Customer experience now matters the most. A study by customer experience company Fifth Quadrant shows that 76 per cent of Southeast Asian customers switch brands after going through just one bad customer experience.
As businesses move on to the experience economy, they must create memorable events or value added for their customers, which in turn will become the product that distinguishes businesses from one to another.
According to Scott Russell, president of multinational software corporation SAP in Asia Pacific and Japan, Asia is paving the experience economy as it boasts two-thirds of the world’s middle class, half of the world’s internet users, 40 per cent of the world’s unicorns and 60 per cent of the world’s youth. In addition, the region is expected to have four out of the five largest economies in the world by 2030.
However, there is a huge experience gap between what firms say and what their customers really experience. 80 per cent of CEOs believe they are delivering a superior experience while only 8 per cent of customers agree.
“There must be a bridge to narrow the gap”, said Scott at the conference titled ‘Experience: An Intelligent Enterprises’, held by SAP on August 28 in Bangkok, Thailand.
The key to success in the experience economy, according to Scott, is an intelligent suite for core applications, experience management solutions, and a secure digital platform that unites experience and operational data and processes.
Sigma Healthcare is an example. In the past, it was operated in a very manual way. Things got harder for it to develop the business with a franchising strategy. The company decided to apply technology to interact better with customers and franchises. Customers could also understand the brand experience.
As a result, 95 per cent of its franchises have joined the platform to enjoy better interacting experience with their customers, better operation as well as better operational connection and data experience.
In Vietnam, Vietnam Airlines has started using a comprehensive experience management platform developed by Qualtrics: Qualtric CustomerXMTM. This technology allows the airline to capture and respond to customer feedback in real time, helping differentiate itself from others in terms of the ability and speed to capture customer insights.
With airlines around the world looking for ways to compete in the increasingly competitive markets on more than just price, customer experience has emerged as significant differentiator for many of them should their wish to bolster their performance and growth.
Meanwhile in Myanmar, all customers of retail chain City Mart Holding Co., Ltd. now have bank accounts and 10 per cent of these are in the middle-income class and affluent consumer group.
According to Ronald Lee, project director of City Mart, it is the customers that decide the fate of the company in the next five years or so.
Customers, as Lee noted, could never feel satisfied and happy with the present as they may desire better but cheaper products but at the same time they could even pay more for something with a sustainable value.
City Mart’s 2025 vision and mission are thus aims towards being an innovative company that strives to enhance the customers’ experience through the use of innovative technology across online and physical platforms, according to Lee.