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People, AI or chatbots: ANZ consumers couldn’t care less who provides the service as long as it’s fast and efficient

Australian and New Zealanders are happy to embrace a full range of self-serve and human customer service options, placing the highest premium on speed, knowledge, and accuracy of outcomes.

Consumers in Australia and New Zealand revealed their sentiments towards interacting with artificial intelligence (AI) and chatbots for customer service inquiries as part of a new international survey conducted by global technology leader, Genesys.

The results of the survey cement the region’s position as early adopters of AI technologies for performing customer service functions. Almost half of all Australian respondents (47%) and more than half of New Zealanders (60%) confirmed they are happy to interact and seek assistance from a voice or chatbot for tasks that are simple or transactional in nature.

The survey revealed that consumers in both Australia (60%) and New Zealand (69%) still place the highest premium on customer service staff being knowledgeable and capable of providing accurate information. This was closely followed by receiving a response to their inquiry promptly with 47% of consumers from Australia and 48% from New Zealand respectively placing a high value on this expertise. 

One-third of Australians and New Zealanders believe that a company’s reputation for good customer service is the most important factor to consider when engaging with a business or brand, deeming it more important than value for money or cheaper pricing. Two-thirds of ANZ consumers stated that they base their decision to purchase from a business, at least partially, on their reputation for providing a high level of customer service.

Unsurprisingly, one of the most frustrating experiences for consumers was needing to repeat the same information multiple times to different customer service agents; with almost half of survey respondents listing this as the biggest irritant in service.

The survey uncovers other interesting insights into consumer behaviour in customer service situations. Across the wider survey, it was revealed:
  • Customer service interactions in the APAC region are overwhelmingly positive, with 91% of respondents categorising their most recent interactions as favourable.
  • In APAC, the majority of respondents ranked large organisations as providing the best levels of customer service. However, most Australians (48%) and New Zealanders (46%) disagreed with this sentiment and believe that small independent businesses provide the best customer service experiences.
  • At some point three-quarters of consumers have become so frustrated trying to get customer support that they have ended up swearing or crying, with 33% of consumers in APAC saying this happens to them ‘occasionally’.
  • As a direct result of bad customer service, half of consumers would ‘stop doing business with that company; a response that is most common for consumers in New Zealand (61%), Australia (59%).
  • Most consumers in APAC prefer to listen to classical music when on hold (32%), however in both Australia (18%) and New Zealand (19%) we see a preference for 20th Century Rock/Pop: well above the average in APAC of 7%.
Gwilym Funnell, Senior Vice President, Asia-Pacific and Japan for Genesys, said, “It is not surprising Australian and New Zealand consumers are becoming more open to interacting with AI and bot technology during customer service experiences, especially when they place such a high premium on their time and don’t appreciate it being wasted.”

“Consumers no longer have the patience or brand loyalty that they once had and are more than prepared to switch to a brand or business that places a higher value on providing their customers with fantastic end-to-end customer experiences.  At Genesys, we believe the best way to ensure businesses stay ahead of their competitors is to create an experience that seamlessly blends humans and AI-powered technology to keep up with changing consumer expectations and can resolve their issues quickly and accurately the first time.”


The survey was is the third in a series of global research projects conducted in 2019 by consultancy Vitreous World for Genesys to understand the sentiment of employees, employers and consumers towards advanced technology either in the workplace or in their daily lives. There were over 1600 respondents in Australia and New Zealand.

About Genesys
Genesys® powers more than 25 billion of the world’s best customer experiences each year. Our success comes from connecting employee and customer conversations on any channel. Every day, 11,000 companies in more than 100 countries trust our #1 customer experience platform to drive great business outcomes and create lasting relationships. Combining the best of technology and human ingenuity, we build solutions that mirror natural communication and work the way you think. Our industry-leading solutions foster true omnichannel engagement because they perform equally well across channels, on-premises and in the cloud. Experience communication as it should be fluid, instinctive and profoundly empowering. Visit http://www.genesys.com/anz.

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