according to a recent KPMG survey.
The publication, titled Customer Experience Barometer – It’s time to talk, surveyed 5,000 consumers in Australia, China, Germany, UK and the US, analysing customers’ experience of over 160 brands in the banking, general insurance, life insurance, utilities and e-retail sectors.
Emerging markets – China in particular – will soon surpass global peers in terms of customer satisfaction level, the survey finds. China’s respondents reported the greatest improvement (11 to 26 percentage points higher than the global average) in customer experience across all industry sectors surveyed.
Egidio Zarrella, Clients and Innovation Partner, KPMG China, says: “Much has changed over the past five years in China – the rise of China’s social media, the liberalization of the economy, the rapid adoption of digital channels and the introduction of new concepts from the West – and this has had a dramatic impact on customer experience in the country. Given the amount of progress that has been made over the past few years, it is not surprising that China’s respondents report the greatest improvement in customer service across all sectors.”
The survey also highlights that Chinese customers have a higher propensity to recommend their service providers to others, either in favor or against. In China, 83 percent of the respondents said they had recommended their e-retailer in the last 12 months, compared with 41 to 61 percent in the USA, Australia, UK and Germany. On the other hand, one-third of Chinese respondents had recommended against some brands based on customer experience, a much higher ratio than 7 to 13 percent for western counterparts.
For banking, general and life insurance sectors, around 70 percent of respondents in China had recommended their banks and insurers, ahead of 21 to 53 percent registered in other countries surveyed. Over 30 percent of Chinese respondents had recommended against their brands, higher than 9 to 24 percent for its peers.
Mark Bain, Director, KPMG China, says: “China’s insurance customers are indeed seeing significant improvement in their experience, in part driven by a regulatory agenda that focuses on customer protection, but also due to notable improvements in the range of products available via direct sales channels and the scope of information and functionality provided through web based self-servicing across both life and general insurance sectors.”
Bain adds that customers’ insurance buying decisions are increasingly influenced by “peer review” on web and social channels which, in turn, creates new opportunities for insurers to differentiate themselves.
Zarrella concludes: “For financial services organizations and other service-based organizations, the greatest opportunity for sustainable revenue growth does not just come from new products or geographical expansion, but rather from their ability to deliver a differentiating customer experience. Those that get it right will not only capture a greater share of new customers, they will also be better placed to keep their customers and extend their existing relationships. We see Chinese financial institutions responding to these trends by building data analytics capabilities. Customer behaviour, propensity modelling and other customer centric strategies are becoming a major focus in China.”
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