Accenture: Malaysian ‘Switching Economy’ worth Over US$53 billion in revenue

Read Accenture’s report about how Malaysian ‘Switching Economy’ is worth over US$53 billion in revenue.


Malaysian service providers score lower than emerging market when delivering convergence between traditional and digital transactions

KUALA LUMPUR; April 21, 2014 – Most companies in Malaysia are failing at keeping their customers from switching service providers despite 98 percent of Malaysian consumers using at least one digital channel to search for information via highly-influential corporate sites. As a result, there is a potential US$53 billion of revenue at play in the market represented by the ‘switching economy’*, according to new research released by Accenture (NYSE: ACN).

The research revealed that in the past year, almost 80 percent of Malaysian consumers switched service providers due to poor customer service experiences. The findings are published along with the ninth annual Accenture Global Consumer Pulse Survey, which measured the experiences of 12,867 customers in 32 countries and across 10 industries to gain insight into the changing dynamics of today’s “nonstop” customers and assess consumer attitudes toward marketing, sales and customer service practices. The survey included more than 1,027 industry responses from Malaysia.

Key points highlighted in the survey include:

  • 79 percent of Malaysian customers have switched due to poor service in at least one industry. For Malaysian customers, when switching due to poor service, both ‘price’ and ‘customer service’ are the main factors when selecting new providers.

  • Just 19 percent are satisfied overall with their existing service providers.

  • 73 percent  of switchers are driven by price when considering new providers putting Malaysia well above the Asia Pacific average of 67 percent.

  • 72 percent of consumers who switched say companies could have done something to prevent them from switching – first contact resolution being a significant influence on their decision to switch (52 percent).

  • Just 17 percent Malaysian customers find that their providers are very effective at delivering convergence between traditional and digital interactions. Malaysia scored lower than emerging market averages.

  • About 94 percent of the consumers read about companies’ products and services on social media sites and close to 46 percent do it several times a week.

“Low levels of customer satisfaction and changing customer behaviors in the digital marketplace are driving the switching economy that presents opportunities as well as threats. When done right, the customer experience can become a source of competitive differentiation that pulls companies away from competition,” said Joon Seong Lee, Managing Director, Sales & Customer Services, Accenture ASEAN.

Digital customer demands tailored experiences

Despite a high percentage of Malaysian consumers using digital technologies, there is a gap between digital use and the ability of companies to use them to improve customer experiences. Malaysia scored lower than emerging market averages at just 17 percent customers finding the service providers effective in this area.

In this respect, the retail industry is most popular for its loyalty programs in Malaysia with 54 percent of consumers participating in at least one programme displaying 68 percent persuasion efficiency. The Property and Casualty Insurance and Cable/Satellite industries witnessed the lowest participation levels. While best deals and tailored programmes are successful at persuading consumers to stick to loyalty programmes, these are the very reasons people find them ineffective. It could mean that the competitors in the market are equally weak in offering better deals.

Lee emphasised that improvement is not only digital capability; success in the age of the nonstop customer does not all come down to digital. Knowledgeable, polite and friendly employees who can solve customer problems effectively and the assurance of personal data protection are important customer service dimensions for more than 80 percent customers. Seamlessly integrating the digital and offline worlds gives customers the ability to choose their experience and maximize control over how they interact with companies. That control extends to their personal information and how companies balance creative use of digital applications with privacy and data security.

The report found that companies that delivered valued customer experiences exhibited five common high impact capabilities, known as the customer-driven digital blueprint. These capabilities include:

  1. Hyper-relevance: Show customers the company learns from every interaction and applies it at a more personal level, including customising their channel and interaction preferences, so customers don’t have to repeat themselves or hit unnecessary roadblocks. This means using predictive analytics to provide a more tailored customer experience with more customisation and personalization.

  2. Relationships at Scale: Digital gives businesses rich channels through which to communicate with customers in much more personal ways and manage relationships with customers at scale. Use digital to bring the intimacy of the corner store to all customers and then give them more convenient access and more tailored services that matter to them.

  3. Seamless Experience: Creating a seamless experience requires a multi-channel approach. Integrate information and processes that enable customers to flow easily across different channels when and how they choose.

  4. Inherently Mobile: Learn from customers about what they want to do differently with mobile, and invest in mobile services and support capabilities that stand out to customers.

  5. Social Media: Harness social media in order to deliver up-to-the-second customer preferences, greater levels of trust, a mechanism for direct and dynamic interaction and more and more usable data upon which business decisions can be made.

    About the Survey

    The Accenture Global Consumer Survey is an annual research project that assesses customer attitudes toward marketing, sales and customer service practices and customers’ behaviors in response to companies’ practices. The 2013 survey includes online responses from more than 12,000 customers in 32 countries: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States. Respondents were asked to assess their experiences with up to four companies in 10 industries: hotels & lodging, property & casualty insurance providers, consumer goods retailers, consumer electronics manufacturers, retail banking, internet service providers, cable & satellite service providers, landline phone companies, wireless phone companies and gas & electric utilities.

    About the ‘Switching Economy

    Accenture’s ‘Switching Economy’ comprises the revenue potential at play, driven by consumer switching. It calculates the potential expenditure shift resulting from customers that switched from one provider to another (‘complete switch’) as well as those that will potentially do so as they started to take portions of their spending to new providers (‘partial switch’).

    The size of the Switching Economy is estimated based on two data sources:

    • Accenture’s analysis externally sourced data ranges on consumer spending (2013 forecasts) across utilities, communications, financial services, insurance, consumer goods retailing, consumer electronics and hotels & lodging in 32 countries (those included in Accenture’s survey).

    • Switching data from Accenture’s 2013 Global Consumer Pulse Research.

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    About Accenture
    Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with approximately 289,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$28.6 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2013. Its home page is