CX the missing link for many tech providers

Angie Tay, Group COO of TDCX

Southeast Asia’s digital economy is set to be a USD 1 trillion market by 2030, providing businesses with fresh opportunities to capitalize on the digital wave. Companies from all industries have set their sights on this market, with research indicating that 95 per cent of business leaders that already have a presence in the region plan to expand to new SEA markets. In addition, more than half of international businesses are also developing regional supply chains in this region.

One key segment of the economy that is fueling this digital drive is small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs). In Southeast Asia, such companies make up nearly 99 per cent of businesses and contribute 45 per cent to the region’s gross domestic product. Couple this with the findings from our research which found that three-quarters of these SMEs are still at the early stages of their digitalization journey, this provides B2B tech providers with an attractive opportunity.

To succeed, it is not enough for tech providers to have the most relevant or innovative solutions. TDCX’s research also highlighted that apart from strong technical skills and industry knowledge, SMEs want solution providers who can respond to their queries quickly and provide human-assisted customer service.

One up your competitor with good CX

It is common knowledge that good customer experience (CX) brings about benefits such as customer loyalty, improved brand reputation, and reduced customer churn. But how exactly do those benefits translate to the bottom line?

Various studies have shown that businesses that focus on CX have higher brand value and avoid becoming commoditized. The proof is in the pudding – 72 per cent of shoppers are willing to spend more with a brand that provides excellent support, three out of five consumers will pay more if they knew they would receive outstanding service and lowered customer acquisition costs, given it costs five to 25 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one.

In a competitive market, providing exceptional CX sets companies apart from its competitors. Tech providers, especially those who are new to the market, can give their competitors a run for their money with good service.

Great, so let’s build a bot to help with CX

Generative AI has burst into everyone’s world, leaving an indelible presence in our lives. There is certainly much promise for the technology, and we are already seeing many productivity improvements, given the speed at which generative AI processes and provides information.

While the technology will have a place in CX models, it might be premature to leave it all to the bot, especially when dealing with a highly frustrated customer. While consumers view chatbots favorably, as they provide 24/7 support and faster response times, almost 75 per cent agree that chatbots cannot handle complex questions and often cannot provide accurate answers.

Hence, it would be prudent to take a hybrid approach. When we pair people with technology, humans offer contextual understanding on top of the technology’s processing capabilities. This powerful combination brings about significant outcomes that play to each’s strengths – humans empathizing with the customer while the machine analyzes the problem and comes up with a myriad of options at a speed that is nearly impossible for humans.

How do I set this up?

Setting up a CX team requires careful planning, structuring, and alignment with your organization’s goals and customer-centric strategies. The entire process involves defining the team’s scope and responsibilities, assembling the team, identifying key roles, establishing processes and workflows, implementing tools and technologies, training and development and establishing communication and feedback channels.

To ensure the program’s ongoing success, it is also important to build a strong culture of engagement among employees. An employee’s demeanor and dedication shape the experience that a customer receives. Hence, employees are crucial in delivering the quality of CX that the company desires. This requires adequate training and a supportive work environment as well as regular coaching from team leaders.

CX is not an easy thing to get right and has a direct impact on the business when it goes wrong. Given the complexity of running CX, some companies make the strategic decision of outsourcing this function to specialist providers. By partnering with specialized CX service providers, organizations gain access to a pool of skilled professionals proficient in managing customer inquiries, feedback, and support effectively. Of equal importance is the freeing up of valuable company resources to focus on core business operations.

By outsourcing, businesses are able to scale their customer service operations quickly and efficiently. This enables the business to adapt to fluctuating demand without the burden of recruiting, training, and managing an in-house CX team. Moreover, it can be cost-effective, as it eliminates the expenses associated with establishing and maintaining an internal CX infrastructure. Specialized CX providers such as TDCX leverage cutting-edge technologies and tools, ensuring a streamlined and high-quality customer experience.

Companies that outsource their CX needs also gain the advantage of obtaining insights on industry best practices and innovative approaches, ultimately contributing to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty.

To win the hearts and in turn, wallets, of SMEs, tech providers must look at what they are offering their customers holistically. While providing a robust solution is vital, the distinguishing factor often lies in the quality and effectiveness of the services accompanying that solution. SMEs are seeking tech providers that not only understand their specific pain points and requirements but are also willing to go the extra mile to ensure a seamless experience throughout the customer journey.

SMEs need to have reliable access to assistance whenever issues arise or questions need to be addressed. A responsive support system, with dedicated account managers or support teams, instills confidence and reinforces the perception of a strong partnership.

With a strong understanding of SMEs’ needs and reliable and efficient customer support, tech providers will have a surer footing in the race to win the SME wallet share. This customer-centric approach creates lasting relationships, fosters loyalty, and sets the stage for collaborative growth between the tech provider and the SME clientele.