Transforming Customer Experience in the Digital Age: Insights from Asia’s Market Leaders

Transforming Customer Experience in the Digital Age: Insights from Asia’s Market Leaders

No matter what kind of business you are running, if you want to stay competitive in the ever-changing business world, only one thing can save you – going digital! 

At the end of the day, your digital transformation will make your customers happy and help you achieve your long-term goals. 

Digital transformation is more than just a plain phrase; it is a business lifestyle. With the help of this digital change, you can improve your customer services and other business operations using tools and strategies. 

That is exactly what Asian business giants like WeChat and Alibaba are doing! 

If you want to know what these Asian businesses are doing to rule the digital era, this article is written exclusively for you. In the upcoming paragraphs, we will learn about some of the top digital transformation benefits in the world of customer care. Moreover, we will review how businesses in SEA adapt to digital transformation to make their customers happy, along with insights from Asia’s Market Leaders!

The Value of Digital Customer Experience

Let’s review some of the important aspects of how the Digital Age is transforming customer experience across the globe:

1. Real-Time Data Insights

Companies may learn much about their customers’ habits and preferences with digital technologies and analytics. 

As per the McKinsey Customer Experience Report, simple surveys are no longer adequate. Just 16% of CX leaders believe these analytics enable them to address the fundamental reasons for better performance. More precise and fruitful CX tactics can be derived from the helpful data. 

Doing so gives them a deep understanding of their clientele. Innovative businesses are increasing their data and analytics capacities and using predictive insights to build stronger customer relationships. In addition, they are constantly looking for ways to improve their customer service by spotting problems and opportunities as they arise.

Customer experience analytics data is sourced from multiple sources. Typically, four KPIs are used in customer experience analytics: 

1. Measure of Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

One way to determine customers’ happiness with a certain service or product is by looking at their Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) score. Usually, it is a survey question that gives consumers a satisfaction rating.

Take, for example, an imaginary online retailer that has just launched a live chat support service. The retailer can quickly analyze customer satisfaction with this service channel using CSAT surveys after each chat engagement. Additional studies and possible improvements are needed to improve the overall customer experience in real-time if CSAT scores show persistently poor satisfaction.

2. Net Promoter Score  (NPS)

A common approach to evaluating consumer loyalty is the Net Promoter Score (NPS). It consists of just one question: 

“On a scale from 0 to 10, how likely would you recommend our product or service to a friend, family member, or coworker?” 

According to the Net Promoter Score (NPS), the respondents are classified as follows:

  • Promoters
  • Passives
  • Detractors

The division gives you a clear picture of how customers feel about your organization.

3. Voice of the Customer (VoC)

Various methods for gathering and analyzing customer feedback are collectively known as “Voice of the Customer” (VoC). Customer service encounters, social media,  reviews, and surveys fall under this category. Voice of the customer research reveals all of the customer’s likes, dislikes, and problems.

4. Customer Effort Score (CES)

How simple it is for customers to meet their goals while dealing with a business is determined by the Customer Effort Score (CES). If the CES is low, the customer experience is likely to be seamless, but if it’s high, problems may arise.

Take, for example, an online shopping app that has just undergone a UI update. The app will use CES questionnaires after the upgrade to determine whether users find the new design intuitive and easy to use. 

Continuously high CES scores indicate that customers found the app updates to help streamline their online shopping experience. Alternatively, if CES suddenly spikes, the app’s creators might look into and fix users’ problems.

2. The Power of Word of Mouth

Online reviews on various authentic platforms and social media provide an easy way for both good and bad client experiences to spread rapidly. Keeping a good reputation online requires careful management of customer experience. 

In the post-pandemic era, when internet platforms are crucial to customers’ discovery and decision-making processes about businesses, reviews on sites like Google, Facebook, Yelp, and TripAdvisor significantly influence consumer choices.

If you want to succeed in this digital era, you must learn tactics to analyze online customer behavior. Here are a few approaches to do just that:

  • Get the inside scoop from your customers by polling them. Inquire about their expectations, preferences, and problems. You can use this important data to customize your offerings.
  • Enhance your product or service offerings with AI-driven personalization. Customize online content, marketing messages, and suggestions based on user data analysis. 
  • Keep an eye on your competitors’ tactics. Try to learn how they deal with shifting customer preferences. You never know when you might find your secret and dominate the market!
  • Listen to people talking about your brand. Listen to the discussions about your product to know how people talk about them. Trends and sentiments can be better identified using social listening techniques.

3. Exceeding Customers’ Highest Expectations

In today’s technology age, customers have information and all the valid choices which are easily available to them. They expect businesses to understand what they are looking for and provide in a simple, fast, and personalized manner. People increasingly wish for digital technology to “phygitalize” and improve their physical shopping experiences by enhancing, facilitating, or mediating them.

Among the many aspects of in-store shopping experiences that may use some improvement, 27% of respondents to the most recent PWC Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey said having access to knowledgeable and helpful salespeople would be the most important thing for them while shopping. 

Among the things that they were highly interested in were:

  • In-store entertainment (34%)
  • Appointment scheduling with a sales adviser or personal shopper (28%)
  • Immersive digital experiences (30%)

The best example for the last one was trying out new products with the help of virtual reality headsets.

Digital Transformation in the Asian Market – Conversational AI

With over 440 million internet users, Southeast Asia has a very high digital penetration rate. Customers want humanized, tailored, and multichannel experiences because they are always online. In addition, consumers are buying approximately four more digital services now than before the pandemic, which suggests that the pandemic has altered their shopping habits.

What is Conversational AI?

One branch of artificial intelligence, “conversational AI,” allows computers to understand and interpret human spoken language. Typical, conversational AI is another name for advanced chatbots. Traditional chatbots rely on basic software with limited capabilities, but advanced chatbots differ. 

A conversational chatbot’s enhanced capabilities result from combining various forms of artificial intelligence. Traditional voice assistants and virtual agents can also benefit from AI chatbot technologies. The underlying technology of conversational AI systems is still in its infancy but is growing and developing rapidly.

With virtual agents and chatbots that make up conversational AI, people are now more fond of less time-wasting interactions with businesses.

Below, we have compiled key points on how Asian businesses are taking full benefit of conversational AI as part of their digital transformation journey:

1. Future-Guarding with Conversational AI

There has been phenomenal development in the conversational AI sector in Southeast Asia to suit the demands of organizations. On top of that, tech-centric development strategies have been adopted by the governments of key Southeast Asian nations. 

To assist organizations in delivering enjoyable customer experiences, boosting operational efficiencies, decreasing downtime, and identifying possible challenges, an increasing number of suppliers are developing conversational AI systems that do not require coding.

In Southeast Asia, conversational AI is changing customer experience (CX) rules to make it smoother and earn loyalty. Conversational AI is the key to a better future for Southeast Asian organizations. Using it will provide loyal customers with data-driven, engaging, helpful, and contextual experiences.

2. Conversational AI and Keeping Up with Customers’ Changing Habits

Customers in Southeast Asia are very proud of their native languages, and conversational AI makes it easier to provide support for those languages. To better serve their millennial and Gen Z customers, particularly through messaging platforms like WhatsApp, many organizations with a “digital-first approach” are currently adopting conversational AI.

Companies have developed visual assistants that combine speech-based technologies, natural language processing, machine learning, and more into a unified platform. This shift is being spearheaded by financial institutions, telecommunications firms, healthcare providers, and so on.

As an example, consider a hospital in Singapore. The hospital was overwhelmed with frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding doctor appointment scheduling, treatment details, insurance, payment rates, etc. To alleviate staff workload and improve customer service, the hospital set up voice-enabled bots powered by CAI to respond to such inquiries.

Insights from Asia’s Market Leaders – WeChat, Alibaba, and Baidu in China

As a result of their digital transformations, Chinese companies are creating some of the most powerful tech companies in the world. Following are some key points that we have picked up from a very informative episode of the McKinsey Podcast:

If you’re new to China, you should first know that the country’s brands differ from those worldwide. In most Asian markets, Google, Facebook, and Instagram continue to dominate. As an example, compared to the US, Indonesia has a higher number of Facebook users.

However, China is an outlier. Many of these organizations’ servers are restricted in China due to the great firewall, a well-known fact. Consequently, it has paved the way for the emergence of companies like Tencent, Baidu, and Alibaba, which began around ten years ago. 

WeChat by Tencent

Consider Tencent as an example. They offer a widely used service called WeChat, a Facebook and WhatsApp hybrid. Its innovative app-within-an-app architecture integrates standard website features with product catalog, newsfeed, online purchasing and payment system,  and social network functionality. People spend hours using WeChat’s services daily, and the platform helps them arrange every aspect of their lives.

Their user base in China has grown to 700 million people. You can also use WhatsApp for free in China. However, WeChat is the undisputed leader!

You can find Chinese offerings that are built entirely on the WeChat platform. Seeing WeChat as more than just an app is the first step. Naturally, it offers texting, a very sticky high-frequency service. However, that is merely an initial step. This software is fantastic since it opens the door to many additional services.

The standard message interface, for instance, would be visible on the home page. It resembles WhatsApp quite a bit. On the other hand, many additional services are displayed when you swipe right. They offer banking services. On this platform, you can purchase goods and grab a cab. Online payments are also an option.

App weariness has dominated the news and conversation around the world. The average person’s smartphone has far too many apps. They prefer to avoid transferring between different applications or websites to finish a series of services. 

The situation is reversed in China. Several things can be accomplished with WeChat or Alipay!

On average, customers make 50 purchases yearly on Alibaba, translating to one weekly purchase. Furthermore, the payment platform Alipay is the actual enabler of such transactions. Alipay is Alibaba’s mainstay. Additionally, they have created a plethora of services. You can also do your shopping online, just as on WeChat. Grab a cab if you like and order other services too. 

Wrapping Up

In short, digital transformation is crucial for staying competitive and satisfying customers in today’s business world. We learned how real-time data can help you get valuable information about customer behavior, highlighting digital customer experience’s importance. 

With its ability to improve customer experiences and foster loyalty, conversational AI quickly becomes a major player in the Asian market. Market giants like WeChat, Alibaba, and Baidu showed us the significance of digital transformation and how customers love digital experiences. 

When walking a digital transformation path, it is important to be flexible and focused. You must always adapt to the ever-changing customer’s quick demands to stay competitive. The Asian market is an excellent example of this approach, as evidenced by WeChat’s and Alibaba’s customer experiences!


Author: Greg.B

Executive with 25 years of proven success in call center management and revitalizing business units. Proven career record of producing multimillion-dollar profits through pinpointing operational inefficiencies and encouraging the revitalization of employee morale and corporate culture change.

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