Personalization now decides where Singaporeans spend money

personalization singapore consumers
Lucky Plaza shopping mall on Orchard road in Singapore, recently. Image by TK Kurikawa | Bigstockphoto

ITEM: Singapore consumers are tightening their wallets against the backdrop of a looming recession and global jobs and economic uncertainty. And as they get choosy about where they spend their money, their loyalty will be won by businesses that can deliver the best customer experience – especially when it comes to personalization.

That’s according to Singapore-specific findings from Salesforce’s latest Connected Customer Trends report, which says that the vast majority of Singapore consumers (84%) will reassess their budget over the next 12 months.

This is especially the case for the travel and hospitality sectors, which have the most at stake – 83% of Singapore consumers say they will reassess their spending on holidays and eating out over the coming year. Retail and media/entertainment could also see lower spending with 81% and 74% of consumers, respectively, saying they’ll rethink their spending in those areas.

What makes a good customer experience?

Not surprisingly, over half (54%) say poor quality service is the primary reason they won’t make a repeat purchase, while over 60% say they expect a better experience from their favourite brands as a result of the current economic climate. (Put another way, staff shortages and inflation are no excuse for bad service.)

The good news, says Salesforce, is that Singapore consumers are very clear about what they want their customer experience to be like. For starters, 77% say they will remain loyal to companies that deliver faster service, and 72% say they will stay loyal if the company offers a more personalised experience.

Singapore consumers also expect brands to use their data to offer more relevant customer services, with 57% reporting they expect companies to react instantly with the most up-to-date information when transferring across departments.

Real-time data is key to personalization

Cecily Ng, senior VP and GM of Salesforce Singapore and Taiwan, said the results are a strong indication that personalized customer experiences will be essential for Singapore businesses to compete in the challenging economy. That also means real-time data will be essential to delivering the necessary insights to provide the level of personalization Singapore customers now expect.

“With the GST hike this year and inflation keeping prices high, it is no surprise Singaporeans are being more cautious and selective with their spending. In a market with abundant options, consumers can be easily lured away by better alternatives if companies do not offer personalised, connected, fast and trusted experiences that keep them coming back,” Ng said. “Companies that are adapting their customer experiences by actioning on real-time data insights will be the ones that win the favour of consumers, even as they become more spend-conscious.”

That said, customers also expect to be able to trust companies with their personal data. Over 80% said that companies that provide data security will encourage their loyalty.

Meanwhile, Singapore consumers also named some of things almost guaranteed to drive them away: disconnected experiences (46%), not getting fast answers to their questions (39%), and being offered products that aren’t relevant to them (37%).

More details on the full report (which also covers Australia, Canada, the UK and the US) here.

Related article: Many APAC firms have no idea what a good customer experience is: report

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