Customer service representative working with a customer using SAP Contact Center software (Source : SAP).

Respond fast or risk losing customers in Singapore, shows survey by SAP Hybris

Results from the “SAP Hybris Consumer Insight” survey, revealed that responsive customer service, ensuring data privacy and transparency and personalisation as key factors in ensuring great customer experience and retention of consumers in Singapore.

The survey found that at least two-thirds (67 percent) of consumers in Singapore will not choose to purchase from a brand again if their data had been used without the knowledge and expect transparency from brands when handling data.

While they share the same data privacy concerns as consumers in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, unresponsive customer service was found to be the top reason for consumers to not use a brand again (81 percent) – with Singapore being the only market which ranked this over the use of data without knowledge.

More than 1,000 consumers in Singapore were surveyed to uncover consumer preferences when engaging with brands, including what makes or breaks a customer experience and the continued use of a brand.

Nicholas Kontopoulos, Global Vice President of Fast Growth Markets Marketing at SAP Hybris, said, “While data privacy and security remains to be of high concern and importance amongst customers across APAC, including Singapore, customer service and personalisation are also critical. True to the highly service-oriented market, our survey found responsive customer service to be Singaporeans top priority in the engagement with brands.”

“Speed and privacy aside, it is just as important for businesses and marketers to ensure relevant content is shared with consumers today – and this require a deep understanding of not just consumer preferences, but context at the point of purchase or even consideration,” he added.

In this digital age, Singapore consumers not only expect brands to be responsive – they expect this to be done promptly. More than 40% of Singapore consumers expect brands to respond within 3 hours, with the survey findings further pointing to men being less tolerant to slow response than women (44 percent versus 39 percent).

While most consumers enjoy surprises from brands and see this as personalised customer experience, Singaporean youths (78 percent, aged 18 – 24) demand this more than baby boomers (50 percent, aged 55 and above). For the baby boomers, personalised customer experience is getting appropriate responses to their queries with a full understanding of their history with the brand at 58 percent.

“One key conclusion from the SAP Hybris survey highlighted that definitions of personalised customer service differ greatly across various customer groups, and the importance of brands’ capabilities in truly understanding and contextualising their efforts for it to matter. In fact, receiving too many direct marketing and sales calls (64%) and irrelevant content (47%) are the top two don’ts for Singapore customers,” Kontopoulos said.

“Beyond simply capturing customer data, the ability to analyse, contextualise and more importantly, act on insights gathered in real-time, are key to truly impress savvy customers today,” he added.

The SAP Hybris survey found that Singapore consumers are most comfortable with sharing the email addresses (63 percent), shopping history and preferences (53 percent), and mobile numbers (36 percent) with brands.

While these allow brands to create personalised customer experience for the consumers, collection and usage of customer data have to be approached with extra caution. 77 percent of Singapore consumers expect brands to protect their interest when using their personal data, followed by transparency in data usage (67 percent) and ensuring customer privacy in the event of criminal investigations at (61 percent).