Sometimes, it is the seemingly insignificant details that hold the greatest significance for your customers, even if they may not yield immediate advantages. These small factors can have a substantial impact on customer retention and churn rates over the long run.
As a result, companies must adopt a broader, forward-thinking perspective and invest in a little more research and analysis about technological advancements. “Understand if an added tool is not just a shiny new toy used as a band-aid solution to fix something for the short term,” said Jaslyin Qiyu, Head of Client, Digital Channels and Content Marketing at Citi Singapore.
“It has to replace something that no longer works for your customers. Ensure you have a holistic adoption strategy that includes ‘power users’ and ‘train the trainers’ concepts so this new solution doesn’t become a white elephant.”
Qiyu shares her experience about how even the older generation of customers are undergoing the You Only Live Once (YOLO) phenomenon. Companies facing such discerning consumers and cost pressures need to look at trade-offs without sacrificing the customer experience delivery.
Excerpts from the interview:
What advice would you give business leaders about piloting new martech solutions within the business?
Always consult your end users as part of the decision-making process to understand their current pain points, if they can be solved by tech, and if current processes and governance policies can be changed to accommodate this new tech.
Analyse your entire tech stack. Understand if an added tool is not just a shiny new toy used as a band-aid solution to fix something for the short- term. It has to replace something that no longer works for your customers. Ensure you have a holistic adoption strategy that includes ‘power users’ and ‘train the trainers’ concepts so this new solution doesn’t become a white elephant.
Set up internal sites housing self-help training videos, step-by-step guides, and best practices. Make it fun by running in-person sessions and interdepartmental competitions to drive adoption.
Over the years, how has customer behaviour changed in Singapore? What are the current B2C and B2B customer experience trends?
Customers are becoming more discerning yet willing to spend on higher quality items and experiences beyond just the tangible bread-and-butter things. This was especially noticeable after Covid’19.
Even the older generation of consumers seems to have taken on a “YOLO” mindset towards money and spending on wants versus needs. I have observed more elderly couples dining at high-end restaurants, buying things for themselves.
While the mainstream consumer businesses might struggle to fight for business, the luxury businesses seem to be booming due to that same “I’m willing to pay more to get what I think is the better stuff or to pamper myself with this once-in-a-lifetime experience” mindset.
I also observed a change in job trends due to the recent tech dive, favouring the more traditional industries like banking and finance. Suddenly, it’s cool to join a bank again despite our layers of controls, processes and tightened spending, aka responsible budgeting and cost control. Gone are the eagle-eyed job seekers looking at fanciful pantries lined up with rows of free food, drinks and bean bags. These folks are now looking at more job stability, progression and a dependable income, albeit flexible working arrangements are still in demand.
Companies facing such discerning consumers and cost pressures need to look at trade-offs without sacrificing the customer experience delivery. They also realised they could not be purely digital or brick-and-mortar in their presence. Instead, they need to optimise between having certain items purely online to save on expensive physical retail space versus exclusive items offline to induce customers to shop in person and make it worth their time.
What are the significant barriers for banks trying to incorporate meaningful personalisation?
Like most industries, banks lack proper differentiation simply because industry practices and regulations wouldn’t allow it. It’s part of treating customers fairly by giving everyone the right of choice and also ensuring their data privacy is protected.
Making customers feel they are getting a personalised experience is more important. Focus on little things like recognising what they spent on, asking if their purchase journey was smooth, remembering their birthdays, and recognising the merchants they usually spend on and letting them know when they are offering promotions. It recognises that they are humans and not just a transaction on our app.
How can marketers ensure their marketing messaging is consistent across all channels and touchpoints?
I’m a fan of playbooks and documenting important campaign mechanics, messaging and launch plans in a shared drive, so anyone can refer to them. In terms of application, marketers must embrace the key messages they are communicating, so any subsequent new communications will tie back to the direct messages convincingly. It also helps test your messages on people not involved in your campaign as a sounding board that these are being interpreted as you intended.
How should brands prioritise customer pain points to address first, and what factors should be considered in this decision-making process?
A decision-making matrix helps you look at high-versus-low impact against the high-versus-low cost to balance between quick wins and longer-term, more impactful solutions. You also need to layer the required efforts, which add to the costs to decide which to prioritise first.
Sometimes it’s also the little things that matter the most to your customers, but they might not bring you the commercial benefits you want in the short term though it might impact your customer retention and churn in the longer term. Therefore, companies need to have a longer-term and bigger-picture vision if they care about their customers and are sincere about delivering the best proposition.