Latest SenseCX Benchmark results show only the best are getting better


Hunter Water is #1 in customer experience excellence, according to the July 2022 SenseCX Benchmark results, based on 11,590 independent assessments using 30 key customer-focused behaviours for each interaction.

SenseCX is a Quality Assurance framework that measures the quality of customer interactions with organisations, based on three factors – Success, Ease and Sentiment. CSBA publishes the SenseCX Quality Assurance benchmark results each quarter.

Two hundred and three major Australian companies from seven sectors were included in the latest SenseCX results, where independent assessments by CSBA specialists were completed via anonymous telephone conversations between July 2021 to June 2022.

Only the top-ranking companies are improving

In the past three years, the best performers have continued to improve. The overall average score for the top five companies in June 2022 was 80.8%, compared to 73.4% in March 2019.

Hunter Water climbed from an overall score of 66.9% in March 2019 to 82.8% in June 2022. Success improved from 72.2% to 83.1%, Ease rose from 54.4% to 76.5%, and Sentiment increased from 73.5% to 89.2%.

However, the overall median benchmark for the same period remained flat, while the average overall score for the bottom five declined from 48% in March 2019 to 45.7% in June 2022.

Ease – the effort the customer expends to accomplish their goals – saw the largest increase for top performers in the three-year period. The top five average score increased from 61.5% in March 2019 to 72.9% in June 2022, peaking at 76.1% in March 2021.

Again, however, the median benchmark for Ease was flat, while the average score for the lowest performers declined 2.8 points from 27.2% in March 2019 to 24.4% in June 2022.

Under-performers are getting worse

There is a widening gap between the best and worst performers, where the best improves, the mid-pack remains the same, and those at the bottom fall further behind.

In March 2019, the gap between the top five average and the bottom five average was 25.4 points. In June 2022 it was 35.1 points.

Success – the degree to which the customer can accomplish their goals – suffered the biggest drop among the lowest performers, falling 4.4 points, from 58.1% to 53.3% in the same three-year period.

This is in stark contrast to the top five average score for Success, where the best performers improved 6.5 points from 78% in March 2019 to 84.5% in June 2022.

Disparity among top performers across the sector

There was a disparity in the overall SenseCX scores among the top performers across the sectors. Water scored 82.8%, followed by 81.6% (Higher education), 75.5% (Local government), 73.7% (Energy), 63% (Superannuation), 62.8% (Commercial) and 61.5% (Banking).

But while organisational rankings across sectors are important, just as crucial are the median scores that reveal a broader picture of each sector’s performance. In June 2022, Education (61.5%), Commercial (57.4%) and Water (56.8%) took the top three sector positions, while Education (58.7%), Commercial (58.5%) and Banking (57.6%) were top three in March 2019.

The biggest improvements came from the Education (2.7 points), Water (2.2 points) and Energy (2.2 points) sectors, while the biggest declines came from the Banking (-3.2 points) and Superannuation (-2.5 points) sectors.

Wake up call for under-performers

Managing Director of CSBA, Paul van Veenendaal, said the latest results show that the poorest performers have slipped compared to 12 months ago, and will continue a downward trend without intervention.

“When organisations focus heavily on compliance and process, it’s usually at the expense of human engagement.”

“Our research shows that empathy and emotional connection drive customer satisfaction and behaviour,” he explained. “Providing a pathway for further assistance at the end of the call is a simple way for companies to improve.”

“Emotional connection – how a customer feels – is critical to building trust, which ultimately leads to brand loyalty. But it’s going to take a cultural and mindset shift to make an impact.”

Time for action

As van Veenendaal puts it simply, those at the bottom are getting worse at a time where customer expectations are rapidly increasing.

“The importance of implementing a continuous cycle of improvement using regular analysis and independent feedback on customer interactions cannot be overstated,” he said.

“Pleasing your customer has got tougher. The pandemic raised the bar for customer expectations. And organisations must work harder to make each interaction count.

“Because your customer will be comparing their experience with you, to their last best experience – and that could mean the likes of Amazon, Uber Eats and Air BNB.”

Here are the Top 10 Customer Experience performers (overall) and the Top 5 by sector.

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