Eric Or is Managing Director of JOS Greater China, is responsible for leading strategic business development and operations to drive JOS’s leadership in the Greater Bay Area, helping to cement its reputation as trusted partner to businesses and governments across Asia.
Sky is the limit in CX innovation
I may not be an expert in customer experience. But with more than 20 years of management and business development experiences, I should know a thing or two about enabling customer experience (CX). The recent JOS Innovation Awards kick-off ceremony, however, has surprised me and opened my eyes about CX.
In its fourth year, the JOS Innovation Awards is challenging Hong Kong students to develop innovative ideas to drive CX. The challenge goes beyond driving CX for JOS, but also for our business partners — Manulife, Hong Kong Maxim’s Group and Sino Group.
At the kick-off ceremony, we invited students to learn about our businesses and question our plans, while myself and our partners share our views in CX as mentors. But instead of teaching and guiding students, I was also learning and making new discovery from this experience.
To me, CX innovation is about attention to details and exceeding expectation—finding new ways to be attentive to customers. A simple gesture to serve beer with a chilled glass is an example of attention to details and bring in another chilled glass when the beer is half consumed, that is exceeding expectation.
Although simple, this reflects value of the organization and the communication of such value across the team. This is also what JOS thrive to achieve when enabling CX, but the recent discussion with our partners has revealed many amazing ideas towards CX innovation that is happening in Hong Kong.
Apart from bringing attentiveness to a single customer, CX is also about building a community. This is exactly what Andrea Leung and her team at Sino Group is achieving. As the General Manager, Leasing Marketing and Promotion of Sino Group, Leung built the city’s first family-oriented STEM education facility called OC STEM Lab. The Lab goes beyond providing facilities and workshop for families and kids to explore the latest technologies.
“We tried to encourage that interaction through our shopping mall, which is acting like a community center in the neighbourhood,” said Leung.
The Lab drives families with young children in the entire Western Kowloon district to meet, gather and have fun. Since its launch 18 months ago, the Lab has organised more than 500 classes bringing together 15,000 kids and their families to the shopping mall. The power of community from the OC STEM Lab does not only drive a unique experience for Sino Group’s shoppers, but also bringing an increased footfall and traffic for their retail tenants.
Another direction of CX innovation is through process optimisation. Simplifying and speeding up tedious process for customers can be an impressive way to bring exceptional CX. This is particularly the case in the insurance industry, where a lot of tedious paper-oriented process is involved.
“Insurance is an industry that involves a lot of papers and processes,” said Glenn Lim, Regional Senior Director of Customer Experience Design and Engineering at Manulife Asia. “How can we provide an experience that assure the customers that when something happened, Manulife is there for them? It’s something that we want to achieve.”
Process-driven CX innovation is often the type of projects that JOS is involved to help our customers. Although challenging, it brings tremendous impact to the business. In this case, it brings not only convenience to Manulife’s customers, but also reflects the thoughtfulness towards customers’ need and help build confidence of the company.
To Patrick So, Senior Manager—Digital Solutions Information Technology at Hong Kong Maxim’s Group, the foundation of CX is knowing your customer’s expectation and delivering that expectation. But excellent CX goes beyond meeting expectations, it is about meeting personalised expectations.
Personalised offerings often bring a wow-factor and unforgettable experience to customers. When done right, it allows the company to stand out from its competitors and build solid customer loyalty. This is exactly what Hong Kong Maxim’s Group is aiming to achieve. Operating multiple brands and restaurants outlets, Hong Kong Maxim’s Group is in the process of learning their customers personal dinning preferences across these outlets to offer relevant offerings to “wow” them.
But this is easier said than done. The first challenge is the ability “to know” customers’ personalised preference. “The question is how can we gather this data in a structured manner, so that it can allow analytics to be done?” said So.
This is followed by the capability “to deliver” that personal preference. “Once we know who these customers are, how do we deliver the service to create excellent CX? This is particularly challenging for us with so many different brands and outlets,” he added.
On top of that, customers’ preference changes, and it changes often. Thus, another challenge is to consistently monitor and understand their preferences.
These challenges to drive meaningful data of their customers consistently to deliver relevant personalised offering is not exclusive to Hong Kong Maxim’s Group. With better recognition of the value of data, more businesses are now turning towards data to drive CX innovation.
The good news is technology is maturing to collect and analyse data. The trick lies on having innovative ideas to encourage customers sharing their data and applying the relevant technologies to turn it into meaningful insight. To enable this data-drive CX innovation, businesses need partner with technical expertise, business knowhow and innovative ideas.
With strong technical expertise and decades of business knowhow, we at JOS strives to continuously challenge and polish our own innovation. This is the reason we organise the JOS Innovation Awards and invite our partners to participate. By inviting students to question our businesses and offer new perspective in innovation, we hope to marry practical business and technical expertise with out-of-the-box ideas.
The kick-off ceremony offers only a glimpse of the exciting projects that this program is going to discover. I look forward to seeing the students’ presentations and more amazing ideas in CX innovation at the final battle of the 4th JOS Innovation Awards!