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Video emerges as new channel for customer service interaction

Avaya, a global provider of enterprise communications systems, software and services, has announced the latest findings of the "Avaya Asia Pacific Customer Experience Index".

The index revealed continuous preference by Asia-Pacific consumers for multichannel communications in customer service, with video emerging as a new channel, and social media continuing to grow and deliver customer satisfaction scores.

The survey found that customer service remained a key influencer of brand loyalty, with 83 per cent indicating they would avoid buying from a company, and more importantly, actively advise friends and family to do the same, if they experienced bad customer service.

Some 70 per cent of customers indicated they would pay at least 10 per cent more to a company which provided them with better service.

Seventy-five per cent of those surveyed also indicated a preference for multichannel communications, demonstrating that companies now more than ever must have a fully integrated end-to-end multichannel customer experience strategy.

While in-person communication (62 per cent) and phone conversations (75 per cent) continue to lead in terms of interaction volumes, this year has seen a continuous increase in preference and adoption of social media.

This is especially true in Southeast Asia, with Indonesia at 40 per cent and Thailand at 54 per cent - and almost a third of respondents in Singapore - indicating usage of Facebook to contact organisations for information, the survey found.

At an average of 3.9 channels used by consumers when interacting with organisations, the Avaya Asia Pacific Customer Experience Index also points to opportunities for the hospitality and tourism sector to engage customers at various touch points, with the highest utilisation averaging 4.3 channels.

While the hospitality and tourism sector leads in social-media adoption, the finance, banking and insurance industry - though slowest in social media - leads in the use of mobile applications.

Despite being a relatively new channel, with an average of 15 per cent of users saying they have engaged in a service interaction through video in the last three months, the adoption of video chat is on the rise, especially in the retail and wholesale sector.

Indonesia (41 per cent) and Thailand (29 per cent) lead in the adoption of video as a customer service channel. The rate of adoption of video is expected to grow across the board next year by around 14 per cent, according to the survey.

Service levels improving

An average of three out of five customers across Asia-Pacific agreed that service received from customer service centres had improved over the last 12 months, with Thailand (82 per cent), Indonesia (79 per cent) and the Philippines (79 per cent) making the biggest improvements.

As the adoption of newer service channels like social media and video continues to rise, technology solutions that help manage these channels and provide customers with the seamless and ever-improving experience they demand are critical.

According to the "Frost & Sullivan 2012 Asia Pacific Contact Centre Market Report", the Asia-Pacific contact-centre industry remains the fastest-growing region for such services, expanding at 8.4 per cent.

Alongside fast and high growth, this presents businesses with the opportunity to take customer service to the next level, and to deliver quality service at every contact, the report said.

This is the sixth year of the Avaya Asia Pacific Customer Experience Index, formerly the Avaya Asia Pacific Contact Centre Consumer Index.

This year, more 2,400 consumers from Singapore, Japan, Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and India, who were recent users of contact centres, were surveyed in August and September.


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