PETALING JAYA: Personalisation is a key driver to both loyalty and advocacy for Malaysian consumers as they now understand how technology can be leveraged by brands to personalise the buying experience, according to KPMG International.

KPMG Malaysia head of management consulting Alvin Gan observed that customers have a much larger say in today’s Malaysian market compared to pre-pandemic times. Brands now recognise the importance of keeping their customers engaged, and this revolutionised how we think of customer experience.

“Our study reveals that businesses have changed the way they operate to enable their customer agenda, drive growth and innovation, and capture the competitive edge. For some, this might mean a complete reset or re-evaluation of how they can make the most of potential opportunities. But for all, it means a focus on delivering a satisfying experience for the customer.”

KPMG’s Global Customer Experience Excellence 2021 report was conducted on over 88,000 consumers across 26 countries, regions, and jurisdictions including Malaysia to determine which organisations delivered outstanding customer experiences (CX) in 2021. The leading brands in each market were chosen by customers for their performance against The Six Pillars of Customer Experience.

The top three leading CX brands in Malaysia for 2021 are Petronas, Maybank and Shopee.

The research also found that the public is demanding more ambitious environmental, social, governance (ESG) goals. Consumers in Malaysia are paying attention to how brands and businesses contribute to society, favouring companies making social commitments to offset their environmental impact and helping local communities thrive.

Brands must also be cognisant of potential obstacles that could hold them back. Malaysian consumers are looking for value for money and expect discounts, where they are available, to be easily activated. They also expect timely service including delivery. Finally, consumers noted that some brands lack good remote customer support, causing frustration.

“The effects of Covid-19 continue to be felt around the globe and with it comes the need to anticipate and prepare for changes in customers’ needs, behaviors and preferences. Businesses must now act purposefully, prioritising what works and what doesn’t in their strategies. They are amassing ever-expanding data of human behavior and interactions in real-time, enabling them to know their customer almost better than the customer knows themselves. It is vital that they leverage the deep knowledge of their customers and their needs to orchestrate growth across the organization,“ said Gan.

Other findings:

> Personalisation remains the clear driving pillar of loyalty, leading in 21 of the 26 markets including Malaysia.

> Integrity remains the pillar driving advocacy across a majority of markets (16 of the 26).

> Grocery retail is the best performing sector in this year’s research, with a CEE score two percent above average.

> Nearly two thirds of customers are willing to pay more to a company that they see as being ethical or giving back to the community.