Multi channel communications continue to grow in India: Avaya

MUMBAI: Avaya, a global provider of enterprise communications systems, software and services has announced the latest findings of the Avaya Asia Pacific Customer Experience Index.


The Index revealed continuous preference by Indian consumers for multichannel communications in customer service, with video emerging as a new customer service channel, and mobile (text messages, instant messaging platforms) as well as online (including website chat, video chat, social media) continuing to grow and deliver great customer satisfaction scores.


Customer service remains a key influencer of brand loyalty, with 75 per cent indicating they would avoid buying from a company, and more importantly, actively advise friends and family to do the same if they experienced bad customer service. The potential for business generation from satisfied customers is great, with approximately two in every three consumers from India prepared to pay more money to a company that provides them with excellent customer service (69 per cent) with the majority of those being willing to pay at least 10-20 per cent more. This is a trend that is set to continue, as Gen Y is more inclined towards it than mature consumers. 72 per cent of those surveyed also indicated a preference for multichannel communications - demonstrating that companies now more than ever must have a fully integrated end to end multichannel customer experience strategy.


While in-person communication (71 per cent) and phone conversations (76 per cent) continue to lead in terms of interaction volumes, 2013 saw a continuous increase in preference and adoption of mobile and online channels. An average of 4.6 channels are used by consumers when interacting with organisations.


The Avaya Asia Pacific Customer Experience Index also points to opportunities for the Telco, Media or Utility industry segments to engage customers at various touch points, with highest utilisation averaging 5.4 channels. While the Telco, Media or Utility industry leads in mobile and online adoption, the Health, Government and Education sector is the strongest in face to face as a channel for communication.


Despite being a relatively new channel, with an average of 14 per cent users say they have engaged in a service interaction through video in the last three months, the adoption of video chat is on the rise, especially in the finance, banking and insurance sector. Indonesia (41 per cent) and Thailand (29 per cent) lead in the adoption of video as a customer service channel. The rate of adoption of video is expected to grow across the board in 2014 by around 14 percent according to the survey. The main reasons for choosing video chat were virtual face to face interaction with the customer service representative (33 per cent), ease of use (21 per cent) and cost effectiveness (20 per cent).


Crucially, consumers who have used video chat rate their experience very positively, 46 per cent mention that they are ‘very happy’ with the experience and over three quarters (76 per cent) agree that they would use it again if it were offered.


An average of 68 per cent of customers across India agreed that service received from customer service centers has improved over the last 12 months. This is higher than the APAC average across the seven countries in the study which stands at 60 percent.


Given the very evident desire among customers for multichannel communication, businesses must have the right capabilities to collaborate across platforms and agents to provide seamless, quality service regardless of contact points. As the adoption of service channels like mobile, online and video continues to rise, technology solutions that help manage these channels and provide customers with the seamless and ever-improving experience they demand are critical.


According to Frost & Sullivan 2012 Asia Pacific Contact Center Market Report , the Asia Pacific contact center industry remains as the fastest growing region for contact center services, growing at 8.4 percent. Alongside fast and high growth, this presents businesses with the opportunity to take customer service to the next level - and deliver quality service at every contact.


"The importance of multichannel communication continues to grow, with the Avaya Asia Pacific Customer Experience Index results highlighting the potential and importance of channels including mobile, online and video. 70 per cent of the people indicated a preference for multichannel communications - demonstrating that companies now more than ever must have a fully integrated end to end multichannel customer experience strategy. Video is also clearly starting to represent a significant opportunity for customer service differentiation. The Index makes compelling reading for anyone focused on driving a proactive Customer Experience Management strategy in India," saysAvaya, India and SAARC contact center sales director Johnson Varkey.


This is the sixth year of the Avaya Asia Pacific Customer Experience Index (formerly 'Avaya Asia Pacific Contact Center Consumer Index'). In 2013, over 2,400 consumers from across the Asia Pacific region, located in Singapore, Japan, Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and India, who were recent users of contact centers, were surveyed from August to September 2013.

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