Australian marketing leaders’ concerns for combating ‘The Great Customer Resignation’

A new report from SugarCRM surveying sales and marketing leaders underscored the urgency for Australian businesses to act decisively in combating “The Great Customer Resignation”.

The study found Australian customers are leaving at extraordinary rates and most Australian companies are ill-prepared to counter this trend in the rebound from the pandemic. Whilst 70% of Australian sales and marketing leaders agree that it is more cost-effective to keep existing customers than closing a new sale, the same percentage report increased customer turnover, compared to 52% in a survey conducted the year prior.

Despite the cost of churn, a staggering 61% of Australian companies surveyed admit they do not understand the reasons for churn and 63% struggle to quantify and track churn rates effectively. This “Great Customer Resignation” – is yet another challenge for brands fighting an onslaught of forces including supply chain disruption and employment challenges – threatens the future of companies across all industries worldwide.

More than three-quarters of Australian respondents suspect customers are leaving due to poor customer service or experience. Likely, this is why 78% of Australian respondents said they need to do more to improve customer trust in their brand/organisation and why 76% underscored the need to act on customer feedback for improved customer service and experience.

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Australian survey respondents also voiced frustration in filling the top of the sales and marketing pipeline, making the issue of customer flight even pronounced more. Meanwhile, 74% of sales leads generated by marketing are deemed poorly or under qualified, and 25% of sales are falling by the wayside after receiving zero follow up. 62% say they struggle to track customer churn rates effectively.

While nearly three-quarters of those polled worldwide say a consolidated view of customer information across the organization is critical to delivering optimal customer experiences, 68% of Australian respondents report they are missing data to improve marketing campaigns and sales conversions.

“Companies face a daunting scenario – struggling to fill the top of the funnel with qualified leads while losing customers at the bottom of the funnel,” said SugarCRM CEO, Craig Charlton. “A key contributor to losses on each side of this equation is a lack of data. Data fuels the actionable insights that sales, marketing, and service teams need to act decisively at every critical touchpoint – to drive high-definition customer experiences – and to reverse the Great Customer Resignation.”

The Great Sales and Marketing Technology Reset

Organizations need effective CRM strategies to combat customer churn and secure greater sales and marketing synergy and assurance. However, a staggering 68% of Australian respondents report their CRM system is wasting time and money, while a massive 71% say their current CRM system cannot be customized properly to meet their specific needs. CRM struggles are the highest in Australia, compared to 46% of US respondents and 56% of respondents in the UK.

This negative view of current/legacy CRM solutions may be why 67% of Australian organizations said they plan to change their current CRM platform within the next 12 months, with 70% saying they will change vendors/providers.

Additionally, more Australian sales and marketing leaders are turning to AI, with a whopping 98% saying they expect the usage of AI technology to augment existing processes to increase over the next two years.

“Addressing customer churn in the rebuild from the pandemic is a mission-critical activity. Australian organizations need to be more customer-centric and use technology to optimize and personalize customer engagement. Unfortunately, many companies will fail to solve these problems without leveraging purpose-built AI to solve marketing and sales challenges. Australian businesses need a CRM platform that connects marketing, sales and service with a complete real-time customer view,” said SugarCRM SVP Asia Pacific, Jason du Preez.

“To thrive, Australian companies need to understand the present and future needs of their customers and remove any friction points in the customer journey. They need to empower their employees with technology that can help them delight their customers and deliver an excellent customer experience,” said du Preez.

These and more insights were revealed today in new research from SugarCRM, based on a survey of 1,600 global sales and marketing professionals, including 400 in Australia. The findings pinpoint organizational turbulence across the customer journey while highlighting the inadequacies of traditional CRM solutions that aren’t purpose-built to address today’s post-pandemic customer experience realities.

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