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2022 Global Customer Engagement Review

APAC businesses investing in CX 10x more likely to build resilience amid pandemic


Singapore – Businesses in the Asia-Pacific region who have invested in solutions to improve their own customer experience (CX) strategy are more likely to be more resilient 10.3x than their other counterparts amid the global pandemic, according to the latest insights from customer experience company Zendesk and research/strategy firm Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG).

The report noted that CX investment has made APAC businesses 4.7x more likely to grow their online customer base for the last six months.

Furthermore, the rate of high-maturity CX organizations has also increased from 6% to 8% since 2020, with India (16%), Australia (12%) and Singapore (9%) having the highest proportion of these organizations.. The greatest gains in the region were tied among India, Australia and Singapore, which all saw a 6% point increase from 2020. However, Singapore experienced the fastest growth, increasing the percentage of such organizations by three times in the past year, up from just 3% in the past year.

The report noted, however, that only 21% of midsize and enterprise companies in Singapore feel they have made the right CX investments to increase business resiliency, trailing behind other markets such as Australia (28%), South Korea (28%) and India (64%).

“Organizations across industries, sizes and life cycles are realizing that the customer service function is no longer a cost center, but a revenue driver, and our research with ESG confirms this. In fact, it also found that the connection between CX maturity and greater business growth and revenue remains most pronounced in APAC a year on,” said Wendy Johnstone, chief operating officer for APAC at Zendesk.

She added, “Today’s digital-first economy has made the customer service function the hub of all customer relationships, which is why continuous innovation and investment in CX must be a business imperative for long term success and growth.”

There continues to be a clear correlation between improved CX maturity and the benefits of increased customer satisfaction (CSAT), faster response times, and effective customer service. Notably, the study calls out as well the connection between CX maturity and greater business growth and revenue. 

APAC high-maturity CX organizations are better positioned to adapt and thrive in the face of change, taking roughly half the time to grow their team by 50% and onboard new hires (22 days versus 43 days for beginner CX organizations) and add a new channel (21 days versus 45 days for beginner CX organizations). 

“The findings indicate that the shift to digital and remote work during the pandemic served as a trigger for companies to accelerate their adoption of new technologies, policies, and processes to benefit from a higher CX maturity,” said Adam DeMattia, director of custom research at ESG.

He added, “Across APAC, high maturity CX organizations recognize that service excellence can be a differentiator, and are actually accelerating investment in CX projects.”

The report further noted that organizations in APAC have increased the number of service channels year-over-year from an average of 7 to an average of 7.8. In addition, many anticipate that preferences and changes will continue to shift as well: 73% of APAC organizations predict that chat and social channels will be most used by customers in the future, up from 54% who say this is the case today. 

Lastly, 57% of Singapore companies agree that chat and social channels are heavily used by customers today. This number is projected to increase to 72% in the next three years.

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