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Businesses in APAC that invest in customer experience are becoming pandemic-proof

he report found that the number of Champions within midsized and enterprise companies in APAC has increased from 6% to 8%

Companies in the Asia Pacific that have continued to invest in their customer experience (CX) over the past year are more likely to have maximized their resiliency during the pandemic and grown their customer base in the past six months.

However, only 21% of midsized and enterprise companies in Singapore feel they have made the right CX investments to increase business resiliency, trailing behind other markets such as Australia (28%), South Korea (28%), and India (64%), according to “The 2021 State of CX Maturity Report” by Zendesk and Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG).

“Organizations across industries, sizes, and life cycles are realizing that the customer service function is no longer a cost center, but a revenue driver and our research with ESG confirms this. It also found that the connection between CX maturity and greater business growth and revenue remains most pronounced in APAC a year on,” said Wendy Johnstone, chief operating officer for APAC at Zendesk.

“Today’s digital-first economy has made the customer service function the hub of all customer relationships, which is why continuous innovation and investment in CX must be a business imperative for long term success and growth.”

What did the report find?

  • The report surveyed more than 3,400 CX decision-makers globally - of which 921 were from APAC - to understand the characteristics and benefits of CX leadership.

  • ESG built a CX maturity scale to identify common patterns and behaviors that separate high-maturity CX organizations - what ESG calls the “Champions” - from three levels of less-mature ones: “Starters”, “Emerging”, and “Risers”.

  • The report found that the number of Champions within midsized and enterprise companies in APAC has increased from 6% to 8% since 2020, with India (16%), Australia (12%), and Singapore (9%) having the highest proportion of Champions.

  • The greatest gains in the region were tied between India, Australia, and Singapore, which all saw a six percentage point increase from 2020. However, Singapore experienced the fastest growth, increasing the percentage of Champions by three times in the past year, up from just 3% in the past year.

  • In APAC, midsized and enterprise Champions from the region are 4.7 times more likely than Starters to have grown their customer base over the past six months, and 10 times more likely to have increased per-customer spend significantly over the same period.

  • More than one-quarter of midsized and enterprise companies in Singapore have managed to grow their customer base, while one in three has increased per-customer spend in the past six months.

  • Champions are also changing how the customer service function is viewed across their organization. With digital interaction being the main connection point with many customers, Champions in APAC are three times more likely than Starters to operate profitable service teams, where direct revenue exceeds the cost of customer service. Half of the midsized and enterprise Singapore companies surveyed (50%) are already operating a profitable service team, only behind South Korea (58%) and India (84%).

  • APAC Champions are also better positioned to adapt and thrive in the face of change, taking roughly half the time to grow their team by 50% and onboard new hires (22 days versus 43 days for Starters) and add a new channel (21 days versus 45 days for Starters).

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