Nurture sustainable competitive advantage through CX
Disappointing, annoying, frustrating and a hassle; this is not what any business wants to hear from its customers. Yet, a recent Forrester report found that only 16% of consumers surveyed across six major Asia Pacific markets experienced interactions that exceeded their expectations.
The significant causes of dissatisfaction raised by unhappy consumers in Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore were failure to address enquiries from the first interaction (62%), long wait/response times (54%), and not achieving the expected outcome from the interaction (52%). The more developed markets tended to be disappointed by their experience due to higher expectations.
It’s a whole new ball game now that online-only and bricks-and-clicks are becoming the standard for shopping. In a previous article, we touched on how retailers can up their game to serve changing realities and customer expectations. Tech Wire Asia recently talked to Patsy Wong, chief strategy officer at CINNOX – a 100% Asia-born innovative customer engagement and analytics platform.
Wong said that while more businesses are aware of shifting consumer sentiments, they don’t necessarily know how to address it. There also tends to be a narrow view of what goes into crafting an exceptional customer experience.
“Most people come to us with a particular pain point, not a comprehensive view [of CX]. Many of them will come in and say, ‘I want to talk to my customer on the robot app [via chatbots]; I want to talk to a customer on WeChat’,” Wong said. “The customer experience conversation is relatively new in the Asia Pacific market. Some businesses are more mature, but some are still pretty early.”
Many companies were not prepared for the pandemic’s impact on everyday life and customer behavior, and simply reacted; but will now have to map out their way forward.
“They’re not thinking long-term yet, but once they get past the initial stage of addressing some key pain points, our approach is to show them the workflow so they can see the entire customer journey end-to-end,” she said. Many companies are not aware, she added, of what tools are already available that can be easily implemented.
“Once they see the whole picture, they can appreciate the platform more. It’s not just a live chat, you can have multiple channels and integrate with other systems. You can also do analytics.”
The CINNOX platform allows all communications and CRM data to be seamlessly sync-ed and automatically updated, without affecting existing workflows. It can also integrate with customer relationship management platform Salesforce, as multinational healthcare company Roche has done.
There are three essential things to consider to boost the quality of CX, according to Wong. “First off, what are the expectations? A lot of times, if the company is either not aware of or not establishing the right customer expectations, then a positive resolution is going to be tough to achieve. The second is the intent. Why are people coming to you in the first place?” she said. “The third layer is preferences. People will have different preferences, depending on the type of communication they want, and what they are familiar or comfortable with.”
According to the Forrester report, five key consumer personas have emerged post-pandemic. The largest segment at 44% is the omnishoppers – working adults aged between 20 and 49 who feel safe with digital interactions, consider both human and digital touchpoints important, and want an omnichannel experience. Then come the multichannel enthusiasts (15%) who differ from the omnishoppers in that they prefer not to switch communication channels during interactions.
Those aged 50 and older made up the other two personas. The reserved digital immigrants (15%) feel less safe with digital interactions and prefer human touchpoints. Meanwhile, the affluent high-touch seekers (14%) also prefer human touchpoints, even though they are comfortable going digital. They want a personal touch from in-person interactions.
Adults below 30 years old are the last group, referred to as the low-touch digital natives (12%). They consider digital touchpoints more important than humans, and prefer to keep communications digital without switching channels.
With offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan, the team at CINNOX sees their distinct advantage in serving APAC businesses directly, with a keen regional understanding. “For us, we are 100% Asia-focused, whereas global platforms may dedicate 20% of their attention to the region. Unlike the larger players, we can partner closely with our customers to get a lot of the features that we have, like the one we especially created for financial services clients,” Wong explained.
CINNOX is cloud-based, but with a module to enable banks, insurance companies and others in highly-regulated industries to securely store data on-premises, as required for data compliance. The platform is also multilingual, with more local languages added regularly to better serve the diverse communities in the region.
Another standout feature of the platform is its unique and seamless integration of telephony and digital channels. As noted in the Forrester report, around 50% of APAC consumers still want to call companies directly – which means that phone lines are still a critical customer service tool.
While CINNOX started as a telecoms company, its integration of traditional telephony with digital channels offers both the old and new communication channels in a single convenient interface, and at a competitive cost. “Technically speaking, this is not an easy thing to accomplish,” Wong said. “Many people in the industry were pretty amazed that we could pull it off.”
The data analytics available from the platform also provides insights into customers and their personas. Interaction data from all channels can be aggregated to develop a 360-degree view of each customer, enabling the business to build a more contextual and flexible CX strategy – which is imperative in an age of hyper-personalization.
To find out how CINNOX works and what it can do for your business, request a demo via the CINNOX website.