SAP Australia's 2016 Australian Digital Experience report has uncovered a connection between how likely customers were willing to disclose private data with brands and how delighted customers were with their digital experience.
Speaking to ZDNet, SAP Australia and New Zealand managing director John Ruthven highlighted that those who were delighted with their digital experience were five times more likely to provide information, which he explained creates a virtuous cycle.
"If you're delighted with your experience, you provide more data and so the brand has more data to work with to then provide you an even richer experience, so that has a potential to compound or accelerate," he said.
At the same time, the report also indicated there is still more work to be done to enhance the digital performance; however, it acknowledged there was an overall improvement across the board in how businesses are making the effort to reinvent to keep up with technology and customer demands.
Ruthven said while a gap remains between how delighted or unsatisfied customers are with their digital experience, it has narrowed compared to last year.
"The brands that reinvent their business for the digital context performed best, and we've seen a number of brands this year improve. Overall, as the results indicate, the results are positive ... and that gap is narrowing," he said.
Of the 3,500 Australians that were surveyed, 26 percent said they were delighted with their digital experience this year, an improvement on the 22 percent last year; conversely those that said they were unsatisfied with their digital experience reduced from -47 percent recorded in 2015 to -40 percent this year.
From an industry point of view, the media and entertainment sector came out as the top performers, yet still had more unsatisfied customers than delighted ones. Ruthven explained the reason behind this was because there were "quite extreme" differences between new and old media, noting the top performing brand was Netflix which had a score of +30 percentage points, while the worst performing -- unnamed -- brand scored -38 percentage points.
Meanwhile last year's top performing industry, retail groceries, came in second place, improving by 4 percentage points from last year's score. Similarly, the retail consumer category improved by 8 percent points coming in at -12 percent.
Telecommunications and utilities continued to hold the two lowest digital experience scores this year; however year-on-year utilities saw the largest improvement of any industry, increasing by 11 percentage points.
"I think if you look at utilities it has yet to undergo a massive disruption but that's coming, unlike media that has had a very public transformation and disruption of its business model," Ruthven said
He added that some expected changes that will be introduced to utilities include putting power back into the grid, battery technology, and solar panels, which he believes will make the experience more engaging, and see people regularly dialling up and down their usage.
In a separate report released by Avanade and Sitecore, it showed brands investing in customer experience management expect to see an 11 percent increase in revenue in the next 12 months.
The research showed 71 percent of Australian respondents expect further opportunities to improve profitability when they focus on improving the overall lifetime value of customers.
However, 48 percent of Australian respondents cited that outdated services and systems were hindering their opportunity to improve their customer experience.
"Today's digital customer has higher expectations than ever," said Avanade Australia managing director Sarah Adam-Gedge.
"In an increasingly hyper-connected world, brands need to challenge traditional business models and consider what can be done differently to attract, win, and retain these empowered customers."