How customer behavior in APAC is progressing

The CX APAC practitioners were asked to evaluate the changing behaviors of their APAC consumers, and rate whether they agreed with the following statements.

The pressure on APAC brands to be socially responsible is reportedly on the rise in the Asia-Pacific region, with 80 percent of respondents agreeing that buying decisions are influenced by a company’s ethics and transparency.

Market research company Mintel found that 60 percent of APAC consumers are willing to boycott companies that behave unethically.

Brands should engage with their customers on their company ethics and any social initiatives they have in place. Businesses should also be transparent about timelines so customers have clear expectations on how long these practices will take to implement.

Joshua Tye, senior customer operations leader at mobile payment service Cash App, explains: “A socially responsible organization empathetically evaluates customer’s decisions. The most responsible teams leverage diversity and environmentalist perspectives to elevate consumer outcomes.”

It is also clear from the results that convenience is an important priority for customers, with 69 percent of respondents stating customers crave self-service channels, and 65 percent observing that customers are happy to spend more financially to receive a more convenient service.

Rajesh Rao, head of intelligent process automation at Nokia, notes that the Covid-19 pandemic forced brands to innovate so they can offer convenient services. He warns that it will be nearly impossible to roll back the conveniences offered during the crisis, and so customer expectations will shift to demand even more from brands.

Looking forward, Rao suggests companies use process mining to uncover high-value opportunities to create added convenience for customers.

Ayelet Medel-Girin, general head of customer experience at financial technology Humm Group, advises that many customers prefer to use self-serve channels in the comfort and convenience of their own homes. Self-service channels put control in the hands of customers and give them access to implement solutions themselves. This allows them to address pain points 24/7, regardless of time zones and they do not need to wait for an agent to be free.

Companies should fully understand customer needs and customer service goals before implementing self-service solutions, so as not to apply an unsatisfactory solution.

Even though they were built with the intention to help customers, self-serve channels that feature fractured processes, hide access to human agents and fail to capture all frequently asked questions, can end up creating more frustration for users.

Companies should look to inspire customer loyalty and retention by paying close attention to trends in customer behavior. As customers crave more convenient, self-service-based solutions, companies should design experiences that meet these expectations. In addition, as customer concerns revolve more around company ethics and social responsibility, businesses should be transparent with them about their processes and any social initiatives the company either currently has or are planning to implement.