The gap between what customers expect of brands, and what they received in reality has widened in Asia Pacific and Singapore despite a full year of accelerated digital pivot, according to SAP’s latest customer experience study.
SAP’s report titled “Heart Matters” found that brands are falling short of customer expectations by 21% in Asia Pacific and 28% in Singapore when it comes to being customer-centric.
Conducted by Qualtrics for SAP Customer Experience, the study covered 5,900 consumers across Australia, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, India, Malaysia, and Thailand.
Singapore respondents indicated a gap between their expectations and actual experiences on this front, in areas such as brands respecting the rights and welfare of their workers (80% vs 67%), treating suppliers ethically (76% vs 56%), actively work to reduce gender and racial inequality (73% vs 55%), and not engage in anti-competitive behaviour (70% vs 54%).
Areas that local businesses were found to be lacking include responsiveness within 24 hours to customer queries (expected at 78% vs 51% in actual), acting on customers’ feedback to improve products and services (84% vs 58%), resolving issues in less than three interactions (83% vs 55%), having a reward programme customised to their interests (81% vs 54%), and offering innovative or better ways to serve customers during COVID-19 (86% vs 65%).
Delivery was among the most dissatisfied areas for those surveyed, with 82% of Singapore consumers expecting brands to provide timely and accurate delivery options they could trust, but with just over half (59%) saying this was met in reality.
The dissatisfaction over quality and reliability of delivery services especially significant for local supermarkets, where just 55% of Singaporeans mentioned they received trustworthy delivery services (vs 80% expectation).
Also, just around half of Singapore customers shared that brands are actively updating them on relevant specials and new products (56%), is proactive in anticipating their needs and wants (55%), and provides tailored suggestions based on their purchase history and preferences (50%).
Singapore-based customers also want brands to provide omni-channel experiences that enable their lifestyles, expecting brands to provide them with a network of physical and online stores (76%), have easy to transact options across multiple channels such as online to in-store (81%), yet still provide a consistent experience irrespective of channel (82%).