Businesses must constantly enhance the experiences they deliver.
Because otherwise, brands risk losing clientele to competitors due to the rising customer expectations triggered by the innovative customer experiences delivered by market trailblazer brands.
CX Network’s Global State of Customer Experience 2021 confirmed that the vast majority of customers will switch brands if they are unsatisfied with a provider’s level of service.
In response to this reality, research by the computer software company Adobe found that 59 percent of APAC businesses are increasing their investment in customer experience management to meet these expectations.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) has found that Asia- Pacific (APAC) is home to over 55 percent of consumers globally, meaning the region holds vast opportunities for brands.
For companies to be successful they need to be conscious of the various cultural and linguistic preferences and customs that exist within different regions, so that they can customize their services and experiences accordingly.
CX Network’s 2021 The realities of customer experience in the APAC report observed that to gain a competitive edge within this region, digital experience excellence is a critical trend to master.
Based on a survey by CX Network of 112 CX practitioners across Asia-Pacific, this report will explore the key CX trends, customer behavior shifts, spending priorities, and experience management pain points that are developing in the region.
Digital customer experience
Digital customer experience, the act of companies using digital platforms to deliver services to customers, has risen in prominence.
This year almost one in four (23 percent) respondents said digital experiences were the most important trend in the APAC region.
In 2021’s The realities of customer experience in APAC report, it also featured in the top three trends of artificial intelligence/ chatbots (41 percent), data and analytics (36 percent), and digital customer experience (36 percent).
The decline in bricks-and-mortar retailing, accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic, has increased the need for seamless e-commerce experiences.
Computer software company Adobe reported that over three quarters (77 percent) of APAC businesses experienced a surge in new customers through digital channels in the past 18 months.
This means that frictionless digital customer experiences are now essential for engaging and retaining customers.
Digital technologies empower companies to provide proactive support to customers, says KV Dipu, head of operations and customer service at Bajaj Allianz General Insurance.
Through sophisticated service integration with digital devices, customers can have more convenient experiences.
Dipu explains: “For example, if a customer crashes their car, they no longer have to call their insurer and [then] wait for a surveyor to be deployed immediately to the site of the crash. In the age of digital CX, they can instead take photographs of the car and upload them immediately to our systems using our mobile app.”
Artificial intelligence and chatbots
Artificial intelligence (AI) and chatbots are reportedly still on the rise in alignment with last year’s results, with 3 percent of the APAC practitioners surveyed labelling the two as top CX trends.
The use of AI is especially useful in the APAC region as it can expand a company’s linguistic capabilities, allowing them to interact with customers in their language of preference.
This is essential to businesses within APAC as there are more than 14 languages and over 18 dialects spoken across the region.
InMoment’s managing director of APAC, David Blakers, has witnessed the growing popularity of AI use, especially amongst CX improvement programs.
These technologies are used to help uncover actionable insights amongst unstructured data as new digital experience features disrupt traditional customer journeys.
“When Covid-19 sent the world into lockdown, brick and mortar brands had to shut their doors, meaning digital experiences were the only ones available to consumers,” Blakers explains. “But, as the status of the pandemic shifts and safety regulations ebb and flow, so too must the array of digital and in-store experiences brands offer.
Gone are the days when the experience was either in-store or online. Consumers now expect experiences that blend the two.”
Customer loyalty and retention
Winning and retaining customer loyalty remains a prominent trend, with 17 percent of respondents citing it as one of their top three trends.
Both AI and digital experiences act as useful tools for winning and retaining customers, which is the main objective of CX professionals.
To win customer loyalty, Yvette Mihelic, director of the customer experience for rail and transport at construction, tunneling, rail, building, and services company John Holland and member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, advises companies to infuse empathy into their customer service.
She says that companies can do this by using frontline teams and digitized interactions that are personalized to individuals rather than market groups.
This can help organizations secure higher sales ratios through increased customer satisfaction – essentially demonstrating the monetization of customer experience.
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