67 per cent prefer to resolve issues in app
The pandemic both reshaped the ways brands interacted with their consumers and catalysed an evolution of consumer demands. Having shifted communications online during the pandemic, brands are now facing challenges with consumer interaction and retention as life in Singapore returns to normal. The buyer’s journey has dramatically changed, and so have communication channel preferences. Therefore, brands today need to be data-driven, consumer-centric and omnichannel when engaging with their discerning consumers across the entire customer journey. Brands also must take into consideration dynamic market conditions, and an expanding cyber threat landscape. This warrants a hard look at what consumers really expect when they communicate with brands in 2022.
Toku’s report revealed insights into how consumers’ preferences in their interactions with brands have shifted this year, and beyond. These insights will help brands that are seeking new ways to deepen their engagement with customers and increase satisfaction ratings throughout customers’ journeys, across multiple offline and online touchpoints.
81.5 per cent of the respondents expect no more than 2 touchpoints for any interaction with a brand – such as being diverted to a customer service agent from a chatbot enquiry. Consumers also expect customer service calls to be answered within 5 minutes, and not exceeding 8 minutes. Other stats include:
- 40 per cent of respondents prefer in-app communications as it is more time-efficient. However, 45 per cent say that they don’t communicate in-app because the functions are unavailable.
- 14 per cent of respondents indicated that phone calls remain an important channel for addressing payment-related issues, as the medium facilitated immediate clarifications and quick resolutions.
- 71 per cent of consumers revealed that they would be frustrated with a brand if it lacked a local number for customer support.
- 13 per cent indicated a willingness to disengage with the brand completely if there is no local customer support hotline.
- Short Message Service (SMS) was the channel of choice when it came to appointment reminders (48 per cent), payment status updates (41 per cent) and product delivery updates (40 per cent).
“Toku’s consumer study has provided us with a better understanding of customers’ wants at various touchpoints in their online and offline interactions with brands,” said Thomas Laboulle, CEO, Toku. “As we keep an eye on these emerging trends, we are continuously improving our contact centre solutions to meet evolving enterprise needs for better and more engaged customer journeys. These efforts will also be beneficial to support our customers with their customer retention and loyalty.” According to a 2022 mid-year crime report by the Singapore Police Force, a total of $US227.8 million was lost to 13,181 scam cases in the first half of this year. The most popular scams were job, phishing, e-commerce and investment scams, and the most popular mediums used to scam victims included phone calls, SMSes, social media and in-app messaging platforms.
Against such a backdrop, trust has become a key tenet in brand communications as consumers become savvier of such threats. Toku’s report reflected similar sentiments, with 67 per cent of Singapore consumers revealing that they would not respond to an unknown number because of the fear of being scammed. This was even more pertinent for numbers with country codes displayed – 73 per cent of respondents indicated they would not pick up an international number and 59 per cent would not pick up a local number with country codes. Such behaviour has been conditioned by lessons learnt from past experiences – 75 per cent of respondents have responded to prior scam calls, and 15 per cent had responded to scam SMSes.
Toku works with some of the most cutting-edge super apps and food delivery platforms who are leveraging Toku’s contact centre solution to enhance customer engagement in Singapore and the wider Asia Pacific region.