Despite 2020 being a year of far-reaching and rapid transformation in how people live, collaborate, and connect, the global Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 2021 shows the customer experience is increasingly crucial to business success – and that the most successful companies are adopting new technology at record speed.
In fact, new data released today shows that half (53%) of organizations in APAC are planning to invest in CX software more in 2021.
Since the start of the pandemic, Singapore witnessed a 22% increase in average weekly support requests, and nearly half of customers (49%) in Singapore say that experience is more important to them now compared to a year ago. Meanwhile, 77% of local companies – the second highest in the region – say their organization prioritizes CX more than they did a year ago.
Further highlighting the acceleration of technology, a Gartner survey conducted in 2020 found that 91% of organizations said that CX was one of, or the, primary goal of their digital business transformation efforts.
“We’ve seen companies in APAC embrace digitalization at an incredible speed this year in response to the dramatic shifts in the operating landscape they’ve had to navigate,” said Wendy Johnstone, Chief Operating Officer, APAC, Zendesk.
“Customer experience has never been more important, and we think this accelerated adoption of technology is likely to continue in 2021. Organizations need to ensure they have the right strategies, processes, and technology in place to empower customer support teams and drive business success.”
Top findings from the report include:
Stay ahead of the digital curve: Companies are adopting technology at light speed, and it’s ‘adapt or get left behind’. Organizations identified as ’high-performing’ in APAC based on customer service metrics such as CSAT and reply speed are more likely to have adopted omnichannel solutions, with over half (54%) offering self-service in addition to other key channels including phone, email, or messaging, compared to just 20% of low performers.
Be part of a more conversational world: As customers adopt new behaviors, the soaring popularity of messaging apps opens the door for more streamlined, conversational experiences. Sixty-nine percent of customers in APAC have tried a new way to get in touch with customer service in the last year.
For many, that includes using messaging for support requests over apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, which have spiked significantly during the pandemic with social messaging up 117% in APAC since February 2020. In Singapore, half of the customers (50%) also prefer to use embedded messaging when they engage with businesses, such as on websites or mobile apps.
Realize the power of employee experience: In an increasingly distributed world, companies must rethink how they work smarter across teams. Many employees still don’t feel they have the right tools to succeed, whether it’s keeping track of their performance indicators, staying connected with their colleagues, or feeling supported by their companies.
Forty-one percent of managers in APAC say they don’t have the right analytics tools to measure success for remote teams, and 49% of agents don’t have the right tools to work successfully from home. Singapore is slightly ahead in the region, as only one out of five managers (21%) and one out of four (27%) of agents feel the same way. Most believe they have the right tools to help them succeed in a distributed workforce.
Set teams up for success by emphasizing agility: Facing continued volatility, service and support organizations must find ways to keep up with their customers. Customer experience leaders cited the ability to quickly adapt to the evolving needs of customers as their biggest challenge in 2020 and the highest priority going forward.
Make it easier for customers with a focus on CX: Unprecedented in speed and scale, the recent surge in online channels puts pressure on companies to meet rising expectations as customer experience takes center stage.
This is extremely crucial in markets such as Singapore, where 81% of Singaporeans are willing to spend more with a company that offers a good customer experience – the highest in the region. The CX Trends Report 2021 also shows that 83% of Singaporeans will take their business elsewhere following bad experiences.