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Main Feature SME Southeast Asia

65% of Singaporeans expect workplace will improve after COVID-19, says study

Singapore – Almost two thirds of workers in Singapore, or 65% of them expect that their industry will change for the better after COVID-19 due to the changes being implemented amid pandemic response, according to a research by customer experience tech Qualtrics.

The Qualtrics study surveyed 800 Singaporeans, and more than half, or 57% rated their employer’s response to the pandemic as “above average.”

With many people working from home during the pandemic, a large portion, 42% of respondents, said their employee experience has improved during the pandemic, while the same number said it has remained the same. 

The most effective actions employers have taken to make their teams feel more valued throughout this period leaned more on workplace flexibility with 51% of companies, followed by gratitude from the direct manager, and improved benefits, both with 21% of companies undertaking such measures.

“As a result of their employers’ quick thinking and actions, the majority of workers across Singapore say they feel a lot more valued at their company, and a lot more proud  to work for them,” Qualtrics SEA Head Mao Gen Foo said.

“While many have made steps in the right direction, businesses cannot afford to take their foot off the gas. Employees want to be listened to, and there is more change on the road ahead as people return and industries adapt,” added Mao Gen.

The new normal in the workplace

While employees have imparted the present measures their companies are undertaking, they  also gave insight into what actions they want to see more of from employers.

For 77% of Singaporeans, it’s important that their employer asks for feedback on what action can be taken to make them feel more confident about returning. 

Within such desired feedback, the study revealed that a flexible work schedule is the most coveted change that workers want to see in the workplace with 69% of them expressing it as a top concern.

This was followed by wanting companies to have a higher focus on personal hygiene with 44%, while about 39% said that actions should be taken to have greater focus on employee mental health. Meanwhile, almost the same number said that freedom to choose their work location is a factor.

Mao Gen said that while employees can agree prioritising safety and hygiene is essential moving forward, there is a slight gap between the actions they want to see, and which they expect to see outside of this. 

“Singaporeans want to see their employers continue to focus on offering more workplace flexibility – such as less time spent commuting, and wearing more comfortable clothing to work,” said Mao Gen.

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Main Feature Marketing Southeast Asia

6 expert tips to ace social media for your online business growth

Starting an online business is becoming more of an option amid the ongoing pandemic as more people are relying on online purchases to obtain their needs. Albeit such a trend, deciding to put up a digital business can still be a tricky affair, as you’re dealing with matters that of any other type of business such as setting up a capital, procuring suppliers for your products, and building a staff among others. 

One of the considerations that must be taken into account is your marketing strategy, and with the influx of social media tools at your disposal, one must learn to leverage such tools in order to translate branding into sales, and eventually start seeing those bucks rolling  in.

Social Media Strategist Janelle Swing of the entrepreneurship and freelancing group Filipina Home-based Moms (FH Moms) shares the best ways to do just that. 

Janelle imparts six expert but doable steps the you can do right now to maximize the available online platforms, and eventually see an improved growth on your business online.

1. Product knowledge should be at the back of your hand

Start off by listing the features, benefits, and real of your products in order to identify how to properly draw your communication and marketing plan.

Janelle said that these three facets are essential for customizing branding and helping the product or service stand out amid a sea of online sellers breaking from the clutter 

“As an entrepreneur, you must be fully aware of the product feature and offerings that you are selling. It builds credibility and institutes trust amongst your target customers,” said Janelle.

2. Identify your target audience

As an entrepreneur, you have to walk in your customers’ shoes and identify correctly your customers’ concerns, needs, and pain points. Once you have figured your business audience, you can come up with an effective marketing effort, content plan, and communication treatment to reach out to your target audience.

3. Identify your price points

As an online seller, it is important to identify accurate price points of your offerings. Reaching a reasonable price point will be based on factors like your target audience, their consumption habits, the market competition as well as the value for money the product offers. 

Janelle further advises that an estimated price point lets you benchmark your position and helps you customize your communication plans for promoting your offerings and engaging well on social media without overdoing it. If gauged well, a well thought of price point can scale up a business to a great extent.

4. Craft a content strategy

An essential way to maximize social media reach for your business is to have a content strategy calendar in place, which if properly utilized can prove advantageous for most brands or businesses.

“It doesn’t have to be an expert strategy. But rather, you must identify what would best appeal to your audience. You just have to be able to use the existing tools of your platform in order to get the most out of it,” shares Janelle.

Showcase your products with multiple photos

While Shopping online you would want to vet a product and inspect the product details quite minutely before making a purchase. Similarly, it is essential that your customer gets to view different angles of the product you are cataloging in your website. Always make sure that you upload multiple photos that are shot well, backed by suitable lighting conditions and background, for your audience to fully appreciate it.

Leverage FB’s pinned post option

You can highlight the product or service that you want to feature with this option. It could also be an FAQ, or a “ways to order,” and descriptions showing available modes of payment in order for your customers to easily navigate their way and understand your offerings.

Use the auto-response feature

Using an auto-response feature is the best way to engage your customers, while you’re away. You can earn loyal and new customers depending on reliable and satisfactory customer service. With this auto feature, you can assist customers and answer their queries in real-time without having to log into your account every single time.

Use the FB live-selling feature

Part of your content strategy must include FB Live sessions to further engage your online audience. With this feature, you can directly engage with your audience in an instant while also offering your product and services. However, live sessions must be well planned in advance and spaced out adequately to build a sense of anticipation amongst your audience. Do not rush into these sessions, live selling is a terrific opportunity and if leveraged well, can have a reaching impact for your brand and business.

5. Find a bankable supplier to tend to your overall business needs

Apart from a considerable social media presence, as a seller, you should have access to the best available space to procure your regular supplies.

Always make sure that your supplier is a legitimate source of products with trusted sellers and offers dedicated customer service.

6. Your creative materials are the most essential tools

Presenting a fetching catalog of product photos is no easy task – it takes a good amount of creativity and adequate photo skills to make your product stand out from the clutter of online sellers. There are a lot of good options to curate highly engaging content online as per your business taste and needs.

Use Canva

“For starters, you may use Canva in creating your layout. This is an easy- to-use platform where you can use templates to layout your product photos, plus it is free. You just have to be consistent with the colors and template style of your photos to have an effective brand recall and brand association,” said Janelle.

Using social media to get positive leads and generate revenue doesn’t need a big budget. As an entrepreneur, you need the right attitude, a positive and go-getter mindset, and the ability to tap into free online tools at your disposal to unlock the social media prowess and strive towards a successful online business venture.

This article is brought to you by Zilingo Philippines.

Categories
Main Feature Technology Southeast Asia

Are shuttle services the new normal? SWAT Mobility augments transpo options in Philippines amid COVID-19

Manila, Philippines – Ever since the coronavirus hit the greater civilians worldwide, every country had been caught dead in their tracks; no one had a master plan in hand, and for the longest time since the virus had been birthed, countries – its government bodies as well as businesses are making up their pandemic responses as they go along. 

A strategy that has been resounding across nations is the restriction of transportation services to contain contact, and in the Philippines, the government vacillated since March in coding the nation along four different quarantine levels; albeit unique, all with a directive to halt public transportation.

APAC vehicle-routing tech SWAT Mobility pokes the Philippines during these strange times and seeks to present a solution to the nation’s transpo plight. Amid suspended mass transit systems and almost half to a hundred percent public utility vehicles disallowed, it has left the government imploring companies to implement shuttle services for their employees.

Just like a ride-hailing service, SWAT Mobility operates through a mobile app, but one where its services cater to a group-specific transpo pooling. In a virtual presser Aug. 19, Chief Revenue Officer Nicholas Stipp presents the two options, ‘Commute Pass” and “Just In Time” that companies can choose from to transit their workers.

For companies with staff that have stable shifts and predictable reporting times, “Commute Pass” offers a riding service where bookings are confirmed for the whole month with the same pick-up and drop-off location. “Just in Time” on the other hand, works well with types of companies whose employees have different reporting and knock-off times.

With “Just in Time,” passengers can book a ride up to 10 minutes before departure, where the system collates the bookings and generates optimized routes for the entire vehicle fleet within minutes.

This isn’t the first time that SWAT Mobility has looked into the Philippines as a possible market. Stipp said that around mid of 2019, the Singapore-headquartered company has already tagged the country as a top priority for expansion outside its HQ.

“I started coming [in the Philippines] about a year ago, but the question at that time was, how do we address commuting challenges under normal circumstances. As things have aggressed with COVID, we really accelerated our plans, so we planned to do a trial basis with [workspace solutions company] KMC, and see how things would go, and make sure everything is stabilized. But we have found that demand is just too strong, so we really scrambled in, and now we have multiple clients within a couple of months,” said Stipp. 

Eventually, as the country eased to a more lenient community quarantine, and public transport has been gradually allowed to ply, Filipinos find themselves going back to point-to-point (P2P) buses as mode of transport, aside from the general public utility vehicles (PUVs). P2P buses are buses which have a predetermined single pick-up and drop-off points.

One of the pain points that SWAT Mobility vows to solve with their products is the aching process of arriving at the exact location of work, and thereafter reaching one’s place of home.

According to SWAT Mobility’s data, a person trying to get home from work via a P2P or PUV would get picked up from a common passenger point and be transported to a general drop-off that is still roughly four to five kilometers away from the person’s exact residential, incurring additional rides and more time spent on the road.

SWAT Mobility said that with their transport solutions, passengers are given a “close-to-door” service where vehicles await right outside employees’ workplaces, and each passenger transported to a drop-off point that would only need a person to travel a walking distance of a maximum 300 meters. 

The company had first run a SWAT Mobility deployment for healthcare workers in Thailand in April, and has followed releasing the same mode of transport for workers of state-owned healthcare Philippine General Hospital (PGH).

As of current, PGH is utilizing SWAT Mobility’s “Just In Time” booking,  where a 24-hour deployment is implemented with three shifts of round trips. 

Aside from PGH, workspace solutions provider KMC has also tied up with SWAT Mobility to provide its employees with a Smart Staff Corporate Shuttle; a home-to-office and office-to-home transport for its 15 office sites which launched in July 2020. 

Stipp said in a press statement that the company will continue working with the public and private sectors in the country to further alleviate the transportation burden off Filipino workers’ shoulders, and add resolve to the traffic problems that have always plagued the country.

He said, “SWAT Mobility’s core belief is that efficient transport is a fundamental right and with that, the company’s mission is to improve congestion as well as improve quality of life through a cloud mobility engine.”