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How to better understand CX through complex customer behaviour

On 19 September, Marketing magazine’s Customer Experience conference returned to discuss the challenges and share insights on future customer experience trends, technologies and successful strategies.

About 200 high-profile thought-leaders and industry peers gathered at Hotel ICON at Tsim Sha Tsui to keep abreast of the market through a series of keynote presentations, case studies, and panel discussions.

Lance Kwong, CCO of Asia Miles, kicked off the one-day conference with an opening keynote on how to create a strong, yet long-lasting relationship with customers.

He highlighted that a successful loyalty programme had to reward the best customers and create a reason to buy repeatedly.

“There are four steps to create strong, yet lasting loyalty,” he said. “First, you need to understand your customers holistically, such as their personal values, perceptions, attitudes, and behaviours beyond transactions through quantitative and qualitative data to generate insights, which enables marketers to find out customers’ preferences.”

The second step is to respond to what customers want. He cited Asia Miles’ online community as an example, which conducted over 60 hours of qualitative interviews along with six focus groups to hear members’ voices. After that, Asia Miles staged an exclusive engagement event and several member-exclusive flights to respond to their demands.

Meanwhile, he also said brands needed to engage with customers in a relevant, yet personal way, and connect to them in the right ways and places.

Dr Siu Sai-cheong, director of the deep learning centre at the Hang Seng University of Hong Kong, then explained the relationship between deep learning and the customer journey.

“Deep learning can help analyse sentiment, detect an object, predict and recommend, and generate content, to name a few,” he said.

He further introduced how a chatbot can help better the customer experience. “A compelling chatbot experience needs to have a personality; act as a virtual concierge; tell users that a real-person service is ready at any time, and offer social selling components,” he added.

While data is a buzzword in customer experience, Sam Wong, a CX advisor at SAP Customer Experience, said progressive profiling helps enrich customer profiles along the journey using configured logic, based on users’ profiles, context, and behaviour.

For example, a user provides some personal data after subscription and the initial registration. Brands can capture more data during subsequent visits to maximise the data set.

“Moreover, brands can request information from users after the trust is built. If your customers trust you, they’ll engage you and open up to you,” he said.

In the afternoon, David Kohler, regional head of experience design and culture at Generali Asia, explained what a customer culture is at first.

“The customer culture is a set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices your employees have towards people they provide service to,” he said.

“But in reality, as nobody owns culture and few people understand it, customer culture initiatives rarely work.”

Akina Ho, head of digital transformation and innovation at The Great Eagle Company, concluded the conference on the topic of “Beyond the customer experience along with five senses and what it entails”.

“Plenty of Millennials prefer spending money on experiences than material things,” she said.

“Sight, sound, scent, touch, and taste are the five senses which are capable of enhancing the brand experience, building up memories, and touching customers’ souls.”

She concluded that multi-sensory immersive experiences can be leveraged in multiple channels, which is the key to driving traffic back to retail stores, and retail stores to online.

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