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Companies need to plug gaps to cope with increase in customer touchpoints – Infobip

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 digitized.

Infobip, a global cloud communications platform that enables businesses to build connected customer experiences across all stages of the customer journey, today releases a report titled A Year of Disruption: Managing Increasing Complexities in Customer Service which indicates that even if working from home is not continued 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 digitized.

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 last year.
  • Bridging the skills gap: The survey shows that 60% of APAC respondents said employee training is a top consideration when adopting a digital customer support system.
  • Evolving preferences: From Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp Business to Viber, online chat is a growing space for Business-to-Customer (B2C) and Business-to-Business (B2B) communications.

The data is an indication that the customer service support (CSS) and CX landscape is evolving and slowly departing from traditional channels.

Automating the Future

Half of the respondents reported that the digitalization 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 digitalized. This is a key finding for the Philippines, with 35% of respondents agreeing on the need to digitalize CSS.

“The convergence of business and information technology is an important investment that Filipino executives should make now. The changes that they will decide on to improve their operations, particularly in digitalizing their tools to satisfy customer needs and demands, will enable to them to reap tangible benefits in the long-term even beyond the pandemic,” said Charist Montenegro, Country Manager of Infobip Philippines.

According to Infobip, respondents to its research report that the increase in and management of support channels were amongst their two biggest challenges. With different strategies employed for different channels, CS teams are encouraged to consider adopting an omnichannel approach or end up creating fragmented customer journeys.

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Preparing the Labor 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.

Based on Infobip’s latest research, top-level decision makers look at several factors before implementing their digital approach. 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.

Respondents in all the markets also say their customer support teams are ready for remote working. A deeper dive into Philippine data shows that the increase in support channel (56%) and unfamiliarity with new channels (37%) are among the top digital technology challenges that local companies face.

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 December 21 and December 27, 2020.

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