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At Vision Critical’s inaugural CX and the City event in Singapore last week, one theme was clear: change has never been this fast and will never be this slow again. 

Asia is the fastest growing region in the world with rapid consumer evolution and growing digitally-minded young populations. However, amidst this change, machines aren’t reducing the role of humanity, they’re amplifying it. There’s never been a more crucial time for brands to keep a finger on the pulse of changing customer needs - or risk falling behind the pack. 

At CX and the City over one hundred customers, insights, marketing and CX professionals across 5 countries joined us in Singapore to explore the future of customer relationships in Asia Pacific.

Here are my three key takeaways:

1 - Deliver authentic experiences

Shared value between the customer and the brand is key to doing business in the future. According to Gartner, 89 percent of businesses already see customer experience (CX) as their top priority. This focus on customer experience is a great first step toward brand authenticity but that’s not to say that achieving seamless CX is easy. The decade to come, coined “the age of authenticity,” will make the survey as we know it obsolete by 2025. Soon enough, 90 percent of people will not  fill out spam surveys, leaving you with fewer ways to gather data directly from your customers.

One of the key challenges shared was that companies are struggling to improve their customer experience strategy. At a base level, many don’t yet have a holistic picture of the customer journey and most are unable to harness actionable insight to enhance CX. Despite all the big data available to brands, they don’t really know their customers. Customers now expect brands to understand their needs, respond to their feedback and deliver ‘real’ interactions that make them feel like more than just a transaction. Authenticity ultimately draws out honest customer feedback that improves products and services, as well as the bottom line.

2 - Create with the customer

No company can risk developing a product that no one wants to buy. Keynoter Namrata Jolly, Director of Customer and Digital at Prudential Singapore, unveiled how Prudential Singapore safeguard multi-million dollar investments by validating product initiatives with their customers throughout the development cycle. 

The highlight of Namrata’s presentation was undoubtedly the transformation of PRUgolden retirement plan, which saw an astonishing 308 percent increase in revenue year-over-year by understanding how customers would like to contribute to their retirement funds over time. By taking in customer feedback and adapting product offerings to meet customer expectations, Prudential Singapore saw a 25 percent increase in customer satisfaction and a 17 point increase in NPS.

Using insight from their community, Prudential Singapore were able to drive product revenue, improve customer experiences and increase customer lifetime value. The secret? Asking the right questions at the right time while avoiding unnecessary data points.

3 - Build customer relationships proactively

Today, customer expectations demand a change in brand communications where the voice of the customer is heard and actioned upon. As organisations increasingly compete on customer experience, the ability to capture authentic, actionable customer feedback is an unparalleled competitive advantage. By continuously engaging customers within insight communities, brands can deep dive into customer needs and develop products and services backed by customer favour.

At CX and the City, the CX leadership panel including Midea Group, StarHub and Changi Airport Group explored challenges, learnings and best practices on leading a CX transformation. Panelist Jeffrey Loke, VP of Commercial Strategy at Changi Airport, spoke to the importance of creating a seamless end-to-end customer journey, delivering superior experiences as soon as customers step off the plane or arrive at the airport. By continually engaging customers as they make their way through the airport, Changi are able to iterate customer feedback and action changes that improve the customer journey throughout the airport. Widely recognised as the best airport in the world Loke says “Listening to customer feedback lies at the heart of our DNA, with every Changi experience a result of design, not by chance”.

“Listening to customer feedback lies at the heart of our DNA, with every Changi experience a result of design, not by chance”. - Jeffrey Loke, VP of Commercial Strategy, Changi Airport Group

Your customers are your competitive advantage; engage them, learn from them and respond to them. In Asia’s rapidly evolving market, keeping a finger on the pulse of customer needs is now a requirement, no longer a luxury. Outpace your competition by leveraging your greatest asset: the customer.

Webinar: Use your customer understanding to optimize your CX strategy

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Peter Harris

Peter Harris helps brands build authentic customer relationships through technology. Pioneering customer intelligence since 2010, Peter Harris has led Vision Critical Asia Pacific to become the largest customer intelligence software provider, supporting over 140 customer-led brands, in Asia Pacific such as Telstra, Adobe and Cathay Pacific. With deep roots in research and strategy, Peter has championed the future of research and technology across his leadership roles at prominent research organisations, including AMSRS, APRC and GRBN.
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