At the forefront of the convenience economy, Singaporeans (62.4%) are significantly ahead of Southeast Asia (48.6%) with regard to adopting AI-enabled customer support for resolving support tickets martech news. In contrast, Chat is the dominant self-help channel for Malaysians (18.2%) and Indonesians (16.4%), reflecting how consumer behavior is being shaped by mobile-first economies.
With 86% of the individuals of Singapore online now, and 76% active on social media and mobile subscriptions, amongst the highest consumers of the world are connected more than ever. The city-state is the global leader 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 optimizing 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
Top priority of the customers 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 martech.
Malcolm Koh, CX Strategist APAC, Zendesk stated that “AI-enabled support driven by insights from customer data has opened new doors for brands like Bukalapak and Minor Hotels to deliver more personalized experiences. Improvements in insights and analytics can mean that Southeast Asia’s businesses are becoming more proficient at managing customer data, substantially improving customer experience and loyalty. In fact, research from Forrester found that when customers are engaged in the right way, with the right emotion, they’re even willing to pay a premium.”
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.
Despite a decline towards the end of 2018, Singapore saw a commendable uplift in CSAT scores, cementing the nation’s competitiveness against its regional peers. Malcolm Koh, CX Strategist APAC, Zendesk further added “The key to high performing CX teams is a robust AI strategy backed by data insights and automation to effectively scale support. Looking forward, businesses across Southeast Asia will need to examine how AI can permeate more channels, including social media, for customers to self-serve, especially in reaching out to a growing demographic of highly discerning Gen Zs.”