The COVID-19 pandemic might have made the real world standstill but led to a dramatic increase in e-commerce activity. With the acceleration of digitalization and the consumerization of business tools such as Zoom, customers are now more independent, demanding and even empowered to switch services if the experience isn’t up to their standards.
For many organizations, those unanticipated shifts imply that companies must equip themselves with appropriate tools to care for their customers and nurture their loyalty through these tricky times. If you don’t, as the saying goes, then one of your competitors will.
Now that a greater emphasis is being placed on the customer experience than ever before, one question remains at the core of a business as we move towards a new normal: If we were able to provide a great digital experience during the lockdown, how will we maintain that when restrictions are lifted?
On December 14, Vietcetera, with AIA Vietnam and KPMG Vietnam, presented an exclusive webinar, Shaping The Future In The Digital Age: Customer Experience and Journey, to discuss what constitutes a positive customer experience (CX) and how businesses can deliver that experience while continuing to grow in 2022 and beyond.
In this webinar, host and Vietcetera CEO Hao Tran, had in-depth discussions with senior executives and speakers in the field: Wanda Britton (Chief Customer Officer, AIA Vietnam), Nguyen Tuan Hong Phuc (Head of Customer & Operations, KPMG Vietnam), and Daisy Hoang (SVP of Sales & Success, Katalon).
Missed this session? Read the summary or listen to the webinar replay below.
Providing faster, automated and personalized solutions
Faced with an imperative need to be at the cuttinag edge of technology caused by the pandemic, Wanda, the Chief Customer Officer of AIA Vietnam, started the webinar by explaining how AIA Vietnam, as an industry leader, is digitizing its existing business model and undergoing significant transformation in customer experience.
“For AIA Vietnam, customers have been at the heart of everything we do and are the key guiding principles in all our initiatives. In recent times, we’ve reorganized ourselves around customers' journeys to ensure the organization will be customer-centric,” said Wanda.
“In Vietnam, we are seeing a growing need for health, protection, and financial safety products by a growing middle and affluent segment of consumers, an aging population, and an increased preference for digital interactions. More than just a life insurance company, AIA Vietnam hopes to be a partner for our customers on the journey to pursue healthier, longer, better lives,” Wanda added.
Besides its customer-first ethos, innovation has always been a hallmark of AIA Vietnam. The leading insurer constantly challenges conventional ways of engaging and interacting with customers, “building digitized products that are simple, fast and easy to use but still maintain human contact not only for our customers but also our distributor and agency partners to service their customers.”
“We’ve also, in the last seven months, really looked into automation and straight-through processing. For example, when customers are in a distressing situation, you want to offer them a very simple claim process but also make them feel that you are really there for them,” the CCO explained. “Thus, we’ve created an online claiming tool where payments will come just minutes after their claim. This is the progress we’ve made from traditional claims processing that took up to weeks and tons of paperwork to be filled out.”
Meanwhile, customers in the digital age are flooded with information with a better understanding of insurance than in the past. Britton indicates that “AIA is focused on creating a personalized and touch-point experience that lasts more than an impression. Products and prices are generally the same across the industry, but it’s really the experience that makes a company distinctive to others.”
An orchestrated customer experience
To design and deliver compelling customer experiences there needs to be a high degree of orchestration across the business. This orchestration requires breaking down complexity and aligning the business around the customer, based on a deep understanding of the customer, their needs, the marketplace and your organization.
Phuc, the Head of Customer & Operations of KPMG Vietnam, defined leading companies’ characteristics in delivering an orchestrated CX. “First, we see that leading companies have a CX strategy. This outlines the organization’s purpose, how it connects with its customers and how CX delivers the business strategy. If we look back to KPMG’s project with AIA Vietnam, there’s a very clear CX strategy that AIA members have to deliver and it’s also easy for us to follow because what we then do is design based on that guidance.”
Another thing that leading companies do is manage customer journeys from end-to-end, which is how we can interact with customers in each stage of their journey and figure out what customers value so the company can deliver when it is needed. Version control of journeys is also crucial, “you need to change along the journeys based on customer’s feedback and make sure everyone’s complying to the journeys.”
Companies also have an experience design process, where companies think about how they can deliver customer journeys in reality and craft them using technology and journey mapping tools set. This is where you will need to identify how many journeys and touchpoints per journey are needed.
Incorporating this is an experience delivery process, the mechanisms by which “to be” journeys are delivered, the role of agile and MVPs and the sequencing of releases. But while following the steps, it’s vital to measure the voice of the customer, the employee and key stakeholders and improve with their feedback.
Elevate customer experience in digital selling platforms
As a software-as-service company with a global reach, one question that remains at the core of Katalon’s operations is how a Vietnamese-based company elevates CX with its overseas customers. Daisy, the SVP of Sales and Success at Katalon indicated that “for a company that does virtual selling like Katalon, we use quarterly business reviews where we bring our chief officers and top five customers globally on board and discuss what have been the experiences so far, what have been the values they’ve seen from our products and from that feedbacks, we learn how to do better.”
“The second way that we do CX is proof of concept. These are the presale moments when you have to talk to clients and demonstrate a successful instance of how our platforms or solutions could work in their environments. This is when we have our solution team and customer team on sight and make sure our clients can get to values as soon as possible and expertise the sales buying process,” the SVP of Sales and Success said.
A growing customer trend that Hoang notices is that people started to make a lot of discovery and research before they engage with a salesperson. “What it means is that the role of salespeople has been pushed later in the sale process. To motivate a customer in the buying process, there has to be more investment into the discovery phase,” she shared. “For software companies, a free trial where people can try the products before they go to the website and buy becomes highly relevant. At Katalon, we make sure that areas like customer references, case studies, technical documents, free trials, etc., are available for customers at the discovery prospect.”
“When the buying process actually takes place, a study shows that deals are more likely to be closed when the sales team turns on the camera. We also encourage people to introduce themselves, in the beginning, to establish a conversation with their customers and tailor the products according to that,” said Daisy.
Phuc wrapped up the webinar emphasizing that “when you realize that the operations become inefficient, or you couldn’t scale up because of the way you operate, that’s the moment you need to change. Insurance companies in Vietnam that still rely on manual ways of doing things have to think about digital transformation if they want to scale up and step into the market. In fact, there’s a lot of companies across the industry that are behind the curve so there is definitely still room for future improvements.”