The global CRM leader, Salesforce, has published its ‘State of the Connected Customer Report,’ which features insights from 14,300 consumers and business buyers in 25 countries, including 650 consumers and 150 business buyers from Singapore.
The report delves into the impact of AI, digital transformation, and macroeconomic trends on customer expectations and behaviours throughout the buying lifecycle.
Key insights from the research include: –
A changing world shakes up expectations: Economic and technological shifts are changing customer priorities, behaviours, and expectations. The pressure is on for brands to step up.
- 53% of customers in Singapore expect companies to understand their needs as they change.
- 85% of customers in Singapore expect faster service and 78% expect better personalisation as technology advances.
- 78% of customers in Singapore expect consistent interactions across departments and 76% expect to interact with someone immediately when they contact a company.
Experience remains crucial amidst bargain seeking: Brands have ample opportunity to compete on more than price.
- 62% of consumers in Singapore switched brands at least once in the past year.
- The quest for better deals is the leading reason for switching brands but the demand for product quality follows closely behind.
- 85% of consumers in Singapore say the experience a company provides is just as important as its products and services. However, many companies fall short – 66% of customers in Singapore say most companies treat them as a number rather than a unique individual.
Generative AI evokes curiosity above all: Customers have a variety of feelings about the rise of generative AI. However, in all 25 countries surveyed, “curiosity” is among the top three.
The top three customer sentiments around generative AI in Singapore are; –
Trust is paramount as AI expands. Customers expect transparency as companies ramp up their use of AI.
- 66% of customers in Singapore say advances in AI make it more important that companies are trustworthy.
- At the same time, 79% of customers in Singapore are concerned about companies using AI unethically.
- 87% of customers in Singapore say it’s important to know whether they’re communicating with AI or a human.87% of customers in Singapore say it’s important to know if they’re communicating with AI or a human according to Salesforce
- 64% of customers in Singapore say greater visibility into AI’s use would deepen their trust.
Sujith Abraham, senior vice president and general manager for Salesforce ASEAN said rising customer expectations means companies can’t afford to stand still when it comes to customer service.
“Technologies such as AI hold immense potential for businesses to keep up with changing needs and preferences. But this also raises pressing concerns around the ethics of AI,” he added.
“The trust imperative is now more important than ever. Companies that will succeed are those that demonstrate they are approaching the technology thoughtfully, grounded in transparency and security, in order to win the trust of their customers,” Abraham said. – Digital News Asia/ Salesforce