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Use Modern Technologies to Build Trust with your Customers

Natawat Saigosoom, EVP, Customer Experience, SCB

Natawat Saigosoom, EVP, Customer Experience, SCB

Natawat Saigosoom is the EVP Customer Experience at SCB. With a depth knowledge of analytics and insights, Mr. Saigosoom has worked in industries across the fields. With multifaceted skills, Mr. Saigosoom can turn actions to insights which accelerates business growth. 

1. IN YOUR OPINION, HOW HAS THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE MANAGEMENT LANDSCAPE EVOLVED OVER THE YEARS? WHAT ARE SOME OF THE ADVANTAGES OF THE CURRENT TECHNOLOGICAL EVOLUTION?

In my view, I agree that the current technological evolution has changed customer experience into a new landscape and customer experience is more important than ever. Customers can now seamlessly interact with one another and/or brands in real time on multiple digital devices/ platforms. The voice of a customer can be easily heard and amplified by one another or another one thousand peers on social media or online forums. Personalization has gradually turned into a hygienic factor for brands to interact with customers. Omnichannel customer experience has become more seamless, especially between physical and digital touchpoints or "phygital". Chatbots and automation have been adopted by more and more companies to serve customers 24/7 and get rid of repetitive tasks. These technological shifts have a direct impact on customer experience management. And companies can benefit from these technological changes in several ways. They now have more opportunities than ever before to collect real-time data from customers since interactions made by customers (mostly on digital platforms) leave hundreds of digital traces every day. This also means companies must be also honest and clear to customers when it comes to collecting their data or be more transparent. With the advent of big data and analytics, continual analysis and/or near realtime insights generated from millions of data points made by customer interactions are now technically possible and financially feasible. Companies can focus more on specific areas to improve customer experiences rather than spending time working on the whole thing. Both physical and digital touchpoints can leverage relevant real-time insights and immediately resolve any customer experience issues, leading to a better phygital experience. Data-driven marketing for better personalisation is another area that companies can no longer wait for, access to data and AI technologies is not any more a barrier. Meanwhile, Chatbot technologies, which are getting smarter and cheaper, are another proven domain that can serve an always-on experience for customers, create more opportunities for sales and improve productivity on customer services (i.e., offloading repeated tasks on humans) for many leading companies.

"What’s more, communications should make use of insights derived from analytics and consider the moments that matter most to customers"

2. WHAT ACCORDING TO YOU ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES PLAGUING THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE MANAGEMENT LANDSCAPE AND HOW CAN THEY BE EFFECTIVELY MITIGATED?

The goal of customer experience management is to create trust between customers and brands. With the current technological evolution, it has been more difficult than ever to build such a bond. Companies currently face a perfect storm of rising customer expectations including demanding consistent experiences on phygital interactions, prompt responsiveness and relevancy in communication. Meanwhile, talent shortage has become a key challenge for many companies during the current pandemic to maintain customer experience and mitigate such challenges. In my view, companies should lessen these risks by first making sure that the omnichannel customer experience is sufficiently consistent across the channels. They should prioritise this effort using customer feedback and relevant insights. They should leverage digital platforms, which can be in a subscription base which requires a minimal investment, to gain this information in more near real-time. The staff, especially those who interact with customers should stay informed on customer feedback. Chatbots and automation can lead to better customer responsiveness. Chatbots, for instance, can create contextual customer engagement on digital platforms and make customer supports available 24/7. Meanwhile, automation such as RPA (Robotic Process Automation) can remove repeated tasks for human staff so they can put more focus on complex tasks required to interact with customers. What’s more, communications should make use of insights derived from analytics and consider the moments that matter most to customers. Lastly, companies should motivate and build trust with employees by building trust with customers and ensuring leaders to listen and act on employee feedback. This culture-building approach should help retain the best people in any organisation. 

3. WHAT ARE A FEW TECHNOLOGICAL TRENDS INFLUENCING CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE MANAGEMENT TODAY? WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BEST PRACTICES BUSINESSES SHOULD ADOPT TODAY TO STEER AHEAD OF COMPETITORS?

There are two technological trends that I personally believe can give companies an edge to influence customer experience today. Understanding customers via real-time feedback is one of them. With the advancement of big data and AI, it’s now possible to effectively collect, clean, analyze and transform data into actionable insights in real-time. Companies can enable the rapid shaping of our strategies and decision-making for managing product/service development processes that are more customer-oriented than previously, thus driving business growth. 

Giving moments that matter most the value that customers look for is the other lever that companies should focus more on. With the influx of information that one can receive in a day through mobile phones, email and apps, companies must make sure that the omnichannel customer experience is consistent and relevant to customers. This is especially true on digital channels; customers now have higher expectations with little tolerance for discontent. Communicating using moments that matter most, can make customers feel more engaged and inclined to make the decision.

4. DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR INDUSTRY VETERANS OR BUDDING ENTREPRENEURS FROM THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE MANAGEMENT SPACE?

Although technology evolution such as social media, big data, AI and Analytics has changed the way customers interact with brands, the key elements of customer experience management are still fundamentally the same including reliability, relevance, responsiveness and convenience, all of which result in trust. It should be highlighted that all four elements should go hand-inhand and be considered along with new customer experience technologies. For example, if we have a cutting-edge analytical model for personalization that can generate high conversion leads for customers, but it takes several weeks to deploy and connect with customers, good customer experience, of course, cannot be achieved on a silo basis. All in all, the ultimate goal of good customer experience management is gaining the trust of customers. 

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