Despite Malaysia consistently outdoing its Southeast Asian counterparts in terms of customer satisfaction score (CSAT), Malaysian consumers are becoming more and more demanding in what they expect from brands. It is not a secret that customer experience will be a priority for Malaysian companies in 2020, and so it should be, as brands who do not prioritize solving customer pain points will lose market share and fall behind their competitors. An aspect of customer experience that is going through a monumental shift, particularly in Malaysia, is customer service and the technologies behind it. In this report we argue the definition of customer service, at its core, is changing and that traditional contact centers and ticketing systems are no longer enough to reach or exceed customer expectations.
Moving from traditional channels to relevant channels
Contact centers and ticketing systems, by nature, utilize two customer service channels – voice and email. Whilst these are still important channels and should always be considered in a customer service strategy, offering support on social media and messaging apps is the most important. The reason for this is because this is where your customers are.
Social Media as a support channel
Malaysia has one of the highest penetration of social media users GLOBALLY, a young population that is far more engaged on social platform then most mature markets. Incorporating social as a key part of customer support therefore is not only a necessity for brands wanting to stay relevant in Malaysia, but also key to managing the sales pipeline. With customer service team now needing to support the entire purchase journey, social platforms play a key role in influencing the Malaysian consumer when finding inspiration for purchases – more so than any other platform or third-party aggregator. For this reason, quick and contextual responses to customer queries on these channels is essential to moving consumers down the purchase journey.
Messaging apps as a support channel
WhatsApp is the most used messaging app globally, and the recent release of the WhatsApp Business API means that its use in business processes will become more and more important to the extent where it cannot be ignored. In the Malaysian context, the need for brands to develop WhatsApp capabilities cannot be understated, as it has the largest penetration of users out of any country globally (The Digital News Report 2017, NST). Facebook Messenger, Telegram and WeChat are also prevalent in Malaysia and should also be considered in an omnichannel support strategy. It is worth noting however how these apps position themselvesdifferenty. Whilst WhatsApp focuses specifically on being a conversational messaging platform, other apps such as WeChat and Telegram are moving towards other functions such as commerce and being multi-functional.
Messaging Apps Users in APAC region (millions) 2019
As support channels, messaging apps offer a platform for brands to move potential customers from consideration to purchase in one conversation – a truly powerful prospect, particularly when chatbots and automation are considered. This is only the beginning of messaging apps being used as a communication channel for business purposes, ignoring this trend is impossible.
Technology as the driver of great customer experiences
At its core great customer experience is driven by convenience, trust and personalization. To deliver this at scale, particularly regarding customer support, you need to embrace innovation and technology. Ticketing system or contact centers are no longer capable of delivering the level of support and experience that customers are expecting; which is immediate, contextual and omni-channel.
Omnichannel vs Multichannel
The term omnichannel is often thrown around so much by marketing agencies and brand teams alike that it has almost become a buzzword. So what does it actually mean? And how is it different to multichannel?
Being multichannel essentially means that brands operate across a multitude of offline and online channels, these however are operated in silo and do not interact. For example, a customer service team operating the email support channel would not be able to access the customer’s previous interaction at an offline store or on another support channel. This leads to a disjointed customer experience filled with customer repetition and inconvenience.
Omnichannel brands however join all customer touchpoints together, via technologies such as Quickdialog, meaning that context is never lost, and customer experience is seamless. This means that customer support teams have a full view of every interaction a customer has had across all touchpoints and can offer pro-active, contextual support accordingly.
The Role of AI and Chatbots
As more and more digital touchpoints develop, and the number of channels that support teams will have to manage increases, developing a customer support strategy that scales will need to consider chatbots and AI. Opening new support channels without utilizing technology will lead to a unmanageable amount of conversations and, ultimately, result in a negative customer experience.
Implementing chatbots and AI to support your customer support team will lead to:
- Quicker Resolution Time: Chatbots offer the opportunity to answer customers immediately and in some case solve the query automatically. From a support team perspective, AI can be used to suggest relevant suggestions meaning that support teams will spend less time researching solutions to queries.
- Contextual Engagement: AI can be used to identify key and relevant customer information from CRM systems that would help in not only resolving issues at hand but also create engaging conversations. Additionally, via AI driven sentiment analysis, support teams can prioritize angry or frustrated conversation to ensure they are dealt with swiftly and effectively.
Not acknowledging the importance of customer experience to overall business growth and competitive differentiation is no longer an option. The ‘era of the consumer’ is now in full flow and brands need to keep up. Key to this is addressing customer support limitations inherited from contact centers and ticketing systems and embracing omnichannel conversational technologies, such as the Quickdialog platform. The Malaysian consumer’s expectations are rising and brands that do not meet or exceed these will fall behind.