Views

With data, good customer service takes on new meaning

Crucial for companies to use multiple touch points to connect with customers emotionally

Singapore's customer service has changed vastly over time, and is still changing rapidly.

Singaporean consumers prize good service so much that two out of three will leave without completing a purchase if service is poor.

Singaporeans also have low tolerance for repeat scenarios, in that a similar number (67 per cent) are likely to switch brands if they encounter bad service experiences with a company just twice.

The digital age has irrevocably changed various aspects of our lives - including the way we eat, live and shop, but the good news is that it also provides easy accessibility between the customer and the brand.

Brands can now easily create multiple touch points to connect with the consumer at any stage of the purchase funnel.

This sounds great from a brand's perspective, but the converse holds true as well - that the number of touch points at which brands need to ensure good service has multiplied exponentially.

The alternative is to risk losing customers to a rival brand, and since no brand can afford to lose two-thirds of its customers, they are increasingly placing higher weightage on customers' feedback, and looking for new ways to gauge it.

Data derived from customer experiences and feedback serves as a valuable tool with which to work out optimum solutions while adopting a proactive approach in creating engaging customer experiences.

Many fail to recognise the importance of utilising data to uncover critical insights and to further understand customers beyond the surface.

PERSONALISED EXPERIENCE

In fact, it is the granular information about customers that renders the most significant insights, which can be used to design a personalised customer experience blueprint that enhances quality and efficiency and creates minimum hassle for the customer - all of which go a long way to connect customers emotionally with the brand.

When adopted and implemented accurately, brands will be able to redesign a whole new customer experience that focuses on customer centricity.

Successful brands are those that leverage on technologies to identify customers' touch points and pain points, behavioural trends and customers' preferences to create customised solutions and improve emotional experiences for customers.

The constant process of refining the data collected and the processes will keep brands ahead of trends and provide accurate solutions for different segments of customers, eventually increasing satisfaction and strengthening brand loyalty.

Borrowed loyalty is the idea of mutual value generation for an established brand with a significant presence in the market, and another brand that leverages on this to build a loyalty programme of higher value, broadening its loyalty impact to a wider audience.

It is one of the most impactful forms of loyalty, from which consumers may reap the most benefits.

As we move beyond "good customer service" - which every brand should already possess - it is essential for brands to tap any and all resources at their disposal to deliver experiences tailored to the consumer in order to thrive in this world of ever-evolving expectations.

The writer is Chevron's products manager for Singapore, overseeing the entire Caltex service station retail business as well as commercial and industrial sales. This article appeared in The Business Times yesterday.

BUSINESS & FINANCE