SOCER 2021

Options are everything: How Singapore businesses can reach their full omnichannel potential


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    Su-Ren Neo
  • May 05, 2021
TLDR

Here are three ways a multi-channel communications approach has helped Singapore businesses excel, drawing on insight from our annual State of Customer Engagement report.

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Singapore has recovered from pandemics before—the lessons learned from the 2003 SARS outbreak helped prepare the city to contain and recover from COVID-19 at a fairly rapid pace. But what was most remarkable was the speed at which new communication solutions were applied to support organisations in the pivot to digital. 

As we step closer to a post-pandemic world, insights into how businesses excelled during this period will help inform the way forward. 

Combining insight from the Twilio platform, which powers over 1 trillion human interactions annually, with results of new global research of 2,500 enterprise decision-makersdecision makers, our second annual State of Customer Engagement Report reveals that digital communications were critical to business survival in 2020. 

To better understand these opportunities, read on to explore how digital engagement kept us all connected and what trends are here to stay.

When it comes to channels, the more, the merrier

COVID-19 was the accelerator of the decade. In Singapore, enterprise decision-makers shared that digital transformation strategies accelerated by six years. The majority reported that it would be critical or very important to their success going forward.

As the world reopens, consumers don’t expect to compromise on their existing experience and organisations have taken steps to ensure they don't have to. Firms in Singapore expect to add 3.9 new communication channels in 2021, higher than the APAC average of 3.4. 

This indicates that the digital transformation journey is far from over. Business leaders recognise the value of offering individuals multiple interaction points and plan to invest in omnichannel opportunities. And this is all happening at a faster pace too. Due to the pandemic, organizations were spurred to implement new channels 44 percent faster, showing that the rate of change is not about to slow down anytime soon.

Adapting is for life, not just for the pandemic

The pandemic turned our everyday normal upside down. Offices made way for remote working, schools transitioned to online classrooms and social distancing catalysed the opportunity to introduce new technologies.

However, development isn’t limited to these areas alone; businesses and customers have kept economies thriving during challenging times thanks to improved communication methods and these can form a welcome cornerstone for the future in Singapore.

Fifty-three percent of Singaporean companies expect to increase the number of communication channels after the pandemic, indicating the optimism for a stronger omnichannel approachthe success from expanding options already achieved. 

It’s easy to see why: every single Singapore respondent said they benefited from digitalisation. In fact, in the APAC region, Singapore companies were the most likely to attain better customer experience, higher customer satisfaction, obtain new data-driven insights into customers, retain more customers, reach new customer segments and increase sales. 

Digital engagement doesn’t spell the end of the human touch

Just because physical interactions have reduced does not mean we can do away with what is intuitively human. Even with increased investment in digital communications, just over half of customer engagement occurred digitally during COVID-19. 

Singapore’s businesses (and their customers) had a shopping list of wins gained from using video, including building stronger relationships with their customers, using their company resources more efficiently and reducing the time to resolve customer problems. 

As compared to other markets, Singapore leaders were more likely to build stronger relationships with their customers, use their company resources more efficiently and reduce the time to resolve customer problems using video.

The way forward


While few would choose a global pandemic as the catalyst for digital transformation, Singapore found opportunities to not only survive, but thrive. To find out more about how COVID-19 drove digital transformation across the globe, read our State of Customer Engagement report coverage here.

SOCER 2021

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Communication for good | Spring 2021
  • Communication for good | Spring 2021
  • COVID-19 and the new normal | Winter 2020
  • Digital trust | Summer 2021
  • Pre-SIGNAL special | Fall 2021
  • Retail in 2021 | Summer 2021
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Su-Ren Neo

Su-Ren Neo is the Senior Director for Marketing, Asia Pacific and Japan at Twilio, where she and her team are responsible for driving Twilio’s marketing and brand strategy in the region. She brings 20+ years of experience in leading integrated marketing and brand development across technology, financial services, and telecommunications industries in global and regional capacities based in Asia and North America.