Whether you are a business owner or current affairs enthusiast, you will be surprised to learn that in today’s climate, businesses are prioritising customer experience over product or service quality.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Creativeans, a brand and design management consultancy, has conducted an industry survey with 324 local SMEs from 25 May 2020 to 15 July 2020 to find out more about market reality. Customer experience is the clear winner with 39% of the businesses across industries deeming it as the most important brand differentiator. With customer experience ranked at the top, we understand its importance and agree on it, but how does this affect businesses and how should businesses go about doing differentiated customer experience?
Which digital channel or medium has the greatest impact on your brand’s visibility?
We learnt that customer experience is linked to business’ visibility and perception. From the survey, businesses are synonymous in saying that social media and website have the greatest impact on visibility and perception. Across the different business models, social media have the greatest impact with 43% B2B2C, 34% B2C and 23% B2C pointing towards social media.
The number of people using social media in Singapore is 4.82 million in 2020 and it is estimated to increase to 5.09 million in 2025 (Statistia 2019). One of the most popular methods of social media marketing is influencer marketing. Influencer marketing is effective because customers naturally trust recommendations from people more than they trust brands. 40% of 16-24 years old in Singapore say that they trust what people say online about brands more than ‘official’ sources, such as brands’ own websites, newspapers or TV adverts (starngage.com)
However, our survey also showed that not all businesses have social media presence. Why is this so?
The biggest challenge faced in becoming a digitally-first organisation
According to 31% of the directors and owners as well as 47% of the managers and executive, the main challenge to be digitally-first is the skill and knowledge gap. Another prominent problem is that there are too many technologies to choose and this was voted by 26% directors and owners and 15% managers and executives.
To overcome these challenges, the government has released several grants. These are meant to help companies be digital-first and equip businesses in this technologically advanced era. One of the grants available is the Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) and it aims to help businesses to upgrade capabilities, innovate and venture overseas. As announced at Supplementary Budget 2020, this grant funds 90% of the qualifying project costs.
Another programme initiated by the government is the IMDA’s “Grow Digital” Programme. This programme helps to connect SME suppliers with potential overseas clients, train and support businesses to build competencies for cross-border e-commerce as well as to optimize listings on overseas e-marketplaces (IMDA.gov.sg). According to Business Times, this programme has helped more than 500 SMEs in Singapore to access new markets overseas through e-commerce platforms.
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