Good Customer Experience Relies on Building Trust
From time to time, enterprises remind their teams that the cost of getting a new customer is five times that of servicing and growing an existing one. So, it is somewhat of a no-brainer to state that customer experience (CX) is mission critical to survival in these competitive times. However, CX is no one-way street as customers respond to trust more than mere words.
New regulations such as GDPR give consumers the power to opt out of CX conversations and means they can demand more from brands in return for their customers and their data. A Verizon sponsored survey of 6,000 consumers across 15 countries, conducted by Longitude drills down into the fundamentals of a CX relationship and what consumers from various ages groups (18-65 years) and regions (Asia Pacific, Europe and Canada/U.S.) view as important when starting and maintaining a relationship with a business brand.
Prashant Gupta Head of solutions South East Asia & India, Verizon told CXOToday that the best relationships in CX are always built on two simple principles – mutual trust and simplicity.
APAC consumers open to share data
Discussing the difference in the way, APAC customers react to data, Gupta said, “When it comes to sharing their data, APAC consumers are extremely open, as compared to those in Europe, EMEA and the Americas.”
The report shows, one in 10 consumers in APAC would be happy to share their data without even needing to know in advance how it would be used (the highest rate globally).
In addition, consumers in APAC are the least sceptical when it comes to how companies use that data – fewer than two thirds (62%) of APAC consumers think that companies are asking for their personal data for their own gain, rather than to serve consumers better.
India most enthusiastic on CX
When it comes to Indian consumers, 20% of them would share their data with companies without needing to know in advance how it would be used. This is more than double the global average of 8%.
Gupta stated, India is very familiar with the issues and complexities of data sharing. The government-led ID scheme, Aadhaar, is 10 years old and has prompted debate about the pros and cons of sharing data.
He observes an interesting nuance in the consumer preferences based on the study findings. “India is the only country in APAC which does not rate discounts as the main benefit it wants in return for sharing data. Instead, Indian consumers prioritize a more intuitive, personalized user experience,” said Gupta.
“This shows maturity, as does the fact that Indian consumers are the most open across the APAC region to being interacted with in different ways– 69% of Indian consumers are, compared to just 47% across the rest of the region.”
However, Gupta mentioned, “Although India is the most enthusiastic on CX, it’s also most punishing to companies which misuse its data and suffer a breach, which is essential to bear in mind when operating in the country.”
Some Key takeaways from the survey:
- Consumers in APAC may be the freest with their data – but they won’t give it away for nothing. For example, 38% of consumers in APAC would allow car insurers to track their driving, so long as they received lower premiums in return. Some 43% would permit restaurants to track their location if it meant they got better discounts, and 31% would even let retailers track their social media so long as it generated recommendations for them.
- There are many examples of APAC brands delivering modern customer experiences, thanks to the combination of innovative brands and customers which are happy to share their data. For instance, in 2018, clothing retailer GUESS partnered with Alibaba to deliver a data-driven retail outlet, including smart mirrors which understand users’ preferences, recommends complementary items, locates them in store and alerts a staff member to bring them to the customer. According to Gupta, this type of example demonstrates that APAC consumers are open to companies finding new ways to communicate with them. Almost half (47%) of APAC consumers would be open to companies interacting with them in new ways, compared to just a third in Europe.
- APAC consumers may share their data more freely, but this does not make them soft touches – they will still drop brands which do not satisfy their CX demands. The number-one thing which would make APAC consumers switch to a competitor is not being able to answer a problem or request the first time around (43%). This is narrowly followed by companies failing to adhere to their data privacy preferences (41%). In addition, APAC consumers have a zero-tolerance approach to security breaches – more than a third (34%) would avoid using a company if it suffered a high-profile data breach.
- The APAC region presents a ripe opportunity for brands wishing to increase their value to customers by leveraging their data. APAC’s forward thinking on CX means that it’s an ideal region for global brands to test out CX strategies, potentially trailing new methods of interacting with customers. This could be done to gauge success locally before considering a wider global rollout.
“Brands operating in APAC only can expect higher returns on their CX strategy and enjoy a more engaged customer base. But for every opportunity there is a risk. These companies must respect the privacy of their customers and keep their data secure – if they don’t do this, they will destroy the major progress made so far,” summed up Gupta.