SINGAPORE: Video is emerging as a key customer service channel for Asian consumers, with retailers showing a particular interest in offering video chat to resolve customer issues, a recent survey has found.

The latest Avaya Asia Pacific Customer Experience Index from Avaya, the global business communications provider, found that of the 2,400 consumers it surveyed 15% said they engaged in a service interaction via video in the last three months.

Although a relatively new channel, the adoption of video chat is growing, especially in the retail and wholesale sectors, and its rate of adoption is expected to grow by about 14% annually in 2014, the Nation reported.

Indonesia and Thailand are regional leaders in the adoption of video as a customer service channel – at 41% and 29% respectively – and the top uses for video in 2013 were to update customer details and to make complaints.

Consumers from Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand also confirmed that customer service remains a key influencer of brand loyalty.

In all, 83% indicated they would avoid buying from a company – and even actively advise friends and family to do the same – if they experienced poor customer service.

Keeping customers satisfied offers great opportunities for businesses, the survey found, as 70% of respondents indicated they would pay at least 10% more to a company for excellent customer service while 75% indicated a preference for multichannel communications.

In-person communication and phone conversations continue to be the main means of connection between organisations and their customers – at 62% and 75% respectively – but the Avaya report also found a continuous increase in preference and adoption of social media, which is often seen as a way to expedite a response to an existing query.

For example, almost one-third of consumers in Singapore used Facebook to contact organisations for information while respondents in Thailand (54%) and Indonesia (40%) recorded the highest rates of social media usage for customer service.

Data sourced from the Nation; additional content by Warc staff