On 30 April 2019, the EC203 class on CRM, Email and Chatbots was held at the Selangor Digital Creative Centre in i-City, Shah Alam, saw a turnout of 126 people.

The main coach for the EC 203 class was Shadiq Abdullah, Co-Founder & Sales Director of Axis De Infinity Studio, whose presentation title was CRM, Email and Chatbots: Discover the Secret of E-Commerce Business. A 12 year veteran in Sales & Business Development, Abdullah has had experience in industries such as Finance, Engineering & IT Enterprise Solutions.

For the first part, Abdullah focused on CRM which he defines as an approach to manage a company’s interaction with current and potential customers. It uses data analysis about customers’ history with a company to improve business relationships, specifically focusing on customer retention and ultimately driving sales growth.

CRM compiles from a range of different channels including from websites, live chats, telephone calls, marketing materials and social media. The benefits for businesses is that they’ll be able to:

  • Target suitable customers
  • Integrate customer assistance across different touchpoint and channels
  • Customise product and services
  • Individualised and customised marketing campaigns for customers
  • Improved pricing
  • Improved customer service efficiency and effectiveness

Some example s of CRM services and software shared by Abdullah include; Zoho, Salesforce, Hubspot and Agile.

Focusing on customer experience

Abdullah highlighted why businesses should pay attention to customer experience as it would strengthen the loyalty of their customers. To do that businesses would need to take into account the effectiveness, ease and emotional experience for the customer. 

The use of chat for the improvement of customer experience

The use of chat as a key customer experience engagement tool was a key part of Abdullah’s presentation and message. With messaging apps seeing a significant increase in users over the years (refer to the attached graph), customer engagement over the medium is a logical. This is especially so with 77% of Malaysians using instant messaging apps in general.

 

Abdullah outlined the benefits of using chat as customer engagement tool.

  1. It increases customer satisfaction
  • Live chat has been shown to have the highest customer satisfaction level at 73% while email and phone follows at 61% and 44% respectively according to the eDigital customer service benchmark

 

  1. It increases Loyalty
  • 63% of customers are more likely to return to a website that offers live chat

 

  1. It lowers cost per customer served
  • Chat can save employee task time and phone expenses as a single employee will be able to handle multiple chat simultaneously

 

  1. It increases conversion
  • By adding a live chat function to a website, it has shown to increase sales by an average of 20% to 25%

 

  1. It allows the collection of valuable customer data
  • With chat, it makes it easier for companies to collect valuable customer data to make more informed decisions in engaging them

Using chat as a customer engagement tool requires a clear strategy in order for it to be successful according to Abdullah and businesses need to:

  1. Define their chat objectives
  2. Plan their resources (in terms of support staff and equipment)
  3. Decide whether it is proactive or not
  4. Find if their chat service allows integration with third party software
  5. Find a solution that provides the analytics suitable for their business needs
  6. Figure if the solution is compatible or available on mobile devices

Near the end of his coaching session, Abdullah then proceeded to focus on chatbots and how they are being used in the engagement experience for customers. Chatbots are essentially chat services that are powered by rules and sometimes artificial intelligence that automate the chat experience for customers.

The benefits of chatbots is that they are available 24/7, saves resources in terms of human personnel, are affordable and importantly, highly customisable to fit the requirements of business.

They can be used in a variety of settings from pushing promotions, increasing acquisition, easing customer serving and a lot more.

In summary, chat is seen as one of the most effective ways of engagement with customers and ease in customer experience. Add the advent of chatbots, it has made customer engagement easier, more customisable and effective.

With the end of the Abdullah’s session, the E-commerce class was followed by sharing sessions by both Charles Gregory, President of the Digital Marketing Association Malaysia and Vickson Tan, Vice President of Marketing of Exabytes Network Sdn Bhd on their experience in email marketing.

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