Social media emerging as key customer experience channel in Asia Pacific

More than a third of companies in Asia Pacific (37%) consider social media as one of their most important customer experience channels. The study, released by Genesys and The Economist Intelligence Unit, shows that while face-to-face communications still ranks as the top CX channel, social media is now more important than both phone calls and email interactions.

Conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit, the research of 516 senior level executives in 21 countries explores the impact of customer experience efforts and leadership on business performance. A third of the respondents were from Asia Pacific, including Southeast Asian markets like Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

“Consumers are going digital more than ever,” said Bruce Eidsvik, Senior Vice President of Genesys Asia Pacific. “In Asia, we hardly think twice when shopping online or posting our feedback and enquiries on companies’ social media channels, therefore it makes sense that we now lead the world when it comes to digital CX engagement. As economies across the region continue to move towards more service based economies, Asia’s leadership in digital engagement places it as the pioneer that other regions will look to for CX innovation.”

The Economist study shows a direct correlation between CEO engagement in customer experience and profitability. When CEOs lead CX initiatives, those initiatives are more likely to transform a company’s future success, the survey found that 58% of companies reported much higher profitability than their competitors when the CEO is in charge of customer experience, and 59% experience better revenue growth as a result of prioritizing CX investments.

In Southeast Asia, investment in customer experience is growing faster than other regions, with 42% of companies boosting investments by more than 10% in the past three years, with an expectation they will increase by the same margin over the next three years.

The study also found that CEOs in Southeast Asia are more likely to have the final say on CX initiatives than CEOs anywhere else in the world.

“Ambitious companies are driving large investments in customer experience initiatives to adapt to the digital communication channels customers are demanding,” said Charles Ross, senior editor at the Economist Intelligence Unit and lead researcher of the study. “By prioritizing CX and placing the CEO in charge, companies are taking an extra step to drive revenue growth and improve profitability.”

However, there is room for greater improvement. According to the EIU research, Southeast Asia (24%) is the second lowest sub-region in Asia Pacific on customers’ rating of their overall experience with companies. Therefore, organizations in the region need to step up their game if they are to make the most of their growing investments in CX technology.