There is a shift in power for Telecoms in the Asia Pacific region toward the consumer. It parallels a shift in the overall mindset of consumers in this area, one of a more commanding and capricious customer. In other words, the Customer Experience matters here more than it did even a couple of years ago. Are you ready?
A new global survey released by Amdocs last month reported a trend in the region where consumers demanded more control and personalization in their Customer Experiences with their Telecom provider. The survey results were based on 7,000 respondents in 14 countries throughout much of the Asian Pacific region, including India, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and Singapore.
Some interesting facts about Telecom consumers in the countries that make up the Asia-Pacific region revealed in the survey include:
- Most people, (86%) want to use digital channels to interact with online businesses (like Amazon.com)
- People begin searching for new products and services online and will order new service online.
- Consumers in this part of the world still appreciate the retail outlets or customer care channels for the speed of service
- Respondents wanted more personalized offers that addressed their specific needs (66%)
- More of these consumers (66%) want self-service for their needs over calling into customer care.
- A strong majority (74%) would switch providers if they could get the same level of wireless connectivity from an online provider (such as Google)
From the Philippines:
- 86% of Filipinos would rather use digital channels to interact with other industries (not Telecom), which was higher than the global average of 74%
- 58% of Filipinos would rather resolve many of the issues via self-service which was higher than the 54% reported for the global market.
- 86% of Filipinos would replace their current service provider if alternative entities (e.g. Apple, Facebook or Google) provided comparable wireless connectivity
As you can see, each country had slightly different responses than the global average. For instance, India and the Philippines were at 86% for interacting with online businesses, but in Thailand, that percentage dropped to 80%. Also, in the Philippines, many of the preferences for digital interaction were higher.
What I see in the numbers here is that while the survey was based on the Telecom industry, its trends are echoing throughout other industries as well. Like the consumer one might expect to find in Anytown, U.S.A., or waiting for the tube in London, the consumers in the Asia Pacific region expect you to provide a customer-centered experience. Moreover, if you don’t provide it, they will find someone who will.
As Customer Experience consultants, we have asserted since 2002 that the global marketplace necessitates a focus on your competitive differentiation. In the past, that meant having the best price. However, as many organizations have learned over the past decade or so is that you can only go so low. Starting many years ago, it became necessary to not only have the best price possible, but to offer the best value to the customer for the price you pay.
When you provide a good or service to your customer, no matter where they are in the world, one of the things they value most is a good Customer Experience. Much of this value derives from how your Customer Experience makes them feel. Positive emotions, like feeling valued, cared for, happy or pleased will foster customer retention and loyalty. Likewise, the negative emotions have an effect, too. If customers feel frustrated or disappointed, they will drop you.
So, what we see here regarding telecoms is a harbinger for what we can expect across the board in the Asia-Pacific region. Customers want an easy and reliable experience that they drive and control. As the Customer Experience becomes a priority for consumers all over the world, you must focus on delivering a Customer Experience that puts the customer at the center of everything you do, and this is true whether that Customer is in Jersey City or Jakarta.
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Colin Shaw is the founder and CEO of Beyond Philosophy, one of the world’s leading Customer experience consultancy & training organizations. Colin is an international author of five bestselling books and an engaging keynote speaker.
Follow Colin Shaw on Twitter & Periscope @ColinShaw_CX