Friday, July 19, 2024

Great customer service more important than low prices for Filipino consumers

Great customer service more important than low prices for Filipino consumers

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When it comes to parting with their hard-earned cash, most consumers in the Philippines say excellent customer service is more important than price, according to new research released by Qualtrics.


Despite the high cost of living being top of mind for many consumers in the Philippines, the 2024 Qualtrics Consumer Trends Report shows product and service quality and customer service support are the two considerations consumers prioritize when making a purchase – both ahead of price. Consumers are also placing importance on easy digital experiences and buying from brands that are doing good things for society.


With great experience as the foundation for driving loyalty and share of wallet, a critical barrier organizations need to overcome to improve customer service in 2024 is lagging morale among frontline employees, such as cashiers, bank tellers, and restaurant servers. Frontline employees are often the greatest driver of great customer experience and service – and how most consumers prefer to engage with brands.


Yet separate Qualtrics research shows this group are less satisfied with their pay and development, and support to do their job, compared to non-frontline employees – a trend at risk of getting worse before it gets better, with only 38% of customer experience leaders making “training our customer service agents and frontline employees” a priority.

“Consumers in the Philippines expect more than ever from the organizations they engage with. Brands need to find ways to capture valuable customer feedback in all the places where it’s being shared – such as through surveys, on social media, call transcripts, chat logs, and review sites – and combine it with operational data – such as average spend and visit frequency – to gain insight into what consumers are doing and better understand how to serve them better,” said Moira Dorsey, Principal XM Catalyst, Qualtrics XM Institute.


The Consumer Experience Trends in the Philippines in 2024

The Qualtrics study shows consumer expectations are on the rise heading into 2024. Providing a seamless experience across every channel – from shopping online through to calling customer support or using a chatbot – is now table stakes. And, as AI becomes a bigger part of daily life, consumers are putting a premium on human connection and rewarding brands that deliver exceptional digital support with their dollars and lasting loyalty.


The shift in how consumers give feedback is one of four trends highlighted by Qualtrics set to define the consumer experience in 2024:


●      Human connection is the foundation of a winning AI strategy

●      Great service beats low prices in the battle for customer loyalty

●      Consumers don’t give feedback like they used to, so companies must listen in new ways

●      Digital support is the weakest link in the customer journey


A winning AI strategy must address consumers’ fear of losing the human connection

At a time when organizations are focused on adopting and deploying AI to build deeper connections with customers – such as by identifying and rapidly responding to issues, writing communications or personalizing experiences and recommendations – half of consumers in the Philippines are comfortable engaging with AI-powered services and communications.


Consumers’ biggest concerns when engaging with AI during their customer experience are having a lack of human connection, reduced interaction quality, and misuse of personal data. The importance of human connection is emphasized by a significant volume of consumers preferring to interact with brands via human channels (74%) instead of digital (26%). As a result, the most successful initial AI strategies will see organizations use the technology to power transactional engagements and equip frontline employees with the tools, insights, and ability to deliver higher levels of customer service.


Customers aren’t giving feedback like they used to – companies must listen in new ways
Only 48% of consumers give direct feedback every time they have a bad experience with a company, but they are providing feedback in less direct ways, such as in call center conversations, online chat, product reviews and social media posts. Since 2021, the share of consumers providing feedback directly to the companies they buy from following a very bad experience has fallen by 11 percentage points, meaning organizations need to be smart about gathering feedback where customers are giving it and taking action to address it.

Table shows decrease in percentage points since 2021 on how consumers provide feedback

Companies can build a richer understanding of what customers want and expect by tuning into both direct and indirect sources of feedback. The latter may even provide a more authentic view into the customer experience and can surface issues or insights that may not come up on a traditional survey.

Digital support creates winners and losers

Great digital-channel support can have an outsized impact on customer loyalty – but it’s less common. Globally, consumers are more likely to return if they have great digital support, compared to great customer support from a representative. However, consumers are less satisfied with their digital support experience than human-assisted experience.


Addressing this trend is pressing given the increasing reliance on digital channels by brands around the world. A recent Qualtrics study found 70% of companies say that digital channels contribute to at least 40% of their revenue, and 85% of respondents expect that number to grow in the coming months.


Read the full 2024 Consumer Experience Trends Report here.