Photo - Ong Ken Teong, Avanade Malaysia Country Manager.
According to business technology systems provider Avanade's new study, 94.4 percent of Malaysian companies surveyed said they have changed at least one business system in the past three years to enhance customer experience and interaction.
Avanade Malaysia country manager Ong Ken Teong said the global study of the changing sales process and buying patterns of business showed that the 'consumerisation' movement was shifting the sales process away from the sellers' control, as enterprise buyers begin to 'mimic' consumer shopping behaviours.
With this shift, now, the value of the customer experience is more important than cost to business and IT decision-makers, said Ong. "The nature of work and how business gets done is going through a dramatic transformation."
"Technologies in the workplace are a significant catalyst for this transformation, especially in Malaysia where we're already seeing employees using smartphones and tablet devices for both basic and advanced business functions," he said.
"Moreover, the 'consumerisation of IT' is dramatically transforming the traditional ways through which companies sell products and services to other businesses and consumers," said Ong.
"In Malaysia, most companies are recognising this and changing their business processes to adapt to the current trend. It's no longer 'business-to-business' but 'business-to-everyone,'" he said. "Businesses that embrace today's complicated customer relationships are creating longer-term and profitable relationships with their customers."
He said the survey found that in Malaysia, businesses are changing processes to embrace the new business buyer, by increasing customer sales and support technologies (61 percent), adding the number of employees interacting with customers (67 percent) and automating the sales process (42 percent).
"In Malaysia businesses investing in technology to support better customer service and modifying internal roles are seeing positive results," said Ong. "Specifically, the companies making these changes are experiencing increases in revenues (77 percent), customer base (58 percent) and customer loyalty (68 percent)."
He said executives were capitalising on the opportunity these technologies offer by adjusting business processes and updating policies with measurable results in areas such as customer service, profitable growth, happier employees and bringing new products and services to market faster.
Ong said that this was also reflected in the recent Accenture's 'High Performers in IT: Defined by Digital' report, which showed that companies that prioritise customer experiences as one of their top-three business objectives were performing better than organisations that primarily focus on cutting costs and increasing productivity.
Other Malaysia findings include:
- More than 95 percent of Malaysian respondents say that IT plays a greater role in the overall customer experience than it did in the past.
- Three quarters of all Malaysian business decision-makers report, third-party sites, feedback from business partners, industry peers or social channels is more important than conversations with the company's sales teams when making a purchasing decision for their company.
- More than 96 percent of respondents in Malaysia believe that technology will primarily replace human interaction with customers in the next 10 years. Anticipating this change, businesses in Malaysia are making new technology investments, changing business processes and redesigning organisational roles.
- Nearly one third of Malaysian customers report that they are willing to pay, up to 50 percent more for a superior customer experience.
- More than two thirds of Malaysian respondents report paying more for a product in the last six months for a superior customer experience over other less expensive options.
Avanade's survey, which was conducted in October 2013 by Wakefield Research, surveyed 1,000 C-level executives, business unit leaders and IT decision makers, a companies in the following countries: U.S., Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.K.
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