Key Points on Customer Interactions in the Internet Economy

Customers today want convenience, and it is the responsibility of service and product providers to develop or adopt strategies and solutions that cater to consumer preferences. As digital adoption becomes prevalent and consumers are interacting with service and product providers across multiple channels, the amount of data and information obtained from these touchpoints will increase. 

The focus group today featured different stakeholders of the internet economy ecosystem, from retail, logistics, travel, fintech, travel to healthcare. We were able to hear from them about key concerns for customer interactions which lie in creating value for consumers from these interactions and ensuring consistency across touchpoints.

Value Creation

Providing superior customer experience is the responsibility of everyone in the organisation. This experience can be created through customer interactions and leveraging a centralised source of information that can be accessed across the organisation.

Ee Lynn Tee, Lead, Customer Experience, Entrepreneurial Commerce, AEON Group Malaysia shares how AEON is getting themselves ready to realise the value of their data. On the customer front, the retail giant is working on transitioning customers from o2o (online-to-offline and offline-to-online) and getting them used to using their digital services, having just launched their myAEON2go application.

Healthcare platform Halodoc serves multiple end-users from patients to healthcare service providers, and seeks to put the patient first. Ivan Manuel, Product Management Lead, Halodoc, shared that as part of the innovation team, they seek to explore ways to make use of data to value-add to their patients. Having faced resistance from certain players in their ecosystem, the use of data in bringing value and traffic from different customer segments have provided them with an angle for negotiations. 

Firman Ardiansyah, Business Development Lead, FinAccel shares that business development at Finaccel encompasses continuous improvement to better customer experience. In terms of merchant onboarding, the company has worked on automating processes to improve the onboarding process. However, offline teams are available to guide merchants unfamiliar with technology and digital processes. 

Similarly at Pine Labs, Chayan Hazra, Head, APAC, Pine Labs, spoke about key areas where they are keen on assisting their merchants which includes simplifying payments-related services and providing them with integrated platforms to reach a wider group of customers. The ideal platform would be one where information is harmonised across channels and touchpoints for information, servicing and marketing. 

Consistency Across Touchpoints

Despite being digital natives and offering services on digital platforms, there remains the human interaction that players in the internet economy ecosystem must provide, be it in service delivery or in resolving customer complaints. 

Supporting omnichannel retail and intercity logistics across geographically fragmented Indonesia, AnterAja’s proprietary application enables customers to engage their services digitally, supplemented by minimising human contact with drop-off and pick-up services at specific locker boxes across the country. Chatbots support their customer service functions as well. Despite this, David Christopher, Vice President, Product & Technology, AnterAja, notes that dissatisfied customers will only become angrier if chatbots are used to handle their complaints, leading to loss of customers – such interactions must be supported by agents.

For online travel agency Klook and online interior design and renovation platform Livspace which act as links between their customers and a variety of merchant providers, ensuring consistent interactions across touchpoints is more complex. 

Livspace matches service providers to customers and prioritises customer experience both on the platform, and physically in customer experience with design and renovation providers engaged through their platform. Ankit Purohit, Senior Product Manager, Livspace, breaks customer engagement down into building trust and building brand loyalty. Noel Ng, Associate Director, Business Development & Supply Lead, Klook, shares that while automation is used in their processes, disruption arising from the COVID-19 endemic has kept them on their toes in pivoting to catering to domestic travel and ensuring information from their merchants flow to the different teams internally and on to users of their platform.  In addition, local teams in the different countries of operation are required to create nuanced responses to suit local needs. 

Key objectives for digital customer engagement ultimately boils down to addressing different needs across customer segments, providing consistent experiences, and keeping customers coming back amidst intense competition in the space.

Stay tuned as we explore deeper insights and highlight key areas of opportunities for retailers in ASEAN as the retail industry and internet economy converges in our upcoming report on The Future Retail Ecosystem. Feel free to reach out if you are interested in reading about the study!

Check out more valuable insights on ASEAN’s e-commerce and omnichannel landscape at The New Consumer and Maximising Customer Touchpoints to gain a broader view of retail in the region! We will also continue our conversation on the internet economy and its ecosystem of players.


19 August 2021

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