Sydney, Australia – Housing Industry Association (HIA), the largest residential building organization in Australia, has partnered with digital customer experience agency Switch which is also an implementation partner of DXP Sitecore, to overhaul its suite of web-based content platforms and provide a connected digital experience to its member businesses across the country.
HIA is Australia’s only national industry association representing the interests of the residential building industry. It acts as the industry’s voice and promotes policies and provides services that enhance members’ business practices, products, and profitability.
According to a press release by Sitecore, the association said it wanted to change its traditionally face-to-face membership model by expanding the digital experience and services it offers online.
Together with both Switch and Sitecore, the transformation project sought to improve the association’s digital strategy, customer engagement, and website design, and deliver a cloud-based platform that would provide hyper-personalized experiences, e-commerce services, data-decisioning systems, and marketing automation capabilities.
Ben Brooker, HIA’s general manager for digital, describes the project as a “huge step.”
“Our goal is to be the trusted, ever-present voice of the residential building industry in Australia, and provide a central digital experience that unites all customer segments under a proactive, personalized, and connected experience,” said Brooker.
Meanwhile, Switch’s CEO, Steve Nelson, remarks on the growing importance of digitization, “As digital natives become the norm, companies are looking at new service offerings to match expectations and create seamless digital experiences.”
Switch said it formulated a digital strategy centered around four key transformation goals: Raise and capitalize on awareness, increase sense of belonging, grow revenue, and build an efficient digital operating model.
The association’s digital transformation journey included an evolution of its onboarding and membership model, an overhaul of its e-commerce platform, and CPD (Continuous Professional Development) structure, and the creation of an engaging and informative digital resource library to assert HIA’s position as an industry expert.
In addition, an integrated e-commerce solution was created across all of HIA’s digital to support the opportunity to cross-sell and up-sell content online. The solution enables access to a number of resources that were previously only delivered in-store or through a customer service phone query. The digital transformation project also included a simplified user management UX that supports HIA’s membership structure, and the creation of a service prompting users to explore the website and learn about the features available.
The strategy resulted in a multi-phased roadmap, allowing HIA to commence its digital transformation journey, starting with a new ‘Foundation Site’.
In accomplishing the project, the association deployed a suite of Sitecore technology platform services, including Sitecore XP (Integrated Digital Experience), Sitecore XC (Digital Commerce), and Personalisation technology.
Singapore – Businesses in the Asia-Pacific region who have invested in solutions to improve their own customer experience (CX) strategy are more likely to be more resilient 10.3x than their other counterparts amid the global pandemic, according to the latest insights from customer experience company Zendesk and research/strategy firm Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG).
The report noted that CX investment has made APAC businesses 4.7x more likely to grow their online customer base for the last six months.
Furthermore, the rate of high-maturity CX organizations has also increased from 6% to 8% since 2020, with India (16%), Australia (12%) and Singapore (9%) having the highest proportion of these organizations.. The greatest gains in the region were tied among India, Australia and Singapore, which all saw a 6% point increase from 2020. However, Singapore experienced the fastest growth, increasing the percentage of such organizations by three times in the past year, up from just 3% in the past year.
The report noted, however, that only 21% of midsize and enterprise companies in Singapore feel they have made the right CX investments to increase business resiliency, trailing behind other markets such as Australia (28%), South Korea (28%) and India (64%).
“Organizations across industries, sizes and life cycles are realizing that the customer service function is no longer a cost center, but a revenue driver, and our research with ESG confirms this. In fact, it also found that the connection between CX maturity and greater business growth and revenue remains most pronounced in APAC a year on,” said Wendy Johnstone, chief operating officer for APAC at Zendesk.
She added, “Today’s digital-first economy has made the customer service function the hub of all customer relationships, which is why continuous innovation and investment in CX must be a business imperative for long term success and growth.”
There continues to be a clear correlation between improved CX maturity and the benefits of increased customer satisfaction (CSAT), faster response times, and effective customer service. Notably, the study calls out as well the connection between CX maturity and greater business growth and revenue.
APAC high-maturity CX organizations are better positioned to adapt and thrive in the face of change, taking roughly half the time to grow their team by 50% and onboard new hires (22 days versus 43 days for beginner CX organizations) and add a new channel (21 days versus 45 days for beginner CX organizations).
“The findings indicate that the shift to digital and remote work during the pandemic served as a trigger for companies to accelerate their adoption of new technologies, policies, and processes to benefit from a higher CX maturity,” said Adam DeMattia, director of custom research at ESG.
He added, “Across APAC, high maturity CX organizations recognize that service excellence can be a differentiator, and are actually accelerating investment in CX projects.”
The report further noted that organizations in APAC have increased the number of service channels year-over-year from an average of 7 to an average of 7.8. In addition, many anticipate that preferences and changes will continue to shift as well: 73% of APAC organizations predict that chat and social channels will be most used by customers in the future, up from 54% who say this is the case today.
Lastly, 57% of Singapore companies agree that chat and social channels are heavily used by customers today. This number is projected to increase to 72% in the next three years.
Toronto, Canada – Despite 92% of respondents agreeing that customer experience (CX) is vital to customers, 52% of the respondents said that CX on their end has less impact or no impact at all to their purchasing decision or long-term loyalty, according to the latest report by total experience management company Alida.
In their global report, they have found that 95% of respondents say they’re willing to spend more for a better customer service experience, placing greater emphasis on their personal experience versus convenience. Respondents note that bad personal experience (79%) and poor brand reputation (65%) were also cited as the biggest influences in making a purchase.
Unfortunately, 75% believe brands are simply not listening to their feedback, and one in ten believe businesses will never use customer feedback to inform business decisions.
According to the report, the biggest ‘offenders’ are banks, in-person retail, and credit card companies.
Nicole Kealey, chief strategy officer at Alida, notes that the past year has seen a fundamental shift in how consumers interact with brands, forcing companies to change the way they engage with and stay close to their customers.
“Being reactive is no longer a viable business strategy. Our study shows that business leaders are missing out on a tremendous opportunity to harness the insight and opinions directly from their customer base to create a better customer experience, drive sales and increase customer loyalty,” Kealey stated.
The report also noted that 4 out of 5 consumers state that they are highly motivated to do business elsewhere after a bad customer experience. The majority of respondents stated that they are also likely to leave a bad review, something that can have a negative long-term impact on a business. According to the report, t negative social reviews influence the purchase decision of six in ten respondents.
Kealey notes that as all industries look to best navigate a post-pandemic world, companies must understand that one of their most important assets to success is a happy customer.
“A customer who has enjoyed your products, services and experiences will come back again and recommend you to their friends and family. But competition will become fierce and optimizing every step of the brand experience will be critical. To do so, brands must integrate CX into their overarching business strategy and employ the tools they need to truly understand their customers and take action,” she concluded.
As digital technologies dramatically reshape industries, customer expectations are also rapidly evolving in a hyper-connected environment. In fact, we see the same technologies which are changing customer behavior also enabling businesses to redefine customer journeys. This has led to customers increasingly seeking differentiated experiences built on convenience, speed, and accessibility.
While putting the customer first is not a new idea, many organizations are still trying to crack the code on how to integrate this effectively into the business model. An easy first place to start is cloud agreements. Businesses often focus on digitizing the upfront customer experience however often overlook the process of agreement and rely on paper-based processes that aren’t aligned to customer expectations. Digitizing the agreement process removes the potential friction introduced by needing to print, send, and sign paper documents.
With modern electronic signature tools available, it’s now up to leaders to leverage technology and reorient the business towards customer needs. Here are three ways cloud agreements help to strengthen business touchpoints.
Make customers part of your solution
Delays and miscommunication are the most common risks every business that is not digital-first is exposed to. This incurs unnecessary time and revenue costs to the company, resulting in decreased productivity. Today, where the expectation for convenience becomes the norm, make yourself as easy to do business with as possible which starts with digitizing contracts.
It’s important to provide full transparency throughout your engagement with each customer from pre- to post-sales. By leveraging cloud agreements, businesses can better accommodate customer needs by tapping into the flexibility and convenience of the system.
This is evident in the financial and banking industry where online contracts and e-signatures have helped global banks bridge the broken customer experience with an end-to-end digitalization of offerings like home loans. As a result, customers now enjoy improved and faster services that are aligned to their expectations.
A frictionless agreement process
A great customer experience starts with a frictionless agreement. We’ve all experienced the pain and frustration of having to print, sign, and mail documents. And it’s not enjoyable, to say the least. So why impose this on your customers? With cloud agreements, you can assimilate your business to the anywhere economy by eliminating manual steps in your processes and focus on service quality.
A robust cloud system that is compliant and reliable is a key part of any business success. The strong technology infrastructure from AI to machine learning that supports cloud services helps to build trust and confidence among customers. Additionally, the greater visibility of agreement processes allows senders to see real-time signing status which removes any customer fears and worries. This makes the customer experience holistic and safe.
A renewed focus on corporate and social responsibility
Providing a superior customer experience doesn’t hinge only on the customer’s benefit—it’s a strategic business decision. Thus, having a modern digital agreement process is also a reflection of your brand and corporate social responsibility. Through automated processes, paper wastage is greatly reduced which minimizes the negative impact on the environment.
As the world is gearing up towards building a green environment, your digital-first mindset of cloud-based agreements will help reduce your carbon footprint. This is critical especially for socially responsible customers, shifting mindsets that the cloud system is purpose- and value-driven instead of focusing on profits.
To be truly customer-centric, technology alone isn’t enough. Organizations must provide customers with a connected and meaningful experience that is supported by cloud agreements. This would make the customer journey easy and memorable for all the right reasons.
This article was written by Andrea Dixon, senior marketing director of DocuSign for APJ.
Singapore – Customer experience platform Emplifi has appointed Varun Sharma, former head of sales and director of CX applications for SEA at Oracle, to assume the position of vice president for APAC and Japan.
Sharma has over 18 years of experience in CX, digital, and hi-tech industries. Aside from his previous role at Oracle, he has also worked with Adobe, where he led Strategic Industries for their Digital Experience business in the SEA region.
In his new role, Sharma will be leading Emplifi’s Japan and APAC business, with teams across Singapore, Emplifi’s JAPAC headquarters, and Sydney. He will also be the key in driving growth and developing customer and partner relationships across the region as CX becomes a top priority for brands.
Commenting on his new role, Sharma said he is thrilled to be joining the JAPAC team at this exciting time in Emplifi’s journey, as the pandemic really accelerated digitalization in the region, across Asia and ANZ, driving marketers to greatly increase their spend on social media advertising and on CX solutions overall.
“Emplifi’s offering is well-positioned to help businesses across JAPAC to deliver more connected brand experiences across channels, meeting customer needs at every touchpoint of the buyer journey,” said Sharma.
Nikola Pantovic, Emplifi’s chief revenue officer, said, “We’re very excited to welcome Varun to the Emplifi family. His experience building and leading sales teams, combined with his understanding of the CX landscape and knowledge of the Asian market will be key, as we continue to strengthen our focus on the JAPAC region.”
The appointment comes after the recently announced merger of CX company Astute Solutions and digital marketing company Socialbakers. Both businesses rebranded as Emplifi, which will cater to a middle ground of services centered on CX strategies for digital marketing purposes.
Singapore – The customer experience (CX) among major banking institutions in Malaysia lacks differentiation in execution, found by the latest index from global research and advisory firm Forrester.
Said index observed the CX environment across Malaysian multichannel banks AmBank, Bank Rakyat, CIMB Bank, Hong Leong Bank, Maybank, Public Bank, and RHB Bank. The index notes that all banks fell under the ‘OK’ category, with all scores falling within a very tight range, indicating a lack of differentiation within the industry, primarily driven by the challenge that the Malaysian banks face with building positive emotional engagement with their customers.
In terms of CX ranking, Maybank emerged as the leading brand and outperformed all other brands in customer retention, with 41% of customers planning to stay with the bank. Across the three key dimensions of CX quality namely ease, effectiveness, and emotion; customers rated Maybank the most effective and easiest to work with. The bank also received positive emotional feedback from 52% of its customers, just below Bank Rakyat’s 53% mark in that category.
“During this tumultuous year, feeling confident, happy, and valued mattered the most to customers to remain loyal to a brand. In such an undifferentiated market, the ability to invoke positive emotions will be critical to delivering differentiated experiences. Our research indicates that 80% of Malaysian firms will be implementing or expanding their digital transformation by the end of 2021 to provide better experiences,” said Tom Mouhsian, principal analyst at Forrester.
Meanwhile, the index noted that among customers in Malaysia who felt valued by their bank, 41% plan to remain a customer, 61% plan to spend more with it, and 69% will recommend it to family or friends. In contrast, among customers who felt frustrated with their bank, only 10% plan to remain with the brand, with 17% planning to spend ‘more’ with it, and just 14% to recommend it to family or friends.
“This investment is not going to be enough, however, to differentiate CX. In addition to investing in digital experiences, businesses must connect emotionally and empathetically with their customers. To achieve this, CX pros must have a disciplined approach to envisioning, designing, and delivering a consistently high-quality customer experience,” Mouhsian concluded.
While Singaporeans have lived through fluctuating restrictions – like Circuit Breaker and heightened alerts – one thing that has remained constant over the last 18 months is the lifeline to normality that applications and digital services have provided. Whether it’s staying connected to loved ones, ordering food and groceries, work, study, or rest, the role that apps play in our lives has never been more prominent.
Tellingly, in the latest report led by Business Observability platform AppDynamics, a significant 95% of Singaporeans reveal that digital services have helped them get through the pandemic in a positive way. It’s clear that as life threatened to grind to a halt with COVID-19 putting the brakes on travel, entertainment, and work as we knew it, apps have enabled us to get on and continue functioning.
For many people, this widespread transition to the online sphere opened their eyes to the many benefits that digital services promise. Be it virtual activities for leisure, or access to essential services, many consumers have found themselves trying something they would ordinarily have never considered before. According to the e-Conomy SEA 2020 report, more than 1 in 3 digital services that consumers started using last year were because of the pandemic.
Realizing that a viable and convenient digital alternative is readily available to the traditional ways of doing things, consumers in Singapore are now likely to continue relying on these options beyond the pandemic. In fact, 83% of people in Singapore have already expressed their intention to use these services even after the restrictions imposed because of COVID-19 have disappeared.
This change in mindset and behavior will no doubt have implications on both consumer expectations, and how businesses must respond – not only in the short run but also in the longer term as we transition to endemic living.
Customers recognize the investment efforts from brands
Even people who don’t work in technology have witnessed the extent to which organizations across many sectors have innovated over the last 18 months. Launching new services to meet the evolving needs of customers, we’ve seen work and learning go virtual, as have banking, shopping, entertaining, and more. But of course, simply ‘going digital’ isn’t always enough for brands to win the hearts of their customers.
All over the world, we’ve seen organizations that have instead, quickly kickstarted and implemented full-scale digital transformation programs to improve operational processes and deliver apps and digital experiences that meet the needs of their customers. And their efforts have not been for naught. The same study by AppDynamics has discovered that consumers actually recognize and are thankful for the efforts that brands have invested into delivering these apps.
As people sought control and normalcy amid a most uncertain and challenging period, apps have been critical to empowering consumers during the pandemic. Almost 80% of those in Singapore say they are grateful to the brands that have invested in digital so they could access the services that they love. Those that have gone above and beyond with the quality of their digital services have also enjoyed the fruits of their labor, with 75% of people in Singapore feeling more loyal towards these companies.
It appears that creating and maintaining lasting relationships with customers increasingly rests on the delivery of seamless and faultless digital experiences. Brands that can ensure they make a positive impact on the lives of their consumers will have massive opportunities to forge these deeper connections and stay competitive.
Perfection is non-negotiable
As people of all ages across the globe depend on their apps for almost every facet of life, expectations have naturally skyrocketed. In particular, consumers increasingly seek the ‘total application experience’, which in addition to being reliable, secure, and personalized, is also simple, helpful, and fun to use. The bar has been raised forever and brands must now meet these expectations of performance and functionality.
But while consumers are showing more love towards the brands that meet their sky-high expectations with first-class services, tolerance for sub-optimal experiences has hit rock bottom. Indeed, expectations have changed during the pandemic and almost 70% of those in Singapore now expect nothing less than the best and will no longer tolerate poor performance.
As with most tech, digital services are susceptible to disruptions originating from various sources. And while slow loading pages, poor response time, and security lapses are often due to the app itself, other factors like internet connectivity, or issues with third-party plug-ins remain beyond the app owner’s control.
Despite the multitude of possibilities behind an app’s failure or technical disruption, most consumers believe it’s the brand’s duty to ensure their digital service always performs at an optimal standard. To 78% of the consumers in Singapore, it doesn’t matter what causes the poor performance. While external factors like a poor internet connection or weak mobile signal may be to blame, consumers expect application owners and the brands to take responsibility.
Consumers leave at the first sign of trouble
Although encountering problems with digital services is not a new phenomenon – with a majority of people saying they have experienced an issue over the last 12 months, what is increasingly worrying is how unforgiving consumers have become. No longer happy to just ‘try again later’ or continue struggling with an app, consumer patience has waned, and quickly switching to alternatives is now a norm.
Additionally, beyond simply deleting a poor-performing app from their device, consumers are also more vocal, often sharing and amplifying their negative experiences to others. With only one chance to impress consumers, brands and app owners need to go big and do right, as they can no longer afford even the tiniest blips in the digital customer experience.
To ensure issues are discovered and resolved before customers are affected, the ability to conduct full-stack observability that provides real-time insights, for instance, will be critical in today’s digital age. Filtering through the complexity and noise to identify and prioritize fixing issues with the greatest business impact is the only way for brands to create and maintain the flawless digital experiences that their customers have grown accustomed to and will continue to demand.
Singapore – In response to the evolving health journeys of Singapore, healthcare technology company, Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS), has selected global experience management (XM) provider Qualtrics for its customer experience (CX) program, to continually refine and optimize the CX on its digital health portal HealthHub and mobile app.
IHiS’ HealthHub offers a nationwide suite of digital health services and personalized advice and has emerged as an anchor service for Singapore residents to access their COVID-19 vaccination records and test results, alongside a range of evidence-based health information topics and e-services across public healthcare.
With the rapidly growing user base and the surge in the use of its services in recent years, IHiS believes that its health portal needed a listening engine to capture the voice of the customer in a timely manner. By using Qualtrics’ predictive intelligence capabilities, the platform expects to now easily collect and aggregate feedback from its users across mobile and online channels in real-time to analyze user sentiment, identify critical feedback, and pinpoint emerging trends.
Moreover, the insights collected will enable IHiS to understand how current capabilities and new innovative features in HealthHub are meeting the evolving needs of its users and delivering meaningful customer experiences.
Mao Gen Foo, Qualtrics’ head of Southeast Asia, shared that experience management is now critical, and believes that with the new tie-up, they will be able to help IHiS enhance its capabilities to more efficiently listen, understand, and act on feedback to ensure HealthHub delivers meaningful and long-lasting value to users across Singapore.
“The recent opening of the Qualtrics data center in Singapore, alongside our plans to hire 1,200 new employees in the region, is a game-changer for local businesses and governments embarking on experience transformations. Organizations will benefit from local access to the Qualtrics Experience Management Operating System and our industry-leading experts, equipping them with the insights, capabilities, and support to quickly and confidently respond to our changing world,” said Foo.
Qualtrics said that IHiS is one of the first organizations to use the new data center located in Singapore, which opened in mid-2021.
Singapore – InMoment, the software application provider for customer, employee, and business experiences has announced the launch of its new Singapore data center, strengthening its presence in the APAC region.
InMoment said that the establishment of the new data center is in line with its aim to accelerate growth in the Southeast Asia region and support its expanding client base in the region.
InMoment’s provision of experience clouds dabbles in customer, employee, market, and product experience. Its flagship Experience Intelligence (XI) Platform brings together intelligence from customers, employees, and the market with the objective to drive real and actionable business value.
The XI Platform is cloud-native and helps brands move beyond managing experiences. As a first-of-its-kind in-region, InMoment said that its hyper-modern technology focuses on improving experiences so clients can prove the business value, impact, and ROI of their customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX) programs.
The new Singapore data center will be providing commercial and government clients a safe and secure environment, meeting data sovereignty and security requirements in the region. InMoment said that this investment will allow more clients across the region to leverage the XI platform to power their experience improvement strategy.
In the last two years, InMoment has opened four new offices in the APAC region – in Singapore, Shanghai, Melbourne, and Auckland.
In April, experienced Technology Sales Executive Carl Kimball joined the Singapore office to lead sales in the region. The company shared that due to the strong demand for its services, teams in Singapore and China have increased, and therefore sees in the future a movement into a new state-of-the-art office facility in Singapore to cater to the ongoing growth.
“Our Singapore presence has grown exponentially over the last twelve months as we have seen unprecedented demand for the new XI Platform,” said David Blakers, InMoment’s managing director of APAC.
He adds, “We are thrilled to partner with so many of the leading brands across the Southeast Asia region, ultimately helping them to realize the benefits of CX-led business transformations.”
Singapore – Global customer experience (CX) platform yellow.ai has announced the conclusion of its Series C funding, which has raised around US$78.15m, which brings the total funding raised so far by yellow.ai to US$102.15m.
The company aims to use the funding to strengthen its leadership in more than 50 countries including India, Southeast Asia, UK, Middle East, and Latin America, as well as establishing a strong presence in the U.S., adding 70 employees to its more than 500 global headcounts.
Said funding was led by WestBridge Capital along with Sapphire Ventures, and Salesforce Ventures, as well as renewed participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners.
For Raghu Ravinutala, CEO and co-founder at yellow.ai, the company has ‘broken out’ of the crowded virtual-assistant market with its automation-first with a human-assist model, to deliver a higher customer satisfaction and incremental revenue growth to it’s enterprise clients.
“With our rapid client and revenue expansion in Singapore and across the world, we’re geared to becoming the global leader in the CX Automation space and are bullish on building our product, partnerships, teams, and community to truly democratize AI in the near future,” Ravintula stated.
With the fresh infusion of capital, yellow.ai will deepen investments towards global expansion, hiring top talent across regions, and applied research and development (R&D) in hyper-automation. Currently, the company’s AI-powered bots deliver automated CX on more than 35 chat and voice channels, across more than 100 languages, handling billion interactions every quarter.
According to yellow.ai, one international financial services company was able to leverage its virtual assistants to generate US$100m in upsell revenue in three years.
As part of this large endeavor and to support the global war against COVID-19, yellow.ai also launched ‘yellowAI Cares’, a CSR initiative to empower organizations with COVID-19 help-related omnichannel chatbots. With no prerequisites or conditions attached, any NGO, hospital, support group or business in SEA can get an AI chatbot built by yellow.ai to drive crisis efforts.
yellow.ai will provide access to an omnichannel chatbot on any text platform for COVID-19 related use cases. These could support real-time services like providing medical information related to plasma donation, oxygen/hospital bed availability, vaccine registrations, scheduling appointments, collecting patient data, mental health assistance, handling insurance queries and more.
When designed and deployed effectively, chatbots may help prevent misinformation, aid in symptom detection, engender infection-limiting behaviors, encourage positive health impacting behaviors, while reducing psychological damage caused by fear and isolation.
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