Asean consumers favour automation
People in Asean are positive about completely automated interactions with brands, according to the Adobe Experience Index, which gauges consumer expectations.
The global index, which surveyed eight global markets, looks into consumer attitudes towards technology, automation, human interaction and future innovations. These eight markets consist of India, Asean, the US, Britain, France, Germany, Japan and Australia.
The index was compiled by global software provider Adobe.
Scott Rigby, head of digital transformation of Adobe, said 68% of 1,003 consumers in Asean agreed to completely automated interactions with a company, compared with 63% in the US, 58% in France and Britain, and 57% in Australia.
The index shows Asean (45%) and Japan (23%) are the markets with the least preference for interaction with humans versus computers. In the other six markets over half of the respondents favour human interactions when making contact with firms.
With a high mobile penetration rate across Asean, the rate of digital adoption and transformation in the region is now "unmatched" by other markets, Mr Rigby said.
"The region offers a unique opportunity for brands to experiment," he said. "Consumers here leapfrog through technology adoption stages to become early adopters of advancements when it comes to brand experiences."
"In my experience, Thailand is one of Asean's top three countries for brands capable of providing customers with good experiences, where the country's customers also have high expectations."
Brands can embrace automation technology to accommodate customers and provide them with a good experience.
For example, said Mr Rigby, during the shutdown of Hong Kong airport by protesters, airlines can send notifications to passengers about cancelled flights and re-book tickets for them with alternative flights recommended.
"Automation is not just for cost savings or a sales boost, but also for adding service value that humans cannot handle because of the large scale," said Mr Rigby.
To achieve this, organisations need to gear towards real-time responses with customers.
Leadership needs to integrate different operation functions, such as marketing, sales, creativity, legal matters and technology, and pivot to a customer-centric approach, he said. Organisations need to change their culture to be more agile to achieve digital transformation, said Mr Rigby.
Businesses also need to invest in technology that would help draw in customer engagement and boost revenue.
"Content management, analytics and machine learning are key to providing customers with a positive automated experience," he said.
He said his company offers Adobe Experience Cloud, which offers end-to-end solutions for experience creation, marketing, advertising, analytics and commerce.
In Thailand, Siam Commercial Bank, Kasikornbank and Lazada have adopted this service to offer customer experience through mobile apps. Expedia.com and Qantas Airline can increase revenue by US$1 billion and $100 million, respectively, following the adoption of the service.