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Demanding Singapore consumers expect more from multiple customer channels

Veronica C. Silva | Sept. 24, 2012
Failure to heed trend will alienate customers, says Avaya study.

Singapore customers want wider options to choose from when using communication channels to interact with a customer service representative, according to a recent survey.

Results of the 5th Avaya Asia Pacific Customer Experience Index conducted by Fifth Quadrant showed that 70 percent of customers in Singapore are inclined to use an expanded array of communications channels.

More than 63 percent of respondents said they are also willing to pay for quality service reached. The survey further showed that a third of the respondents are willing to pay at least 20 percent more.

However, while overall satisfaction levels rise, businesses using contact service centres may well heed this indicator--customers remain "choosy" as 41 percent, or two of five, of the respondents in Singapore said they are willing to move or have moved their business because of poor customer service.

Another indicator worth considering by businesses is that 47 percent will use Web self-service next year to communicate with customer service centres.

Tech savvy

Ayava said Singapore is now in the age of the "mature customer". Singapore customers prefer some of the latest channels to communicate -- online, mobile and social media - as they have become "more savvy with technology", said Avaya.

Chong-Win Lee, contact centre solutions director, Avaya Asia Pacific, advised businesses in Singapore to start developing their respective customer experience strategies. This, he said, will ensure that multi-channel is "right at the core in their deployment to deliver intuitive and richer customer experiences".

"Companies which fail to do this risk alienating their customers and losing their relevance over time," the director added.

The survey noted that while 26 percent of Singaporeans are already using smartphone apps for customer service queries, this number is seen to rise in the coming year.

Smartphones

In the survey, 32 percent of the respondents indicated that they will use smartphone apps regularly to contact companies' customer service centres. This is in contrast to a 19-percent decrease in the use of automated phone channel. Of those surveyed, 86 percent already own a smartphone.

Within the next two years, the use of online channels in Singapore, such as SMS/text, Web chat, smartphone apps and social media or online forums, is predicted to grow between 18 to 32 percent, the survey indicated.

With a total of 2,500 respondents from Singapore, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and India, the Avaya-sponsored survey was conducted from May to June 2012.

 

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