Automation plays a central role today for companies that want to improve and evolve the customer experience (CX). Especially with the advent of digital and automated engagement mechanisms, customers expect real-time, personalized services and interactions. Therefore, it becomes imperative for organizations to holistically integrate human-assisted and automated service capabilities into customer journeys. This however has its own challenges and somewhere, unmet needs and expectations persist among customers.
Recently, global cloud communications platform Infobip and Forrester Consulting released a custom study of 1,210 consumers in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, South, in Thailand, Taiwan and Vietnam, to highlight the strategic components needed to build a hybrid CX.
Titled “Redefining Human and Automated Engagement – How APAC Consumers Have Impacted the CX Agenda,” the study, recently published by Infobip, reveals emerging consumer needs and expectations and how business leaders need to meet them. with a hybrid human-assisted and automated service business. model.
More importantly, the study sheds light on the fact that while automated self-service has accelerated, human touchpoints are here to stay. While customer preferences for automated chatbot services in purchase journeys have increased from 24% to 26%, consumers still typically rely on live human assistance: phone and online chat interactions were the top two preferred points of contact in all support scenarios.
So how do customers in different geographies rely on human and automated CX engagement? Let’s take a quick look.
In Malaysia, reliance on live human assistance persists and Malaysians prefer to communicate with live human agents either through online live chats (45%), through social media (45%) or by phone (43%).
In the Philippines, interacting with human agents over the phone is the preferred customer service touchpoint (42%), followed by online live chat (33%) and social media (31%).
In Singapore, nearly half of customers prefer interacting with human agents over the phone (50%), followed by email (41%) and online live chat (39%).
In Indonesia, the main preferred touchpoint was social media (51%), followed by online live chat (35%) and human agents on the phone (35%) in equal measure.
In Thailand, the preferred touchpoint was again social media (41%), followed by live online chat (38%) and human agents on the phone (38%) in equal measure.
In essence, here are the highlights of the study:
- The individual merits of automation and human touch are amplified when strategically applied together.
- The study suggested that there is a strong correlation between the value of human agent interactions in handling highly emotional or complex cases and identified CX scores – a benchmark metric that determines a company‘s success in customer engagement.
- For less complex requests such as tracking deliveries, self-service touchpoints were sufficient to resolve customer queries quickly.
- It is imperative to optimize the hybrid experience for customers based on their personal preferences. However, to enable this, organizations need internal capabilities to build flexibility and agility among their customer touchpoints.
- To fill the gaps in access to human-led service capability, organizations are now relying on standalone or embedded artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities.
All of this is becoming more important with the increasing adoption of automation by organizations in Asia Pacific and globally. According to a study published by MarketsandMarkets™, the global intelligent process automation market size is expected to grow from USD 13.6 billion in 2022 to USD 25.9 billion by 2027, with Asia-Pacific region registering the highest CAGR. highest in the IPA market. Companies operating in this region benefit from flexible economic conditions, government policies driven by industrialization and globalization, as well as increasing digitalization in the region.
Ultimately, what organizations need to remember is that a cookie-cutter approach won’t work. They need to tailor the hybrid customer experience through the incorporation of nuances from specific consumer personas; map customer journeys for opportunities where automation and human assistance are best positioned; reconcile the CX ecosystem for better collaboration; and effectively leverage cloud ecosystems for instant, always-on collaboration and seamless omnichannel interactions for enhanced CX.
Infographic credit: Infobip