In search of customer enchantment

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  • 84 percent of New Zealandersfeel ‘unaffected by their experience’ as customers.
  • When it comes to enchanting New Zealand customers, ANZ, AA Insurance and Air New Zealand take the top honours.
  • Kantar TNS New Zealand says the key to customer enchantment is to cut through complexity.

Kantar TNS has released the results of a survey that, it says “revealed that only 11 percent of Kiwis are left feeling ‘enchanted’ after a customer experience, compared to 20 percent of customers globally.” It added: “Only four percent of New Zealand customers feel ‘disenchanted’, and a whopping 84 percent feel ‘unaffected’.

Market research company, Kantar TNS New Zealand, has pronounced that, in general, New Zealanders are less than enchanted with the standard of customer service provided by New Zealand companies.

“Only 11 percent of Kiwis are left feeling ‘enchanted’ after a customer experience, compared to 20 percent of customers globally.”

The research firm singled out two companies for special mention, saying: “When it comes to enchanting customers, ANZ, AA Insurance and Air New Zealand take the top honours.”

It warned that the imminent arrival of Amazon to New Zealand made it imperative for local businesses to “create memorable experiences for customers,” and asked: “So what are ANZ, AA Insurance and Air New Zealand doing that others can learn from?”

AA Insurance provided its own answer, boasting about Kantar’s accolade in a press release that quoted CEO Chris Curtin saying: “The research has confirmed the importance that AA Insurance places on ensuring our customers can interact with us in their preferred way.

“This includes having real people answer our phones quickly to help connect customers with the right person first time, as well as offering a policy ‘self-serve’ option with My AA Insurance, and Live Chat – an online communication tool. We also treat social media – a popular option for younger customers - as a communication channel in its own right, and are committed to providing a prompt response.”

Kantar TNS New Zealand executive director Nigel Green said the key to customer enchantment was to cut through the complexity and to treat each communication channel with the attention it deserved.

“Many customer interactions fail to leave a lasting positive impression on customers.”

“Many customer interactions fail to leave a lasting positive impression on customers,” he said. “Businesses are spreading themselves too thin – they have a Facebook page because they think they should, but it’s frustrating for customers if it’s not being monitored or the information is out of date.”

He added: “Identifying the right communication channel for your customer is also key.Not surprisingly social media is a popular option for younger customers, and also for the sale of simple services or products. However many businesses treat social media as an afterthought and don’t treat it as a communication channel in its own right.”

However the whole issue begs the question of just how of customer service should be measured, or defined: customer satisfaction; customer delight? Customer enchantment, presumably, is a level above either of these.

Kantar itself is not very helpful. The only reference to enchantment, enchanting or enchanted we could find on the Kantar TNS web site was in the press release announcing the results of its New Zealand survey.

Some dictionary definitions are clearly inappropriate: “subject to magical influence; bewitch”. We’ll settle for “to delight to a high degree.” Enchanted customers therefore are simply highly delighted customers, which keeps things simpler.

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