Genesys, a provider in omnichannel customer experience (CX) and contact centre solutions, has released a report revealing a strong momentum for transformation across the Asia-Pacific customer service industry as it prepares for oncoming disruption.
The survey of senior executives from the Asia-Pacific region by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) found the majority of customer service buyers within companies and organisations (58 per cent) believe elements of the customer service function are ripe for "uberisation" – defined as rapid transformation resulting from the entry of on-demand business models.
Globally, companies and organisations are now looking to their customer service capabilities to differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive market. In the Asia-Pacific region, two-thirds of customer service solution buyers are expecting the transition to an on-demand model to help drive their future growth, according to the report. If the technology exists, 93 per cent of customer service buyers from profit-leading firms agree that investing in an on-demand offering would be imperative to their business performance.
"Motivated by already revolutionised industries such as taxi services and hotels, the Asia-Pacific customer service industry is predicted to move to an on-demand model," said Bruce Eidsvik, Managing Director for Asia-Pacific at Genesys. "This research tells us that the customer service providers who shift to an on-demand approach will emerge with the most competitive advantage."
Customer service buyers see the value in an on-demand business model, with 68 per cent of customer service buyers responding they would introduce an on-demand model even if it brought significant operational changes.
Customer Service Buyers Face Barriers
Despite a willingness to evolve their customer service model, customer service professionals identified significant barriers that could stall the adoption of on-demand solutions. Putting in place appropriate technology is a key consideration, with 62 per cent saying that they would need to improve their technology before implementing on-demand customer service.
A lack of skills amongst staff is also a key obstacle, with 53 per cent of respondents identifying skills as a key requirement for a successful transition to an on-demand model and 27 per cent saying skills shortages are the largest single major barrier to transformation. Sixty-two per cent of customer service buyers say the adoption of an on-demand model will necessitate more staff training.
"Because of the relative novelty of an on-demand customer service model, buyers will likely face some practical challenges. Most will need to improve their processes but almost all will find that a lack of skills in their workforce to be the greatest barrier," said Charles Ross, Senior Editor at the Economist Intelligence Unit and lead researcher of the study.
Suppliers Lag Behind Industry Demand for On-Demand Customer Service Solutions
While the report found customer service buyers are eager to embrace technologies aligned with an on-demand economy, existing third-party providers were seen to be lagging behind industry demand. Of those surveyed, only 12 per cent said their company’s customer service offering and channels were "very successful."
Despite the apparent gap between supply and demand, customer service providers said 40 per cent of their work time is spent creating new, disruptive customer service products or offerings, and they expect to increase these efforts over the next three years.
"From what we’ve seen from disrupters in other markets, customer service providers must take bold steps forward or risk getting left behind," Mr. Eidsvik said. "It’s essential for established providers to consider non-traditional trends and technologies. While they might be hesitant to move away from a model that makes money today, the risk of ignoring disruptive innovations is too great."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Published: Monday, June 6, 2016
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