98% of regional enterprises would probably not have been around for the survey if they had not gone digital quickly.

At the height of the pandemic, whether your organization was digitalized or just a traditional enterprise, did you take full advantage of digital communications channels to keep in touch with stakeholders?

Was that a saving grace that bought your organization some time to pivot into an e-commerce platform or at least allow it to meet customer needs contactlessly?

Cloud communications platform Twilio polled 2,500 enterprise decision makers (500 to 25,000+ employees) across the USA, the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and part of the Asia Pacific region (825 respondents in Australia, Japan and Singapore) to understand how businesses viewed the role of digital engagement in surviving the pandemic.

The report reveals that digital communications were critical to business survival in 2020, and that the solutions that were built will shape business success in the permanently-changed global economy. 

According to the firm’s Chief Customer Officer, Glenn Weinstein: “For nearly every organization dealing with the impacts of the pandemic, increased digital engagement was a core part of their solutions. From remote learning, to work-from-home contact center agents, to vaccine distribution logistics, digital communications have played a critical role. We expect that to accelerate through the pandemic recovery and become the new normal.”

Key findings

  • Red tape did not stop play in the Asia Pacific region
    91% of APAC respondents reporting accelerated migration to the cloud. In digital communications, even highly-regulated industries experimented with new strategies to continue serving customers. These included 86% of APAC companies across finance, government and healthcare. 78% of the same companies reported that this digital communication lifeline will be critically or very important to their survival success going forward.
  • Singapore: digital transformation accelerated by six years
    Nearly every in-person interaction would have had a digital element. Some 93% of Singapore respondents reported that the pandemic accelerated their move to the Cloud to be equipped with the flexibility to serve customers from anywhere.

    95% planned to increase or maintain their current communications channel offerings after the pandemic, and expected to add an average of four new channels this year.

    Also, increased customer engagement during the pandemic drove new customer insights in the country: 82% reported digital customer engagement will be critically or very important to their success going forward. 
  • Even when it is all over, digital communications will remain a critical function
    83% of APAC respondents noted that this capability will be a key to success. More companies in Japan stated that digital communications will be critically important (45% vs. 33% in Australia and 33% in Singapore). Overall, the percentages of respondents citing plans to will increase investment in customer engagement were: 48% globally, 41% for Australia, 52% for Japan, and 56% for Singapore.
  • If digital channels had not been established, 98% would have been negated
    Citing devastating loss of revenue, customers, competitiveness, and other fatal factors (see chart), almost all APAC respondents saw the importance of pivoting into e-commerce and by association, the pre-requisite digital communications and contactless customer engagement.