2021 Press Releases

April 07, 2021

Infobip Report: Digital Transformation is the Way To Go for Customer Service Support & Customer Experience in APAC

Infobip, a global cloud communications platform that enables businesses to build connected customer experiences across all stages of the customer journey, released a report titled A Year of Disruption: Managing Increasing Complexities in Customer Service which indicates that even if working from home is not continued in future after the situation improves, digital transformation is here to stay.

With the rise of remote work, 2020 marked the start of a major digital transformation journey for many businesses in Asia Pacific. As employees had to work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the customer experience (CX) and CX processes had to be digitised.

The report, which surveyed 2,760 professionals across nine markets – Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, South Korea, China, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines, shows that while companies intend to implement some changes permanently in future, there are still some challenges to overcome.

  • More queries amid uncertainty: 54% of respondents cited the increase in support enquiries as a top challenge faced in customer support during COVID-19.

  • Bridging the skills gap: The survey showed that 48% of respondents cited travel restrictions as another challenge faced during the previous year.

  • Evolving preferences: 46% of respondents cited that there is not enough digital support to effectively utilise available digital platforms.

The data is an indication that the customer service support (CSS) and CX landscape is evolving and slowly departing from traditional channels. This also shows a need to effectively manage customer service via digital platforms as more customers find convenience in social media over making a phone call or email enquiry.

Automating the Future

Half of the respondents reported that the digitalisation of CSS is a permanent implementation moving forward, considering the long-term benefits that come with smart automation and implementation of a digital omnichannel hub. On a scale of 1-10, respondents rated an eight on average for the importance and necessity for CSS to be digitalised.

“As more companies go digital, expectations toward customer experience naturally evolve with it. We see that in the digital transformation, companies are on the right track by prioritising a more efficient and effective customer experience. Humanising technology goes a long way to enhancing the customer’s overall experience and it builds a relationship that opens the door for them to return,” said CS Gill, Country Manager of Infobip Malaysia.

Gill also shared: “Deploying CPaaS is integral to helping businesses connect with customers anytime, anywhere, via an omnichannel platform. Not only does this allow them to enhance their long-term customer relations, but also give them an opportunity to strengthen their online presence in a world that’s increasingly relying on e-commerce.”

However, the survey shows that the CX industry seems to be experiencing a skills gap. In all the markets, respondents listed employee training as the top considerations when it comes to adopting a digital customer support system.

Furthermore, respondents in all the markets said their customer support teams are ready for remote working. A deeper dive into the data from the surveyed markets tells us that the increase in support channel, management of new support channels and unfamiliarity with new channels are among the common digital technology challenges.

While adapting to digital tools brought about new challenges on the business front, there is an overall positive impact on remote working during the pandemic in Malaysia. Compared to Singapore and Thailand with 54.33% and 50.67% respectively, 62.38% of Malaysian respondents reported that adopting remote working has helped them to cope with customer support and service demands better – indicating an opportunistic environment to establish best practices with a seamless transition to remote working infrastructure.

Preparing the Labour Force

Infobip encourages employers to train their CX workforce for digital transformation and invest in communication channels that are relevant to their markets by finding the best solutions to simplify their communication needs.

For example, with new rules for drivers to follow standard operating procedures due to the pandemic, delivery service provider MrSpeedy had to rise to the challenge to provide reliable and always-on customer support while working remotely. MrSpeedy implemented Infobip’s SMS solution to increase message delivery rates with around the clock support, and they added Infobip’s Voice to their communication mix to manage real-time enquiries between drivers and customers.

Another example where Infobip played a fundamental role in optimising customer relations, is with Gibraltar BSN. The company was concerned that customers were not receiving important and sensitive documents through post and looked to Infobip to enhance their contact centre in order to engage customers using more modern digital channels.
More companies recognise the need to improve customer communications on digital platforms and have integrated chat into their larger communications strategies. Among the surveyed markets, Indonesia had the highest per cent (65%) of companies that use Facebook-owned WhatsApp Business to manage customer support. Malaysia and Singapore followed in second and third with 55% and 46% respectively.

A Year of Disruption: Managing Increasing Complexities in Customer Service was fielded by a third-party company with 2,760 professionals across Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, South Korea, China, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines. Survey responses were collected between 21 December 2021 and 27 December 2020.