Excelling at CX in the service industry: insights to succeed in South Korea


In this blog, we will explore and examine how brands in the service industry bring their CX game to the next level.

South Korea – a country known for its unique and vibrant culture, from its delicious cuisine to its love for K-pop and K-dramas. One aspect of South Korean culture that often stands out to visitors is its service industry and its focus on delivering exceptional customer experiences (CX). Whether it's in a restaurant, hotel, or retail store, South Koreans take pride in delivering top-notch service to their customers. This dedication to the customer experience has helped make South Korea a global leader in the service industry. For companies looking to compete in the Korean market, it has become essential to provide a memorable and seamless customer experience for consumers. In this blog, we will explore and examine how brands in the service industry bring their CX game to the next level. 

Make use of technology 

South Koreans are among the world's most tech-savvy consumers, with high smartphone penetration rates, seeing as 96% of the South Korean population owns a smartphone and has access to the World Wide Web. Additionally, 100% of South Koreans between the age of 20 to 29 are active mobile users. To cater to these preferences, businesses must embrace the latest technological innovations, such as chatbots, social media messaging apps, and mobile-friendly websites. These tools can help respond quickly to customer queries and provide personalised recommendations, improving the overall customer experience. Given that South Korean consumers have a high level of technological literacy, they would likely appreciate the use of technology in their purchase experience. Brands that don't embrace technology in their business are at risk of losing the ability to retain their customers. 

For example, Kada:Kudu, a Korean startup selling women’s shoes, offers virtual shoe fittings by using image recognition and measurement software to accurately measure the size of customers’ feet without having them visit the shoe store physically to try on the shoes. 

Embrace the local culture 

In South Korea, building a strong relationship with your customers requires an understanding of local customs and values.   For instance, learning the importance of hierarchy and respect for elders. As most South Koreans do not speak the English language and take pride in their national language, it’s best to advertise your brand in their local language and terminology   and avoid using overly formal language, which can come across as cold and impersonal. Offering multilingual support can help businesses establish trust and build a loyal customer base. 

Case in point: Airbnb has been successful in Korea by offering customer support in Korean and other languages, making it easier for Koreans to book accommodations when travelling abroad. Additionally, consider incorporating traditional Korean elements into your brand identity, such as using traditional Korean colours or motifs in your marketing materials. 

Provide fast and efficient services 

South Koreans are known for their fast-paced lifestyle, and they expect businesses to provide efficient and timely services. To fulfil this demanding request, focus on streamlining your processes and reducing waiting times. In the case of using eCommerce sites in South Korea, this could include offering fast delivery options, providing real-time updates on order status, and optimising your website for fast loading times. 

A real-life example of the provision of efficient services can be seen with a South Korean house-cleaning app called Miso. Their app is simple to use and allows customers to choose their preferred service for home cleaning. Upon choosing the desired service, Miso will then match suitable cleaning providers for those customers. 

Offer personalised recommendations 

In South Korea, personalisation is key to building strong customer relationships. Take advantage of the vast amounts of customer data to provide personalised recommendations and tailored experiences. 

For example, referring to past purchase history or browsing behaviour to suggest products or services that are likely to be of interest to a particular customer. Hyundai Card was able to perfect this by introducing “super customisation”, which allows consumers to track their spending and enjoy offers for specific content they are interested in. 

Meeting the CX expectations of consumers 

South Korea has a unique consumer landscape that demands nothing less than the best from brands. To succeed in the service industry, brands must prioritise understanding and catering to the needs and wants of consumers by offering convenient and customer-centric services. Brands that continue to win hearts, minds, and market shares are the ones who embrace technology to provide a tailored experience in this rapidly evolving market. 

Whether it is through the use of technology, website optimisation, localising content, or offering personalisation, brands that are willing to adapt and invest in the unique demands of a market are most likely to thrive. Curious how your brand can take advantage of existing technologies to improve customer satisfaction and increase sales? Speak to one of our consultants today. 



ADA Asia

ADA provides services that enable enterprises and brands to drive topline growth through digital marketing and sales transformation across Asia

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