Conversational AI-based solutions helped APAC businesses be more effective during the pandemic but failed to raise the customer experience (CX) bar, according to Forrester.

The firm recently surveyed more than 40 businesses across the Asia Pacific (APAC) region to help application development and delivery (AD&D) professionals understand the impact of automation on customer service and CX during the pandemic crisis.

Improving digital channel experience in the next 12 to 18 months is the top priority for the companies surveyed, followed by improving customer experiences and being digital-first.

Survey highlights

  • Chatbots (32%) were the most effective in resolving customer queries quickly followed by smart self-service (28%), virtual assistants (23%), and speech-enabled virtual assistants (8%).
  • 80% said chatbots produced more negative experience than positive or neutral ones during the pandemic while virtual assistants (75%) and speech-enabled virtual assistants (70%) also led to poor customer experience.

  • Only 17% of firms said that automation lowered turnaround time and time-to-response, while 8% said automation improved customer satisfaction score (CSAT) and net promoter score (NPS).
  • 49% said they are implementing, have implemented or are expanding the implementation of its smart self-service and 42% indicated they are doing the same for chatbots.
  • In the next 12 months, 29% said they plan to implement speech-enabled virtual assistants while 24% indicated an interest in implementing virtual assistants.


  • Use internal support teams and contact centres as test groups to predict CX impact.
  • Build a human layer to augment conversational interfaces for better CX.
  • Define comprehensive metrics to measure performance.

Sourced from Forrester