Hongkongers want more from digital customer services

A HKACE survey found that digital customer service channels are not able to meet Hongkongers' expectations (Image oatawa / iStockPhoto)

Hong Kong customers’ expectations for digital services are outpacing the experiences companies are offering today, according to research from HKACE, a non-profit organization representing more than 300,000 customer practitioners in Hong Kong.

The survey found that Hong Kong consumers have taken to digital services and are eager to use more such services in the future.

But while 90% of consumers expect their enquiries to be solved the first time they contact customer service over a channel, they are less satisfied with digital channels because they are not able to meet this expectation.

Further, while 41% of customers think that being able to solve their issues should be the top priority for digital channels, only 15% of customer service staff believe the same. Customer service staff by contrast think that customers value efficient service above all else (24%), but only 10% of consumers agree.

Hong Kong consumers prefer to use different channels for different services. Customers tend to visit company websites or mobile apps for basic information (65%) or product and service enquiries (59%) as well as bill payment (50%).

But consumers tend to visit stores or service centers to purchase products or services (50%), call ah hotline when looking for a solution to a problem (51%), renew contracts (49%) or enquire about service appointments or deliveries (42%).

Ultimately the majority of consumers (64%) want omni-channel customer services rather than through multiple unconnected channels (24%) or a single channel (7%).

HKACE chairman Algernon Yau said the results show that AI is not yet ready to fully replace the human touch in customer service.

"We are delighted to see that customers welcome digital channels in customer service. However, we must make sure our digital channels and services create value and convenience to our customers,” he said.

“While we advocate the use of digital technologies in customer service, we will continue to emphasize the importance of integrated channels by embedding human touch elements into digital technology, so as to provide a better customer experience to our customers."