In a study titled A Year of Disruption: Managing Increasing Complexities in Customer Service, Infobip states that digital transformation is here to stay, even if working from home is not continued in the future until the situation improves.

With the growth of remote work, many companies in the Asia Pacific are embarking on a big digital transformation journey. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, workers had to operate from home, so the customer service (CX) and CX systems 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.
  • Travel restrictions: The survey showed that 48% of respondents cited travel restrictions as another challenge faced during the previous year.
  • Lack of digital support: 46% of respondents cited that there is not enough digital support to effectively utilise available digital platforms.

The findings show that the CSS and CX environment is changing and moving away from conventional networks. This also demonstrates the need to effectively manage customer service through digital channels, as more customers choose to use social media instead of calling or sending an email inquiry.

Infobip Report: Automating the Future

Given the long-term benefits of smart automation and the introduction of a digital omnichannel hub, half of the respondents stated that CSS digitalisation is a permanent implementation going forward. On a scale of one to ten, respondents gave an average of eight for the value and necessity of digitalizing CSS.

However, the survey reveals that the CX industry appears to be suffering from a skills shortage. Employee preparation was cited as the most important factor in all markets when it came to implementing a digital customer service system.

In addition, respondents in all markets said their customer service teams are prepared to operate remotely. Increased support channels, management of new support channels, and unfamiliarity with new channels are among the common digital technology challenges, according to data from the surveyed markets.

Infobip Report: Preparing the Labour Force

By identifying the best solutions to simplify their connectivity needs, Infobip encourages employers to prepare their customer service workers for digital transformation and invest in communication networks that are important to their markets.

Due to new regulations requiring drivers to follow standard operating procedures as a result of the pandemic, delivery service company MrSpeedy, for example, had to rise to the task of providing dependable and always-on customer support while working remotely.

MrSpeedy added Infobip’s Voice to their contact mix to handle real-time inquiries between drivers and customers, and they introduced Infobip’s SMS solution to improve message delivery rates with around-the-clock support.

Gibraltar BSN is another example of where Infobip played a critical role in improving customer ties. Customers were not receiving valuable and sensitive documents in the mail, so the organisation turned to Infobip to help them improve their contact centre and reach customers across more modern digital platforms.

More businesses are recognising the importance of improving consumer communications on digital networks and have incorporated chat into their overall contact strategies.

Indonesia had the highest percentage (65%) of businesses using Facebook-owned WhatsApp Business to handle customer service among the markets surveyed. With 55 per cent and 46 per cent, Malaysia and Singapore came in second and third, respectively.

A third-party organisation of 2,760 professionals across Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, South Korea, China, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines conducted A Year of Disruption: Managing Increasing Complexities in Customer Service. Between December 21 and December 27, 2020, survey responses were collected.

Infobip is a global cloud communications platform that enables businesses to build connected customer experiences across all stages of the customer journey.

If you’d like to read the A Year of Disruption: Managing Increasing Complexities in Customer Service report in full, you can check it out here.