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Consumers still prefer human support over chatbots — Infobip

While more and more organizations are using automation to simplify business processes, a study by Infobip saw that a significant number of customers still prefer to talk to human beings about their concerns.

The Infobip report found that in the Philippines, interacting with human agents on the phone holds the top spot as the most preferred touchpoint of customer service (42%), followed by online live chat (33%) and social media (31%).

However, the Infobip report found online and phone live support have gained traction when it comes to customer service given as a result of companies’ digital transformations. Customers who prefer automated chatbots when making purchases are now 2% higher at 26% vs the previous figure of 24%, according to the report.

“To cater to the unique demands in customer experience, business leaders need to find the right balance in combining the deployment of both digital and human touchpoints to improve the customer experience journey,” Charist Montenegro, country manager, Infobip Philippines, said in a media advisory. “The right technologies are also needed to complement this hybrid strategy to be able to take full advantage of the benefits that excellent CX can bring to the business.”

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Infobip, a global cloud communications platform, recently commissioned Forrester Consulting to develop a custom study of 1,210 consumers across the Asia Pacific (APAC), including the Philippines. Titled “Redefining Human and Automated Engagement – How APAC Consumers Have Impacted The CX Agenda,” the study reveals the emerging needs and expectations of consumers and how business leaders must address them with a hybrid human-assisted and automated service business model.

Live chat support

There is still a significant number of consumers who prefer human interaction, so companies should take note that providing hybrid experiences can help improve CX. When human interaction was selected for general customer service and complaint cases, a boost in CX was reflected in upswings of the CX score (from 3.37 to 3.63 for complaints).

The Philippines (3.9) sits between China (4.0) and Malaysia (3.8) in terms of CX score which is based on three key considerations when measuring CX quality: effectiveness, ease, and emotion.

Infobip said in the Philippine post-pandemic era, phone support offered by human agents rose to 50% from 39% before the pandemic as the most preferred general customer service and support scenario for consumers. Phone calls slid to 33% from 39% when it comes to preferred customer feedback and complaint channels, but advanced to 46% from 38% for pre-sales support.


After the strategic planning of automation and human support placement, decision-makers will have to create a CX ecosystem that effectively facilitates collaboration and leverages cloud-based environments to push the boundaries of CX.

Currently, there are four distinct personas among Filipino consumers that brands must consider in making sure that their CX strategies are tailor-fit for the local market.

These include affluent hybrid shoppers (45%) who use digital and human channels interchangeably, reserved high touch seekers (26%) inclined to human touchpoints, neutrals (17%) who remain hesitant to switch among touchpoints, and younger low-touch digital natives (12%) who opt for digital CX.

“The study’s findings highlight that a cookie-cutter approach in delivering superior CX is no longer effective when dealing with specific consumer personas, each with different needs and expectations from the businesses they interact with,” Infobip said.