This blog post will concentrate on the Indonesian language, which has received less attention in the area of automated customer services. This is unfortunate because there are noteworthy possibilities for businesses to enhance their feedback collection during customer service and merge their online and offline services, resulting in substantial benefits.
Facts about Indonesian
Indonesian, also known as Bahasa Indonesian, is Indonesia's official and national language. It is spoken by over 270 million people around the world, making it one of the most spoken languages globally While Indonesia has the most Indonesian-speaking population, Indonesian is also spoken by smaller communities in neighbouring countries such as Malaysia, East Timor, Brunei and Singapore.
The Indonesian language has its roots in the Malay language, which was spoken in the Malay Archipelago for centuries. The Malay language was used as a lingua franca among traders and sailors in the region, and it developed into a distinct language over time.
The modern standard form of Indonesian was developed in the early 20th century, during Indonesia's struggle for independence from Dutch colonial rule. The language was standardized and simplified to make it easier for people from different parts of the country to communicate with each other, and it was chosen as the official language of Indonesia in 1945.
The writing system of Indonesian has some differences from English: Indonesian uses the Latin alphabet, with a few additional letters such as "ng" and "ny." In addition, the script is phonetic, meaning that each letter represents a sound, and there are no silent letters.
Indonesian has a relatively simple grammar compared to many other languages. Nouns do not have gender or plural forms. Pronouns also do not have gender or formal/informal distinctions. However, Indonesian does not have any verb conjugations, tenses, or articles, unlike English.
Customer service in Indonesian (in Indonesia)
According to EF English Proficiency Index 2022, which is based on test data from more than 2,100,000 test takers around the world who took the EF Standard English Test (EF SET), Indonesia ranked 81 out of 111 countries around the world, which puts it in the "low proficiency" category.
The low level of English proficiency in Indonesia can be attributed to various factors. One of these is the limited availability of qualified English teachers. Additionally, English proficiency can vary greatly across different socioeconomic backgrounds, with only a small percentage of the population being able to afford private English language schools. Furthermore, the education system in Indonesia places emphasis on standard Indonesian and a wide range of local languages, rather than English.
More importantly, the Indonesian government has also prioritized language policies aimed at promoting the use of a common national language for communication, which is crucial for unifying the country. These policies include the establishment of language centres and institutes to support language learning and teaching.
Hence, for businesses operating locally, communicating effectively in Bahasa Indonesian is essential as it is deeply connected to significant national and cultural meanings. Speaking the local language can enhance the approachability and friendliness of your customer service.
Key customer service trends in Indonesia
- Culture sensitivity matters
Indonesia has a predominantly Islamic population, accounting for approximately 87% of the total population. However, the country also has substantial Christian, Hindu, and Buddhist communities, especially in certain regions. Religion is therefore an integral part of Indonesian culture and daily life, and showing respect for religious customs and traditions is considered a sign of good manners and social harmony.
Studies have demonstrated that paying attention to customers' beliefs can increase their loyalty. This is because an individual's religious identity can influence their level of trust in a product or service. By respecting religious customs and establishing connections with customers who have religious affiliations, businesses can enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty in Indonesia.
- Customer feedback
Indonesians now have an easier time providing feedback and sharing their experiences with others thanks to social media and online platforms. As a result, there has been an increase in both positive and negative customer feedback, leading to an improvement in overall customer service quality in the country.
Indonesian customers expect businesses to be responsive to their feedback and to provide transparent information about their products and services. By actively responding to feedback, businesses can quickly establish a positive image among Indonesian consumers.
In addition to feedback posted online or published as reviews, there are also valuable insights to be gained from conversations with customers regarding their concerns and inquiries. This is where chatbots with integrated AI analytics, such as those offered by Algomo, can be especially useful in helping businesses better understand Indonesian customers who have high expectations for data collection and feedback management.
- The desire for online-offline integration
In addition to an increased preference for e-commerce due to COVID-19, Indonesian consumers have also expressed a desire for improved offline-online integration of experiences.
According to a survey by Deloitte, there is still a significant divide between offline and online channels in Indonesia. Only 38% of respondents have made online purchases after conducting research online. This suggests that physical presence and in-person interactions are crucial for building relationships with customers and increasing sales. This is particularly relevant for industries where consumers demand a significant level of assurance before and during their purchase of goods and services, such as the online grocery shopping sector.
While maintaining an offline presence can be costly, exploring cost-effective online solutions to enhance customer experiences is vital in reducing overall expenses. Technologies like Algomo's chatbots offer a competitive advantage in terms of cost-effectiveness and are ideal candidates for this purpose.
Overview of automated customer service in Indonesia
In general, Indonesian is not quite well-served by chatbot-building platforms. While it is included in Dialogueflow, wider support is absent from mainstream vendors like IBM’s Watson, Facebook WIT and MicroSoft Bot Framework. As a result, Algomo is one of the few multilingual chatbot companies that support Indonesian.
There is a lack of specific market data to estimate the exact size of the chatbot market in Indonesia. However, since Indonesia is one of the largest countries in the Asia Pacific region, data in the greater market offers some insightful predictions.
According to a report by Grand View Research, Inc., Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest-growing regional market during the period from 2023 to 2030, driven by the increasing adoption of chatbots in various industries such as healthcare, banking, and e-commerce.
Indonesia is likely to be a significant contributor to the growth of the chatbot market as the country has a rapidly growing internet user base and a large and growing e-commerce industry, which are both key drivers of chatbot adoption.
Main application sectors
PT Prodia Widyahusada Tbk (PRDA), an Indonesian healthcare company, launched its chatbot Tania in 2019, which operates 24 hours and can be accessed online via its website as well as various social media platforms widely used in Indonesia, such as LINE, Telegram, and Facebook Messenger.
In addition to providing information about Prodia's health check services, branch locations, and facilities, Tania's chatbot can also be utilized for direct interaction with customer service and consultation.
Given that people usually have multiple concerns related to assurance when it comes to healthcare services, this seamless transition between chatbot and human interactions is crucial in enabling the company to establish a solid relationship of trust and rapport with its customers through customer service.
- Transportation and delivery
Gojek, which is among the most favoured ride-hailing and delivery applications in Indonesia, employs a chatbot named GoBot to help its clients with various tasks such as reserving a ride, monitoring their orders, and managing their accounts.
Although the chatbot only operates in English and Bahasa Indonesia, it employs a great degree of personalization in its customer service. For instance, GoBot can suggest customized recommendations on popular food items or nearby merchants depending on a client's previous orders and preferences.
While Gobot functions as a versatile assistant to customers, the firm is carefully monitoring potential concerns regarding the gathering and use of client data by the chatbot, and the possibility of data breaches or misuse.
Local chatbot players in Indonesia
BahasaLab (formerly known as Bahasa.ai) is a SaaS (Software as a Service) company based in Indonesia that delivers AI solutions to businesses. Established in 2017 as one of the first chatbot solution providers in Indonesia, one of its core products, Bahasa.ai, focuses on delivering Bahasa Indonesia chatbot solutions for enterprises.
The company's clientele is primarily composed of medium to large-scale businesses in diverse industries in Indonesia, such as DANA, Bank Sinarmas, and Equity Life in digital banking and financial services, and Smartfren and MyRepublic in the telecommunications industry.
BahasaLab employs a comprehensive digital integration and omnichannel strategy in its chatbot applications. The automation solutions enable users to utilize popular chatting platforms in Indonesia, such as WhatsApp, LINE, Telegram, and others, for chat interaction. Additionally, the automation solutions provide users with access to their preferred payment and shipping methods, such as GoPay, Grab, Bank Transfer, Bank VA, JNE, JNT, and more, to facilitate their shopping journey.
Kata.ai is a Conversational Artificial Intelligence firm from Indonesia. Its chatbot products specialize in serving Bahasa Indonesia-speaking customers. This focus enables them to ensure that their conversational AI technology employs the finest NLP techniques in Bahasa Indonesia, while also expanding their training data set to incorporate various dialects to provide improved service to Indonesian customers.
The company has forged partnerships with significant organizations in Indonesia, such as Unilever and Telkomsel in the telecommunications sector. As a result, their products have catered to 18.6 million active users per month and handled 1.5 billion conversations overall.
Indonesian enterprises are following the worldwide trend of embracing automated customer services like chatbots, which is a crucial and significant move if they want to establish stronger relationships with their clients. At the same time, there are certain factors to consider when delivering customer service in Indonesia, such as cultural sensitivity, as it is a religious nation. The leading domestic participants in the Indonesian-speaking chatbot market are all striving to offer omnichannel solutions, making chatbots easily accessible on all prevalent social media platforms in the country.