Human interaction trumps technology in customer support


Filipino consumers still prefer human support even if automation is on the rise. According to a May 2022 Forrester Consulting study, human touchpoints in hybrid experiences are pivotal in improving customer experience (CX). 

The study, commissioned by omnichannel communications company Infobip, suggested a strong correlation in the value of human agent interactions when addressing highly emotional or complex cases.  

The top three customer service touchpoints preferred by Filipino consumers are human agents over the phone (42%), online live chat (33%), and social media (31%).  

Across all the markets surveyed, phone calls were also the top preferred interaction touchpoint in all support scenarios: from pre-sales to post-sales support, and all the way to feedback and complaints.  

Self-service touchpoints were deemed sufficient for less complex requests like delivery tracking.  

In terms of CX score, the Philippines at 3.9 sits between China (4.0) and Malaysia (3.8). Improving CX scores, the study found, correlates to an improvement in advocacy (82%), retention (80%), and spending (77%) for brands.  

“To cater to the unique demands in customer experience, business leaders need to find the right balance in combining the deployment of both digital and human touchpoints to improve the customer experience journey,” said Charist Montenegro, country manager of Infobip Philippines, in a press statement. “The right technologies are also needed to complement this hybrid strategy to be able to take full advantage of the benefits that excellent CX can bring to the business.”  

Forrester Consulting also found four personas among Filipino consumers that brands must tailor their CX strategies to: affluent hybrid shoppers (45%) who use digital and human channels interchangeably; reserved high-touch seekers (26%) who are inclined to human touchpoints; neutrals (17%) who remain hesitant to switch among touchpoints; and low-touch digital natives (12%) who opt for digital CX.   

The different interaction preferences across personas necessitates mapping customer journeys to determine where automation and human support are best placed.  

According to the study, self-serve experiences such as automated chatbot support are suited to low-touch digital natives. Affluent hybrid shoppers, meanwhile, require an omnichannel experience between human-assisted and digital touchpoints. — Patricia B. Mirasol


Redefining Human and Automated Engagement – How APAC Consumers Have Impacted The CX Agenda” is a custom study of 1,210 consumers across mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, and Vietnam, to highlight the strategic components needed to build a hybrid CX. The study discovered the majority of those surveyed interacted with a financial service, retail, or telco service provider in the past 6 months for purchase and/or customer service and support.

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