9 in 10 customers in Singapore want to know if they’re talking to AI

In Singapore, 87% of customers say it’s important to know if they’re communicating with artificial intelligence (AI) or a human, according to a new report from Salesforce.

Findings reflect insights from a survey conducted May 3 through July 14, covering 14,300  consumers and business buyers across 25 countries — including 650 consumers and 150 business buyers from Singapore.

Results show that economic and technological shifts are changing customer priorities, behaviours, and expectations. The pressure is on for brands to step up as 53% of customers in Singapore expect companies to understand their needs as they change.

Also, 85% of customers in Singapore expect faster service and 78% expect better personalisation as technology advances.

Further, 78% of customers in Singapore expect consistent interactions across departments and 76% expect to interact with someone immediately when they contact a company.

Brands have ample opportunity to compete on more than price, as 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.

Meanwhile, 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. 

Customers have a variety of feelings about the rise of generative AI. However, in all 25 countries surveyed, “curiosity” is among the top three, along with “excitement” and “hope.”

Additionally, customers expect transparency as companies ramp up their use of AI, as 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.

Thus, 87% of customers in Singapore say it’s important to know whether they’re communicating with AI or a human, and 64% say greater visibility into AI’s use would deepen their trust.

Sujith Abraham, SVP and general manager for Salesforce in ASEAN, said that 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. 

“The trust imperative is now more important than ever,” he said.  “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.”