- Feedback from professionals in the Asia Pacific region indicates a need to humanise customer touchpoints amidst digital transformation.
- Infobip’s report covers top digitalisation trends that will impact the post-pandemic customer experience industry and fundamental roles that digital technologies will play in customer service support.
Infobip, a global cloud communications platform that enables businesses to build connected customer experiences across all stages of the customer journey, today released a report titled A Year of Disruption: Managing Increasing Complexities in Customer Service which indicates that even if working from home is not continued in future after the situation improves, digital transformation is here to stay.
With the rise of remote work, 2020 marked the start of a major digital transformation journey for many businesses in Asia Pacific. As employees had to work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the customer experience (CX) and CX processes had to be digitised.
The report, which surveyed 2,760 professionals across nine markets – Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, South Korea, China, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines, shows that while companies intend to implement some changes permanently in future, there are still some challenges to overcome.
- More queries amid uncertainty: 54% of respondents cited the increase in support enquiries as a top challenge faced in customer support during COVID-19.
- Travel restrictions: The survey showed that 48% of respondents cited travel restrictions as another challenge faced during the previous year.
- Lack of digital support: 46% of respondents cited that there is not enough digital support to effectively utilise available digital platforms.
The data is an indication that the CSS and CX landscape is evolving and slowly departing from traditional channels. This also shows a need to effectively manage customer service via digital platforms as more customers find convenience in social media over making a phone call or email enquiry.
Automating the Future
Half of the respondents reported that the digitalisation of CSS is a permanent implementation moving forward, considering the long-term benefits that come with smart automation and implementation of a digital omnichannel hub. On a scale of 1-10, respondents rated an eight on average for the importance and necessity for CSS to be digitalised.
“As more companies go digital, expectations toward customer experience naturally evolve with it. We see that in the digital transformation, companies are on the right track by prioritising a more efficient and effective customer experience. Humanising technology goes a long way to enhancing the customer’s overall experience and it builds a relationship that opens the door for them to return,” said CS Gill, Country Manager of Infobip Malaysia.
Gill also shared: “Deploying CPaaS is integral to helping businesses connect with customers anytime, anywhere, via an omnichannel platform. Not only does this allow them to enhance their long-term customer relations, but also give them an opportunity to strengthen their online presence in a world that’s increasingly relying on e-commerce.”
However, the survey shows that the CX industry seems to be experiencing a skills gap. In all the markets, respondents listed employee training as the top considerations when it comes to adopting a digital customer support system.
Furthermore, respondents in all the markets said their customer support teams are ready for remote working. A deeper dive into the data from the surveyed markets tells us that the increase in support channels, management of new support channels and unfamiliarity with new channels are among the common digital technology challenges.
Preparing the Labour Force
Infobip encourages employers to train their CX workforce for digital transformation and invest in communication channels that are relevant to their markets by finding the best solutions to simplify their communication needs.
For example, with new rules for drivers to follow standard operating procedures due to the pandemic, delivery service provider MrSpeedy had to rise to the challenge to provide reliable and always-on customer support while working remotely. MrSpeedy implemented Infobip’s SMS solution to increase message delivery rates with around the clock support, and they added Infobip’s Voice to their communication mix to manage real-time enquiries between drivers and customers.
Another example where Infobip played a fundamental role in optimising customer relations, is with Gibraltar BSN. The company was concerned that customers were not receiving important and sensitive documents through post and looked to Infobip to enhance their contact centre in order to engage customers using more modern digital channels.
More companies recognise the need to improve customer communications on digital platforms and have integrated chat into their larger communications strategies. Among the surveyed markets, Indonesia had the highest per cent (65%) of companies that use Facebook-owned WhatsApp Business to manage customer support. Malaysia and Singapore followed in second and third with 55% and 46% respectively.
A Year of Disruption: Managing Increasing Complexities in Customer Service was fielded by a third-party company with 2,760 professionals across Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, South Korea, China, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines. Survey responses were collected between 21 December and 27 December 2020. To download A Year of Disruption: Managing Increasing Complexities in Customer Service, please visit here.