Positive digital interactions

Immense potential for brands to engage with customers through technology

While personal service is still very much expected in this region, South-East Asians have shown a surprising preference for automated interactions with brands compared to personal interactions.

A recent Adobe Experience Index report notes that more than two thirds (68%) of people in this region agreed that if done well, completely automated interactions with a company can delight them.

Out of the eight markets surveyed in the report, India and South-East Asia were ahead, with 79% of respondents in India and 68% of respondents in South-East Asia agreeing to the same statement. Markets like the US (63%), the UK (58%), France (58%) and Australia (57%) were less receptive to this in comparison.

Consistent with the above finding, consumers in the region exhibited a lower preference for interaction with humans compared to computers. South-East Asia was at 45%, alongside Japan at 23%. In comparison, the other regions showed that more than half of their respondents would typically favour human interactions over that with a computer. These findings, Adobe notes, indicate a certain level of comfort amongst consumers here with the automation of everyday interactions.

The index, which surveyed eight global markets, strives to measure consumer expectations and benchmark these against actual experiences delivered by businesses. The index also provides insights into consumer attitudes towards technology, automation, human interaction and future innovations.

This was the first time the index surveyed the South-East Asian market, with participation from 1,003 adult consumers.

“The Southeast Asian survey data is encouraging for brands in this region as it underscores the receptivity of consumers here, towards the transformative impact that technology can bring to customer experiences. With a high mobile penetration across the region, the rate of digital adoption and transformation here is now unmatched. What we’re witnessing here is a unique opportunity for brands to experiment as Southeast Asian consumers leapfrog through technology adoption stages, to become early adopters of technology advancements when it comes to brand experiences,” says Adobe head of digital transformation Scott Rigby.

The survey also saw consumers rating potential customer experiences on a continuum from neutral (“I would expect this”) to strongly positive (“this would delight me”) and those scores were converted to a scale from 0-100.

Southeast Asians are most impressed by futuristic innovations that would help them save time. They are most likely to be delighted by features such as government interactions that automatically update my address across departments (49 points), synced vehicle touch screens at drive-throughs (49 points) and smart stores with no check-out lines (48 points).

Regional consumers are also most impressed with experiences that help to save hassle. This would include the ability to have food delivered to exactly where they are (53 points), using mobile apps to bring museum objects to life (51 points) and also using mobile apps as hotel keys and for check-ins (50 points).

The findings suggest that brands in South-East Asia should focus on innovations that help deliver quicker and more delightful customer experiences.

“We see immense potential for what brands can do to delight their customers through technology, whether putting autonomy in the hands of consumers to access self-directed interactions or enhancing brand experiences with technology. However, with the high expectations, organisations need to ensure that their innovation experiences are well-executed.

“They also need to prioritise the things that matter most to consumers in this region, such as saving them time,” adds Rigby.

Although consumers here have seen an improvement in customer experience overall, consumer ratings toward customer service when making purchases as well as their ability to anticipate needed information is lower across all industries.

The biggest experience breaker for South-East Asian consumers revolved around unexpected cost situations - in particular, marketplace sellers not having a returns policy (52%), cancellation policy for travel purchases not being highlighted prior to online purchase (48%) and hidden monthly fees (48%).

Brands in this region need to pay attention to their delivery of these aspects, cautions Rigby.

Interestingly, South-East Asia’s consumer expectations are higher among older consumers. Consumers over 50 years old are more likely to believe that brands know and respect them (60) and delight them (57) at every turn.

The survey shows that business bottom-lines could be negatively impacted, if these expectations are not met.

Source: The Star 

Posted on : 01 July 2019
Last Updated : Tuesday 24th March 2020