By 2021, 65% of Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) (APEJ) organizations will have shifted to digital first through automated operations and contactless experiences as physical interactions become an amenity of the past.
By 2023, APEJ enterprises that excel at empathy and safety at scale will have outperformed those that don't by 40%.
In 2021, APEJ customers will spend 25% more with companies whose digital transformation (DX) enables quick and easy adaptation to the new business context.
These are just a sampling of predictions from the newly released IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Future of Customer and Consumer 2021 Predictions — Asia/Pacific Excluding Japan (APEJ) Implications.
Two things that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown are: customers want and need organizations to deliver on empathy; and that it takes an entire organization to transform to effectively empathize with customers.
In 2021, IDC predicts customer-centricity will be an area of focus for businesses in APEJ.
“Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, APEJ was already a mobile-first, video-heavy, social media–driven, and, in some cases, digital-only world for many of the customers and consumers in the region. The pandemic has catalyzed many of these trends into mainstream populations, catapulting the region into a digital-first world,” says Lawrence Cheok, senior research manager for Digital Commerce and Marketing research at IDC Asia/Pacific.
Challenges to customer-centricity
Organizations must shift into digital-first along with their customers. IDC says it is likely that in their journey to become more emphatic to customers, they will need to contend with the lack of digital infrastructure in parts of emerging APEJ countries, legacy enterprise technologies, lagging customer data protection, and underdeveloped privacy regulations.
IDC believes that extending reach through digital channels, mastering data, and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) will play critical roles in helping enterprises to stay connected, understand, and respond to their customers' needs and aspirations.
Daniel Zoe Jimenez, associate vice president for Digital Transformation, Future Enterprise, and Future of Customer and Consumer research at IDC Asia/Pacific, says the new normal has presented unprecedented opportunities in the volume and variety of customer data that is increasingly available.
“Customer experience trailblazers have shown that the leverage of cornerstone technologies – AI/ML, analytics and customer data platforms (CDP) – can generate enormous value through empathetic initiatives. Those that successfully make the leap to deliver empathy at scale will differentiate and thrive," Jimenez concluded.