Convenience is top of consumer’s minds in Southeast Asia

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As customer expectations continue to evolve, Zendesk has launched its latest Customer Experience (CX) Trends Report to help make sense of the big factors influencing these rapidly changing behaviours. The report is based on industry research and product usage data from 45,000 customers worldwide, including supplementary data from Southeast Asia.

Singapore’s Convenience Economy: The Rise of Self-service

At the forefront of the convenience economy, Singaporeans (62.4%) are significantly ahead of Southeast Asia (48.6%) when it comes to adopting AI-enabled customer support for resolving support tickets. In contrast, Chat is the dominant self-help channel for Malaysians (18.2%) and Indonesians (16.4%), reflecting how consumer behaviour is being shaped by mobile-first economies.

With 86% of Singaporeans now online, and 76% active on social media and mobile subscriptions – amongst the world’s highest consumers are connected more than ever. The city state is the global lead in delivering a seamless service experience, especially in retail (68%), travel (63%) and financial services (60%) – which are also among the top industries in Southeast Asia to adopt messaging channels (e.g. WhatsApp and LINE) for customer engagement.

Convenience is at the top of consumers’ minds, and our research shows that brands are becoming increasingly savvy about how they sell to and reach them. Empowered customers with high expectations are constantly comparing experience and rating services, and this can make or break a brand’s competitiveness.

In Singapore, customer-centric brands such as Circles.Life and StashAway are optimising their teams with AI-enabled tools and insights to deliver a seamless and unique experience. To remain competitive, businesses must combine customer feedback with strategic business efforts that offer the most impactful brand differentiation.

AI and automation is elevating CX performance across Southeast Asia

Customers’ top priority when it comes to service is speed – they want their issues solved quickly and effectively. As AI-enabled customer support continues to thrive in Southeast Asia, Zendesk’s research found that improvements across various performance metrics have more than doubled in the past year. For example, the ideal first reply and resolution times dropped from 11.8 hours to 2.6 hours, and 16.4 hours to 4.8 hours respectively. These improvements – while significant in just one year – only translate to a +0.2% year-on-year improvement in Southeast Asia’s CSAT score (86.1%), reinforcing that rate at which customer expectations are rising is exponential.

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) in Singapore vs Southeast Asia

Singapore’s aggressive rollout for digital readiness and transformation has a tangible impact on the nation’s overall customer satisfaction (CSAT). As local businesses become better at engaging with customers via digital channels, our data shows that CSAT scores have risen by 5.3% to peak at 88.1% over the past two years, dominating the Southeast Asian average (86.1%). However, despite being ahead in digital maturity, Singapore currently lags behind Malaysia (89.3%), whose consumers are still content with the benefits from the later adoption of customer support technology.

For more information, please refer to the Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 2020 and press release appended below. Companies can also get their industry-specific CX scorecards here.

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