How generative AI Is reshaping customer interaction in Malaysia.

How generative AI Is reshaping customer interaction in Malaysia. (Source – Shutterstock)

Adobe spotlights generative AI’s role in Malaysian customer experience

  • The latest Adobe generative AI study indicates Malaysian firms need to catch up in using the technology to boost customer experience.
  • Generative AI is crucial for customer satisfaction and competitive edge in Malaysia.
  • Adobe generative AI survey highlights a disconnect between companies and customers’ requirements.

Malaysian corporations emphasize the importance of enhancing customer experiences as a primary engine for growth, albeit confronting the obstacle of diminished budgets, a study from Adobe has highlighted. In an effort to economize, these companies have reduced their financial plans for marketing and enhancing the customer experience, with 41% having already made cuts and an additional 41% planning reductions in the coming year.

To counterbalance the constraints of tighter budgets, Malaysian enterprises are employing technological solutions aimed at streamlining workflows (as reported by 63% of businesses) and integrating generative AI into their operations (as indicated by 49% of respondents). This is in comparison with a broader outlook in Southeast Asia, including countries like Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, where 64% are focusing on workflow efficiency technologies and 56% on adopting generative AI.

The inference drawn from the research is that Malaysian companies are trailing in formalizing generative AI strategies, a trend that does not match the pace of consumer expectations and employee adoption.

Falling behind or playing a different game?

The participation—or lack thereof—of Malaysia in the AI Safety Summit aligns with these findings. It has come to light that a consortium of 29 nations, encompassing the likes of the US, the UK, China, Australia, Brazil, India, and the European Union bloc, have pledged collective efforts to avert the potentially grave repercussions—whether intentional or not—stemming from advanced AI systems.

These countries have reached a consensus, acknowledging that while AI has the capacity to significantly better human lives, global peace, and prosperity, it simultaneously brings substantial risks, especially within the everyday sectors of life.

The group of nations concurs that avant-garde AI applications possess the potential for misuse, particularly in sensitive areas such as cybersecurity and biotechnology. Even as individual nations may pursue their own regulatory measures, there’s a shared imperative to establish a common language for “classifications and categorizations of risk” associated with AI.

Elon Musk backed British PM Rishi Sunak's decision to invite China to the AI Safety Summit 2023. Adobe generative AI.

Elon Musk backed British PM Rishi Sunak’s decision to invite China to the AI Safety Summit 2023. (Source – X)

A comprehensive strategy to address these AI-related risks will hinge on pinpointing mutual safety concerns and cultivating a collective, scientifically sound, and evidence-based grasp of these potential threats. Given Malaysia’s absence from the summit, conjecture suggests that the country may be channeling its resources into other areas, possibly preferring regional collaborations or focusing on national advancements in AI safety and ethics. Or it might be adopting a diplomatic stance that diverges from the summit’s goals and required commitments. Yet, policy or regulatory differences concerning AI might not resonate with the consensus or preferred methodologies at the summit.

For the moment, these remain speculative assessments, in the absence of concrete explanations for Malaysia’s non-involvement in the summit.

Adobe reveals: Malaysian consumer appetite for generative AI technology

The Malaysian consumer’s readiness to embrace AI technology is noteworthy. The report underscores Malaysian enthusiasm for the ways in which generative AI can elevate products and services (with 47% in favor) and customer experiences (also at 47%). 37% of consumers in Malaysia perceive the adoption of generative AI as a critical factor for businesses to sustain competitiveness, a sentiment slightly stronger than the overall 35% seen across Southeast Asia.

Within the corporate realm, 95% of Malaysian employees have utilized generative AI for marketing and customer engagement initiatives. This contrasts with a mere 38% of Malaysian professionals who report that their employers actively use generative AI tools. These employees are applying AI tools like text-to-image generators for crafting promotional materials and campaign concepts (54%), as well as harnessing conversational AI for copy generation (38%) and research and insights (over half at 55%).

This trend of employee generative AI usage is consistent across Southeast Asia, where 95% report using these tools in marketing efforts, although only 42% indicate their companies have adopted such technologies.

Ethical AI use in the face of rapid technological evolution

Simon Dale, Adobe’s vice president & managing director for Southeast Asia & Korea, emphasizes the workforce’s widespread use of generative AI, highlighting an imperative for organizations to establish guidelines and ethical standards for AI utilization proactively.

Dale cautions, “As generative AI technologies continue to evolve, an absence of a set of strong guardrails and AI ethics principles can pose risks to the organization and even erode consumer trust.”

Malaysian brands, within the scope of an economically challenging climate, appear to underestimate elements crucial for fostering consumer trust and financial patronage, specifically data security, ecological sustainability, and the inclusivity of their offerings.

The Adobe generative AI study indicates that in Malaysia, nearly half of consumers place their loyalty and increased spending with brands they trust. The paramount factor for winning consumer trust lies in protecting data privacy and respectful data use. This is closely followed by offering products and services that are both beneficial for customers and the environment and are ethically produced. These trust-building factors also have the potential to amplify customer spending with a brand.

Consumers place their loyalty and increased spending with brands they trust.

Consumers place their loyalty and increased spending with brands they trust. (Source – Shutterstock)

Conversely, 86% of Malaysian consumers would curtail their spending with brands that fail to safeguard their data and honor their privacy, with 43% willing to withdraw their spending completely. An experience that lacks accessibility for individuals with disabilities will cause 85% to reduce their spending, and 88% will decrease their financial support if a brand fails to meet sustainability standards and regulations.

Despite the clear influence on consumer spending habits, a surprising 45% of Malaysian brands do not regard data security as critical for attracting and maintaining a customer base. This perspective is even more pronounced regarding the importance of accessible and sustainable products and services, with 49% and 53% of brands, respectively, overlooking these factors.

Simon Dale from Adobe points out that consumers are increasingly aware of data privacy issues and the need for brands to deliver on promises of sustainability and accessibility. “To maintain brand trust amid market shifts and evolving consumer behavior, brands must demonstrate responsible practices and social accountability,” Dale advises. This entails not only utilizing emerging digital technologies to bolster engagement, but also ensuring the safety of consumer data.