Average CX quality of banks improves from 2020; NAB and Suncorp leapfrog into the “good” category

SYDNEY, November 8th, 2021 — According to Forrester’s (Nasdaq: FORR) 2021 Australia Banking Customer Experience Index (CX Index™), the quality of customer experience among the banking sector has improved, with the industry average up by two points. Forrester’s CX Index benchmarks the CX quality of brands and is based on a survey of more than 5,000 Australian adult customers, including more than 1,400 customers of five banks: ANZ, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, NAB, Suncorp, and Westpac.

For the first time since the inception of the study in 2015, NAB and Suncorp moved into the “good” category of CX quality. All five banks placed in the “OK” category in 2020. NAB improved its CX quality the most with a 6-point increase over last year, propelling the bank from third to first place in Forrester’s ranking. NAB also had the highest percentage of customers reporting excellent experiences (47%) and the best performance across all three dimensions of CX quality: effectiveness, ease, and emotion. Suncorp also made good progress, having improved its CX for the third year in a row.

“As a result of the pandemic, most banks are racing to elevate the digital experience of their websites and mobile apps but often neglect the importance of human interactions,” said Riccardo Pasto, principal analyst at Forrester. “At a time of strict social distancing and lockdown orders that make in-person interaction not feasible, video chat and other digitally enabled human interactions allow banks to get closer to customers and connect with them on a deeper emotional level. Our research shows that CX leaders grow revenue faster than CX laggards, drive higher brand preference, and retain more customers, who are more inclined to forgive stumbles made by brands with good CX. Brands with the best customer experiences during the pandemic shutdown will benefit the most from pent-up demand on the other side.”

According to Forrester’s CX Index methodology, how an experience makes customers feel has a bigger influence on their loyalty to a brand than effectiveness or ease. Among customers of Australian banks who felt valued, 62% plan to stay with the bank, 77% plan to spend more with it, and 84% will advocate for the bank. In contrast, of customers who feel frustrated, only 21% plan to stay with the bank and to spend more with it, and a mere 13% will advocate for the bank.

The report also reveals that good communication with customers has the greatest impact on a bank’s CX Index score. Communicating in plain language is one of the top three drivers of CX quality; just 58% of customers say that banks are successful at this. Having transparent interest rates and fees is one of the top four drivers for retaining customers, but just over one-third of banking customers report that banks do a good job with prices and fees (36%), indicating room for improvement.

Forrester’s CX Index methodology helps CX leaders grow revenue faster, drive higher brand preference, and charge more for their products. Forrester’s CX Index helps brands identify the key drivers of a positive CX for their customers to prioritise efforts. Even a minor improvement to a brand’s customer experience quality can add revenue by reducing customer churn and increasing share of wallet. Additionally, superior CX leads to reduced service costs and lowers the cost of customer acquisition through word of mouth.


  • Download Forrester’s 2021 Australia Banking CX Index report (client access required).
  • Learn about the Forrester Decisions for Customer Experience service.
  • Check out how to revitalise CX measurement and prioritisation.

About Forrester

Forrester (Nasdaq: FORR) is one of the most influential research and advisory firms in the world. We help leaders across technology, marketing, customer experience, product, and sales functions use customer obsession to accelerate growth. Through Forrester’s proprietary research, consulting, and events, leaders from around the globe are empowered to be bold at work — to navigate change and put their customers at the centre of their leadership, strategy, and operations. Our unique insights are grounded in annual surveys of more than 675,000 consumers, business leaders, and technology leaders worldwide; rigorous and objective research methodologies, including Forrester Wave™ evaluations; over 52 million real-time feedback votes; and the shared wisdom of our clients. To learn more, visit Forrester.com.