As brands have continued to deliver better customer experiences, expectations among consumers in Hong Kong have risen. As a result, Hong Kong brands experienced a slight decline in their overall customer experience performance compared with 2021, according to a KPMG China survey.
In the 2022 edition of the Hong Kong Customer Experience Excellence (CEE) Report “Getting Future-ready and Staying Ahead”, nearly 1,200 customers were surveyed regarding their views on what constitutes a great customer experience. Those surveyed were asked to rate their experiences with over 70 brands that operate across five sectors: financial services, non-grocery retail, grocery retail, travel & hotels, and entertainment & leisure. The study took into account the six pillars of Customer Experience Excellence, which defines what customers look for in organisations.
The survey found that the overall customer experience score out of 10 decreased slightly from 6.91 in 2021 to 6.81 in 2022. Integrity and Personalisation are the leading pillars driving customer advocacy and loyalty in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong consumers are increasingly embracing digital channels, with 85% of respondents to a KPMG China survey reporting digital interactions with leading brands – an 8% increase compared with the previous year. As brands continue to invest in their customer experience, user-friendly digital experiences are now the minimum standard expected in Hong Kong.
While non-grocery retail and grocery retail are the top performing sectors, non-grocery retail was the only sector to see an improvement in this year’s overall customer experience score compared with the previous year. Non-grocery retail scored 6.98/10 in the study, ranking first among all sectors.
The adoption of technology to streamline and improve communications by retailers has resulted in more transparency and engagement with customers. Compared with last year’s report, the frequency of communication between brands and customers has increased by at least 5% across multiple channels, including chatbots, in-store staff and phone calls. The Resolution pillar grew the fastest in hon-grocery retail compared with last year, while the Integrity and Expectations pillars remained the most important.
KPMG China partner and head of consumer and retail ASPAC, Anson Bailey, commented: “Tech-savvy Gen Z consumers still want an immersive physical retail store experience. Retailers need to leverage data and collaborate with stakeholders, as well as financial institutions, to curate a seamless omnichannel customer experience.”
The grocery retail sector scored 6.82/10 in the study. Hong Kong consumers are notorious for their fast-paced lifestyles, and time and convenience remain key buying factors for the vast majority. At the same time, grocery retailers in Hong Kong have also continued to streamline their customer experience through the use of technology. In particular, the Consumption Voucher Scheme, along with a variety of other efforts, has driven a wider adoption of digital payments.
KPMG China partner and head of consumer and retail, Daniel Hui, said: “Hong Kong consumers expect their shopping experiences to be exceptional, immersive, and content-rich, seamlessly combining the convenience of online shopping with the service of offline retail. Brands need to redesign and optimise their pre- and post-purchase experiences. Evolving roles and responsibilities of retail staff are key to bridging online to offline experiences. Knowledgeable and qualified retail staff, coupled with a strong interior concept for retail stores, are the keys to a seamless integration between the online and offline shopping experience.”
Financial services scored 6.76/10 in terms of customer experience in 2022. In this year’s survey, it is noted that the amplified efforts in digital transformation by traditional banks have paid off and they performed better across all six pillars when compared with virtual banks and other payment services.
Customer adoption of digital solutions has accelerated, with only 29% of surveyed customers interacting with their bank through the branch channel, compared with 39% in the previous year. Digital banking has become the new standard and is the gateway to personalised products and services.
The report notes that traditional banks have overcome legacy issues and can now compete with digital-first challengers in providing a seamless omnichannel experience. With the emergence of new technologies, the banking industry is closer than ever to providing smarter advisory and more personalised services and product offerings.
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