22 Apr

Sopra’s software to facilitate easy roll out of digital wallets

Sopra’s software to facilitate easy roll out of digital wallets

Sopra Banking Software, a subsidiary of Sopra Steria Group, has unveiled a software(its third digital wallet) that will facilitate banks to roll out the market’s digital wallets and assist them with their digital transformation.

Jean-Charles Ricomini, payments expert at Sopra Banking Software, added, “We are supporting our customers with their digital initiatives; today, with initiatives like Secure Element (like the main international wallets provided by GAFA), in the future with other types of initiatives like HCE or QR code. Therefore, we are helping our banking partners in Europe and in Africa to meet their customers’ expectations by simply and effectively rolling out these mobile payment services.”

The multi Token Service Providers (TSP) approach provided by the software aims to assist the banks in setting and managing exchanges. It facilitates the easy roll-out of mobile payment solutions while simultaneously abiding by the international security regulation requirements. The software will enable Sopra as well as Transactis (Sopra’s partner and cards processor) to manage digital wallets from market players.

Boursorama Banque, a Transactis-Sopra Banking Software customer, is currently the only French bank offering three main international mobile wallets.

Aurore Gaspar, Deputy CEO at Boursorama Banque, said, “We are proud to be the first French bank to offer the three main global wallets thanks to the solution rolled out by the processor Transactis and the software vendor Sopra Banking Software. All Boursorama Banque customers can securely pay for their purchases, both in store and online, regardless of their mobile.”

22 Apr

Case Study: Yirendai, China’s largest P2P consumer finance platform, expands beyond lending

Yirendai, the largest P2P online consumer finance marketplace in China, offers services that are based on technology-driven innovations such as big data powered risk management, data driven customer acquisition and conversion, and anti-fraud technology

  • More than 54% of loans are facilitated through mobile applications.
  • In the wake of the regulatory tightening of internet finance, Yirendai ramped up its risk management capabilities
  • Yiren score, modelled after the FICO score, is compiled by a program constructed like a web crawler

Yirendai is an online consumer finance marketplace founded in March 2012. Technology-driven and user-centric, the platform efficiently matches borrowers with investors. The platform is built on two customer segments: prime borrowers who are credit card holders with a salary income; and investors who are seeking wealth management products. The platform provides borrowers with fast and convenient access to consumer credit at competitive rates, while offering investors easy and quick access to an alternative asset class. Yirendai differentiates itself from other peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms through its risk management systems, customer acquisition, and insurance programs for its borrowers.

Yirendai’s new credit scoring system

In 2017, the company launched Yiren scores, its new credit scoring system, aimed at accurately characterising borrowers’ credit profiles. The Yiren score is modeled after FICO scores in the United States and compiled by a program constructed like a web crawler which gathers available data, such as credit card history or housing allowance tax deductions. Under this new credit scoring system, the platform upgrades its risk grid with five segments and divides potential borrowers into distinctively different credit segments.

The company’s expansion through new channels, products and partners

Regarding customer acquisition, the company is establishing new acquisition channels and introducing new loan products. It utilises online channels, such as search engine marketing, search engine optimisation, partnerships with internet companies and internet traffic acquisition from third-party online loan products marketplaces. Particularly, 54.4% of loans were facilitated through mobile applications in 2017. It also acquires borrowers through referrals from CreditEase’s nationwide service network across over 267 locations in China. In 2017, 27.1% of borrowers were acquired through referrals from CreditEase. The average size of loans sourced through offline channels tend to be larger than that of loans sourced through online channels.

The company partners with China Guangfa Bank to ensure proper custody of investor funds, meaning that loan principal and interest repayments will not cross over with Yirendai’s working capital. Additionally, the company works with People’s Insurance Company of China (PICC) Property and Casualty to provide surety insurance for loans organised through Yirendai Lending. Borrowers pay an insurance premium and lenders receive their principal and expected interest in the event of default.

Increasing its market share of loans

Yirendai hopes to continue increasing their market share and expanding their product offerings to become a more comprehensive financial services platform for borrowers and lenders. The company facilitated loans in an aggregate principal amount of approximately $11.4 billion (RMB 73.9 billion) and served 1,092,938 borrowers and 1,300,398 investors from inception in March 2012 through December 31, 2017. In the first quarter of 2018, loan originations grew 65% year-over-year to $ 1.8 billion (RMB 12 billion), bringing its total outstanding loan balance to $6.8 billion (RMB 44 billion). Yirendai is expanding beyond its P2P roots by creating an online wealth management platform called Yiren Wealth to distribute funds and insurance products online.

Global Comparison

Funding Circle (UK)

Funding Circle is a P2P lending platform launched in 2010 which caters solely to small businesses. The company acts as an intermediary between investors and small business in need of funds. The company’s platform conducts credit assessment, facilitates the loans and collects repayments. It seeks to differentiate itself from banks, fintechs and the likes of PayPal by offering longer term loans of up to five years. As of September 2018, around 56,000 small businesses in the UK have borrowed $ 7.17 billion (GBP5.6 billion) through Funding Circle. The company went public on the London Stock Exchange in September, and seeks to expand into the US.

SocietyOne (Australia)

SocietyOne was launched in August 2012. As of 2018, it has become Australia’s first marketplace lender to have $500 million in loan originations for its personal loans, agricultural lending and marketplace business, facilitating loans for 20,000 borrowers. It seeks to attain $1 billion by the end of 2019, breaking even by March 2019 as it sustains its upward momentum, boosted by Australia’s mandatory credit reporting and data sharing in 2019. Over the next five years, it targets a 2%-3% market share of the personal and business loan market, and to grow its customer base to 100,000.

SWOT Analysis


  • Number one in digital cash lending in China
  • Strong loan uptake in 2018
  • Cooperation with institutional partners
  • Strong risk and compliance control
  • Proprietary credit scoring, Yiren Score
  • Low sales and marketing expenses compared to loan volume


  • Risk models have not gone through a credit downturn
  • Yiren Wealth saw a brief funding disruption in the third quarter of 2018


  • Increased institutional funding
  • Building Yirendai as a consumer brand
  • Creating Yiren Wealth
  • Strong demand for financing in the long term


  • Tightening of compliance and regulations
  • Increasing shutdown of other P2P platforms
  • Economic slowdown
  • Increasing fund cost
21 Apr

A story about an innovator: This Startup Designed Its Broadcast Device For Sports, Then It Wound Up In The Operating Room

734 views|Apr 8, 2019,7:00 am

This Startup Designed Its Broadcast Device For Sports, Then It Wound Up In The Operating Room

Suzie DundasContributor

“I needed to come back from the mountains and get a job.”

The Bonx Grip is a hands-free way to communicate with others on your channelThe Bonx Grip is a hands-free way to communicate with others on your channel

The Bonx Grip is a hands-free way to communicate with others on your channel


That’s how Takahiro Miyasaka, 34, describes the motivation behind his decision to leave the world of snowboarding and enter the corporate world of consulting. While attending the University of Tokyo, Miyasaka lived a life centered around snowboarding, spending every weekend flying from the northern to southern hemispheres in search of snow. But once he married and started a family, he decided he needed a more location-dependent lifestyle.

That’s when he began working in the Tokyo office of Boston Consulting Group, a multinational management consulting firm. There, he met Yuta Narasaki, 31, with whom he founded Bonx, Inc. in November 2014. Their first product is the Bonx Grip, an over-the-ear device that allows groups of up to 10 people to talk to each other hands-free over any distance or range. When one person speaks, the device will automatically broadcast that message to everyone on the line while pausing any audio a user might be playing. Group members connect by putting a shared code into the Bonx phone app, and all conversations can be recorded, which assists in applying audio to any videos shot. It can distinguish between different voices and background noise to ensure ambient sounds aren’t transmitted. There’s no distance limit between units, provided both users have cellular service.

The Bonx Grip allows users to talk freely across any distance, provided they have cellular service.The Bonx Grip allows users to talk freely across any distance, provided they have cellular service.

The Bonx Grip allows users to talk freely across any distance, provided they have cellular service.


Miyasaka realized the need for such a device on a ski weekend in March 2014 in Hakuba, Japan’s central snowy and mountainous region. He had just read a story on Nick Woodman, founder of action camera brand GoPro, and was delighted to meet an American who worked for GoPro while skiing in the woods. They started snowboarding together but quickly became separated in the dense Japanese backcountry. “We were half-panicked not knowing what to do,” says Miyasaka. “We eventually decided to go down to the bottom to see what we could do, only to find him already there, sipping some tea, waiting for us.” That experience led him to realize the need for a quicker and easier way to stay in touch during adventure sports, and development on the Bonx Grip began.

Hakuba is one of Japan’s most famous – and steepest – ski destinationsHakuba is one of Japan’s most famous – and steepest – ski destinations

Hakuba is one of Japan’s most famous – and steepest – ski destinations


He was able to take advantage of a government grant program through Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, which provided the necessary start-up funding. He recruited Narasaki, and the two tested various Bluetooth and VoIP systems (which allow for voice communication on internet connections) to determine which would work best for their uses. They tested the systems in the field, intentionally going into areas with weak and unstable network coverage to measure whether they’d work in real-world scenarios. Miyasaka says that their engineer would even snowboard with a laptop in his backpack to allow them to stop and test the equipment mid-run. But after weeks of field testing in which the duo were unable to find one VoIP system that met their needs, they created their own solution, building both hardware and software to allow for them to be tested in tandem.

An early prototype of what would become the Bonx GripAn early prototype of what would become the Bonx Grip

An early prototype of what would become the Bonx Grip


“The prototyping was very difficult with Bonx because we needed to have both hardware and software to see if it worked OK as a product or not,” says Miyasaka. Because sound quality on an audio product can’t be determined at the early stages of prototyping, they had to build several nearly complete units before testing could begin. “We couldn’t tell if the quality was good enough until the very last minute,” he adds. He notes that while the process may seem simple to the end user – just speaking and listening – it was quite difficult on the production side to tell if issues of sound quality were the result of sound processing, transmitting, input or one of several other processes operating at the same time. After spending more than $10 million on research and development, they began product sales in December 2016, though the current version (launched Fall 2017) is the first one behind which they’ve put significant marketing dollars.

The Bonx Grip was intended for sports but has been used for a variety of professional purposes.The Bonx Grip was intended for sports but has been used for a variety of professional purposes.

The Bonx Grip was intended for sports but has been used for a variety of professional purposes.


Between Fall 2017 and 2018, they sold more than 10,000 units of the Bonx Grip, many of which were sold at specialty sports stores and ski resorts in Japan. They’ve been used for other applications as well, allowing mountain bikers to communicate on the trails or for coaches to provide advice to rock climbers high above them. However, they’ve found in the last year that the Bonx Grip is useful in non-sport applications, too. Miyasaka says that the product has been purchased by a high-end Italian fashion brand as a replacement to walkie-talkies in their retail stores due to its discreet design. He’s also seen the Bonx Grip used in Japanese emergency rooms to allow surgeons to easily and quickly communicate needs during surgery or to communicate with doctors outside of the operating room. “We were surprised to hear that they are actually wearing Bonx even when they are off-duty so they know what’s going on in the hospital,” he says.

The non-sport applications have been so popular that they’re planning the launch the Bonx Mini this summer. It has a looser fit and, as the name implies, is smaller than the Bonx Grip. It’s intended for everyday use rather than for use during athletic or high-impact activities. They’re also working on a product similar to the Bonx Grip that can be used without cell service to appeal to more American buyers, which Miyasaka hopes will create appeal in the U.S. as it falls behind Japan in terms of cell phone coverage in wilderness areas

19 Apr

Case Study: How Build.com turned to AR to increase customer engagement and sales

Thursday 18-04-2019 16:01

Case Study: How Build.com turned to AR to increase customer engagement and sales

Build.com is the largest online-only home improvement retailer. With no brick and mortar locations, the comany wanted to give its customers the ability to “touch and feel” products before making a purchase.

The solution
With the launch of Apple’s ARKit for iOS11, Build.com partnered with Prolific Interactive to bridge this gap through a new augmented reality experience, “In-Home Preview.”

It was important that the “In-Home Preview” experience provided practical, usable information for Build.com customers. Each product has incredibly detailed, to-scale 3D models that can be interacted with in their existing environment.

From turning on light fixtures, to adjusting a faucet (tap), customers can understand exactly how the product will function in their space. Users can switch between various finishes of the product, and view related products, directly within “In-Home Preview.”

How they did it
While other home improvement retailers have dabbled in augmented reality, Prolific and Build.com partnered to use ARKit to offer the most precise and accurate modified reality interactions in eCommerce today. By incorporating this experience directly in Build.com’s iOS App, customers are able to easily access the “In-Home Preview” experience from their phones to make informed purchasing decisions even easier. What’s unique about Build.com’s augmented reality feature is that shoppers can interact with the 3D products, such as turning on a faucet and opening the drawer in a vanity. Build.com works to animate all of its 3D models.

The results
Build.com launched the augmented reality tool on its site in 2017 that allows shoppers to view a few dozen of its products to-scale in 3D via their smartphone screens. The AR feature appears to have paid off; After a year of analyzing shopper behavior, the return rate for shoppers that use the augmented reality function is 22 per cent lower than shoppers who didn’t use the tool and bought the same product. Fewer customers are returning a faucet because the way the handle moves or hits their backsplash because customers can interact with AR-enabled products – not just plop and spin – they can ensure that it will function in the space.

Today, there are over 650 products and 1,700 SKUs that has had the augmented reality treatment. Approximately 5,000 shoppers use the feature each month.

Shoppers who use AR are – on average – twice as likely to return to the site or app than non-AR shoppers. What’s more, the average session is nearly one minute longer for AR shoppers than non-AR shoppers.

Finally, the customers using the feature are Build.com’s highest lifetime value customer and have the highest average order value.

Worldwide spending on AR and virtual reality (VR) is set to surge 69 per cent to $20.4bn this year, up from $12.1bn in 2018, according to figures from IDC. As Prolific Interactive CXO Eric Weber explains, retail may very well be the most effective use case of AR at the moment.

“When customers can test out products in context, it increases their confidence in their purchase and greatly increases the likelihood that it fits what they’re looking for” he says. “That has a direct impact on conversion rates, return rates, as well as customer loyalty and retention. Retailers will also be able to sell their higher-priced items that would previously be perceived as too risky to buy online. This isn’t a turnkey kind of thing; It takes clever design to intuitively map interactions on a 2D surface (the device screen) into 3D space.

"There’s an extra level of nuance in designing and testing those kinds of interfaces. There’s also particular expertise required to produce 3D models and textures that are as accurate and convincing as possible within the constraints of the hardware and platform. So even if you’re looking at a platform promising everything out of the box, you will want to put content quality and user experience first, and make sure no corners are cut there.”

Watch the video: https://player.vimeo.com/video/233870180

17 Apr

Mobile Payment Growth 2019 Survey: Vietnam tops the table both regionally and globally. Singapore ranked 5th out of six.

Growth in mobile payments

Singapore ranked 5th out of six S-E Asian nations in survey

PwC noted Singapore's strong gains in mobile payment usage, saying it signifies a payoff in efforts by the Government and other mobile payment players. The survey recorded rising mobile payments in other South-east Asian nations, with Vietnam toppingPwC noted Singapore’s strong gains in mobile payment usage, saying it signifies a payoff in efforts by the Government and other mobile payment players. The survey recorded rising mobile payments in other South-east Asian nations, with Vietnam topping the list for growth.ST FILE PHOTO

APR 13, 2019, 5:00 AM SGT

Usage here climbed this year to 46% of those polled, up from 34% last year: PwC

Singapore came in fifth out of six South-east Asian countries for growth in mobile payment use, while Vietnam tops the table both regionally and globally, according to PwC’s Global Consumer Insights Survey 2019.

Use of mobile payments here climbed 12 percentage points this year to 46 per cent of consumers surveyed, up from 34 per cent last year.

"Since the Government began driving the way for digital payments in late 2017, this signifies a payoff in the efforts by the Government and other mobile payment players," said PwC.

Vietnam’s mobile payment usage growth increased from 37 per cent to 61 per cent, up by 24 percentage points.

Mr Shirish Jain, payments director at Strategy&, said: "Asia remains the powerhouse in leading customer shift to mobile payments, with the report reflecting eight Asian nations in the top 10 and six in South-east Asia."

"Vietnam, with its relatively low penetration in 2018, has registered the highest growth as mobile platforms demonstrate a significant increase in convenience over traditional means of commerce."

"This contrasts with Singapore, which also shows strong gains. However, the sophisticated and established traditional ecosystem, as well as abundant and potentially confusing number of choices in mobile payments, can also slow down adoption," he added.

Mr Jain said this finding was a timely confluence of four principal factors: The stages of economic growth cycles driving affluence and disposable income; the availability of platforms that address local demographic needs, including support for cash-on-delivery; the lower cost for retailers and providers; and a marked increase in convenience.

The survey – which had 21,480 respondents from 27 territories – also recorded increases in mobile payments in other South-east Asian nations. Usage rose by 19 percentage points in Thailand, 17 percentage points in Malaysia, 14 percentage points in the Philippines and nine percentage points in Indonesia.

The survey also said Asian consumers are more socially engaged online than those in Europe and the Americas.

Respondents in Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam led the pack globally in making purchases directly through posts on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Globally, only 21 per cent of respondents made purchases directly through social media.

Mr Charles Loh, South-east Asia consumer and industrial products consulting leader at PwC, said: "Social media platforms are already mature in South-east Asia. The trend in online shopping, moving forward, is the consolidation of e-commerce players with fewer big players providing that gateway. There seems to be a consolidator present in every market."

16 Apr

Experts: Breach at IT Outsourcing Giant Wipro

Experts: Breach at IT Outsourcing Giant Wipro

Indian information technology (IT) outsourcing and consulting giant Wipro Ltd. [NYSE:WIT] is investigating reports that its own IT systems have been hacked and are being used to launch attacks against some of the company’s customers, multiple sources tell KrebsOnSecurity. Wipro has refused to respond to questions about the alleged incident.

Earlier this month, KrebsOnSecurity heard independently from two trusted sources that Wipro — India’s third-largest IT outsourcing company — was dealing with a multi-month intrusion from an assumed state-sponsored attacker.

Both sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Wipro’s systems were seen being used as jumping-off points for digital fishing expeditions targeting at least a dozen Wipro customer systems.

The security experts said Wipro’s customers traced malicious and suspicious network reconnaissance activity back to partner systems that were communicating directly with Wipro’s network.

On April 9, KrebsOnSecurity reached out to Wipro for comment. That prompted an email on Apr. 10 from Vipin Nair, Wipro’s head of communications. Nair said he was traveling and needed a few days to gather more information before offering an official response.

On Friday, Apr. 12, Nair sent a statement that acknowledged none of the questions Wipro was asked about an alleged security incident involving attacks against its own customers.

“Wipro has a multilayer security system,” the company wrote. “The company has robust internal processes and a system of advanced security technology in place to detect phishing attempts and protect itself from such attacks. We constantly monitor our entire infrastructure at heightened level of alertness to deal with any potential cyber threat.”

Wipro has not responded to multiple additional requests for comment. Since then, two more sources with knowledge of the investigation have come forward to confirm the outlines of the incident described above.

One source familiar with the forensic investigation at a Wipro customer said it appears at least 11 other companies were attacked, as evidenced from file folders found on the intruders’ back-end infrastructure that were named after various Wipro clients. That source declined to name the other clients.

The other source said Wipro is now in the process of building out a new private email network because the intruders were thought to have compromised Wipro’s corporate email system for some time. The source also said Wipro is now telling concerned clients about specific “indicators of compromise,” telltale clues about tactics, tools and procedures used by the bad guys that might signify an attempted or successful intrusion.

Wipro says it has more than 170,000 employees helping clients across six continents with Fortune 500 customers in healthcare, banking, communications and other industries. In March 2018, Wipro said it passed the $8 billion mark in annual IT services revenue.

The apparent breach comes amid shifting fortunes at Wipro. On March 5, the State of Nebraska abruptly canceled a contract with Wipro after spending $6 million with the company. In September 2018, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services issued a cease-and-desist letter to Wipro, ordering it to stop work on the upgrade to the state’s Medicaid enrollment system, and to vacate its state offices. Wipro is now suing Nebraska, saying its project was on schedule and on budget.

In August 2018, Wipro paid $75 million to settle a lawsuit over a botched SAP implementation that reportedly cost the National Grid US hundreds of millions of dollars to fix.

Another curious, if only coincidental, development: On April 4, 2019, the government of India sold “enemy” shares in Wipro worth approximately $166 million. According to this article in The Business Standard, enemy shares are so called because they were originally held by people who migrated to Pakistan or China and are not Indian citizens any longer.

“A total of 44.4 million shares, which were held by the Custodian of Enemy Property for India, were sold at Rs 259 apiece on the Bombay Stock Exchange,” The Business Standard reported. “The buyers were state-owned Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), New India Assurance and General Insurance Corporation. LIC”

Wipro is expected to announce its fourth-quarter earnings report on Tuesday, April 16 (PDF).

Update, April 16, 9:11 a.m. ET: Wipro just confirmed to the India Times that it discovered an intrusion and has hired an outside security firm to investigate.

14 Apr

ABN SalesForce: L’ORÉAL “Salesforce is making a big difference as we move from a top-down conversation to p ersonalised engagement.”


“Salesforce is making a big difference as we move from a top-down conversation to personalised engagement.”

Salesforce Journey Builder maps L’Oréal’s customer journeys across 28 brands

Most businesses stick close to customers, but few cultivate relationships more intimate than global cosmetics giant L’Oréal. With 28 brands, including category icons Garnier, Maybelline and Lancôme, L’Oréal is on a mission to deliver ‘beauty for all’. If everything goes to plan they’ll attract one billion new customers. The company’s Australian operation is expected to play its part and aims to reach 2.5 million customers by 2020.

L’Oréal is leveraging Salesforce Marketing Cloud to get closer to customers and provide simple pathways to navigate L’Oréal’s many products.

Christophe Eymery, L’Oréal’s digital lead, explains the challenge faced by the 100 year-old business: “Our business was built brand by brand, and today we realise that customers are rarely dedicated to one brand – they’re multi-brand shoppers. The shift demands a portfolio approach to marketing and a multi-brand story,” he said.

Reaching more people, in more places, and doing that in a more personal way is massively complex – never mind that L’Oréal sells over 4,000 products.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s Journey Builder tool provides the right answers, offering a drag-and-drop graphical user interface for customer interactions, across all media and channels. The ‘digital canvas’ Journey Builder delivers to L’Oréal marketers ensures they’re able to map customer journeys and engage with customers and prospects on a more intimate level.

“Years ago TV and magazines were the main instruments of mass communication,” said Eymery. “Nowadays we have an amazing opportunity with new technologies, and this is where Salesforce Journey Builder provide a holistic view of our touch-points. We can identify how and where our customers engage with our brands – on social media, offline or online, mobile, on their way to work, at work, wherever, whenever. We track all those customer interactions in Journey Builder and deliver messages at the right time.”

The centrepiece of L’Oréal’s personalised customer experience – and a key touch-point in the journey L’Oréal customers travel – is an app called Makeup Genius. The virtual makeup tester uses a sophisticated algorithm that effectively turns a smartphone into a mirror, allowing customers to try makeup and products on themselves to create their own look. In just six weeks 500,000 Australians downloaded the app.

Where Journey Builder provides L’Oréal with the framework for continuing the conversation, Salesforce Marketing Cloud module Social Studio is the company’s eye and ears.

There’s a lot to track. According to L’Oréal, in Australia, alone, there are 40,000 beauty-related conversations on social media every day. Social Studio does the hard work, sifting conversations for intelligence that will steer future sales campaigns. Using Social Studio’s Content Calendar, L’Oréal coordinates social campaigns, from creating and scheduling content to understanding how it performed.

“Social Studio is very powerful,” said Eymery. “The beauty industry changes quickly and new trends spring from manufacturers, and even customers themselves. We must stay close to changes and respond quickly, and Salesforce lets us do that by pinpointing what our customers expect and how they think about our brands.”
To a large extent, the company’s current success and future plans ride on a single information reservoir fed by the many streams of information flowing from all points across L’Oréal’s sales and marketing.

14 Apr

ABN SalesForce: CEBU PACIFIC AIR “We want to recover relationships, not just resolve cases. What we’re doing with Salesforce will help us create customers for life.”


“We want to recover relationships, not just resolve cases. What we’re doing with Salesforce will help us create customers for life.”

Cebu Pacific Air takes customer care to new heights

Cebu Pacific Air is the Philippines’ largest airline, carrying over 1.5million passengers each month to over 60 domestic and international destinations, including Australia, Japan and Dubai. The airline pioneered the “low fare, great value” strategy in Asia and continues to innovate with a new customer experience strategy and Command Centre for customer care.

Candice Iyog, VP Marketing and Distribution at Cebu Pacific Air, said the airline’s customer strategy went beyond simply resolving customer complaints. “We want to recover relationships, not just resolve cases,” said Iyog. “What we’re doing with Salesforce will help us create customers for life.”

Command Centre brings improved visibility to customer care

The new Command Centre has put customer care at the heart of Cebu Pacific Air. Situated on the executive level of its corporate headquarters, the glass-enclosed office has made customer care more visible and its operations, more accessible.

Executives can walk in at any time and use touch screens to explore real-time data on support cases and customer sentiment. They can also speak to agents for an extra layer of insight on what customers may be experiencing that day.

These conversations and the visible presence of the customer care team, help ensure customer needs and sentiment are considered in every strategic decision made.

Connecting service with social kick-starts success

The Command Centre is the result of a wider service transformation which has brought all of Cebu Pacific Air’s’ customer care agents together as one team. In the past, two teams handled inbound inquiries and complaints. The first managed traditional channels including feedback via web forms, emails and phone. The second managed social media channels for the airline.

The implementation of Salesforce Service Cloud has connected these teams and empowered them to respond in a more consistent and effective way.

“Many vendors said they could build what we needed, but with Salesforce Service Cloud the capability was already there,” said Iyog. “We were also already using Marketing Cloud to respond to customers on social media so there was a short learning curve.”

These factors combined with the project management provided by Third Pillar Business Applications Inc. enabled a rapid go-live. The customer care team is now using Service Cloud alongside Marketing Cloud’s Social Studio, Social Hub and Command Center to provide smarter support.

Jennifer Ligones, President & CEO of Third Pillar Business Applications, Inc. said, “Cebu Pacific has always been at the forefront of airline innovation to delight their customers. Being the first company in Southeast Asia to use Social Studio integrated with Service Cloud, shows their commitment to elevate their customer relationships.”

Creating a deeper understanding of customer needs

The Salesforce solution has allowed Cebu Pacific Air to consolidate reporting and gain a single customer view. It has also enabled the airline to measure and drive improvements. Already, response time on social media has been reduced from a couple of days to an average of 18 minutes, making response 160x faster.

The airline is now focused on improving the quality of responses and taking its understanding of the customer to the next level. It’s capturing new data points from Net Promotor Score and post-flight surveys, and building on its single view of the customer with every interaction.

It plans to use these data points to address customer complaints as a first priority and then to evolve its products and services. The ongoing transformation will see customer care increasingly entrenched in the airline’s operations.

“We want to create an environment where everyone is proactively collaborating around customers’ needs. Salesforce will help us to achieve that goal,” said Iyog.

14 Apr

ABN Case: Changi Airport Group delivers a first class experience to every passenger

Singapore Changi Airport was crowned the World’s Best Airport at the 2013 Skytrax World Airport Awards. It is also a 2012 winner of the National Infocomm Awards (NIA) for the Most Innovative Use of Infocomm Technology in the private sector. The centrepiece of its success is a self-named solution called OneChangi, which uses technology to transform business practices and orchestrate high standards of service. Salesforce.com plays a key role and gives Changi Airport Group (CAG) – the manager of Changi Airport – the tools to deliver a first class customer experience to every passenger.

Service Dilemma

Think about your last trip through an airport. Customer studies show that people generally don’t focus on elements of acceptable service. But it’s an altogether different story when service slips. That’s when the experience is remembered and feelings about quality and satisfaction are cast. Airports can be chaotic and things don’t always go as planned (even at the world’s best airports). When things go wrong reputations suffer. But what exactly makes up an airport? In the customer’s mind it is a single entity, easily blanketed with accusations of bad service. However, in terms of business operations and logistics, an airport comprises a diverse number of standalone entities that perform specific functions vital to overall operation. CAG, for example, spans 350 retail and service stores and 120 food and beverage outlets located in public and transit areas. These are independent businesses. And then there are 200 other partners and agencies – from cleaners to baggage handlers – that work according to their own operating procedures, workflow and goals. However, truly customer centric organisations, like CAG, have no choice but to think like the customer.

Steve Lee, CAG CIO and senior vice president of technology, said the entire airport community responds to customers as one – or "OneChangi" as he likes to say. "Any problem is not yours or mine, but ours. At CAG, one of our core values is we succeed together with our partners."

Bold Vision

The OneChangi vision required a system to match. The airport got down to work with its product and solution providers and deployed a CRM platform that integrated CAG’s various channels and backend data sources. Today it functions as the main enterprise solution that underpins everything customer related at the airport.

The platform channels and consolidates feedback collected from airport customers via touch-points including websites, emails, the CAG contact centre and instant feedback systems located across CAG airport terminals. Feedback is wide-ranging and spans everything from retail experiences to washroom cleanliness to perceptions of check-in efficiency. The information is shared with airport partners and tenants, allowing them to process and track feedback that relates to their own operations.

CAG tenants use the same system to track their own service quality standards and rectify issues that are flagged by CAG during inspection, such as shop floor cleanliness. Data collected also provides CAG with an overview of service levels and feedback indicators to help ensure airport shops and restaurants meet service level obligations.

Aligning IT with Business Mission

Joe Chiu, CAG vice president of corporate information technology, said the proposed IT solution had to be aligned with the OneChangi mission. "We wanted every single case to be tracked under a common system. The CRM real-time dashboards and reports show supervisors what’s happening as it happens…who did what and whether the case was closed on time. As many CAG staff members are on the move we use iPads, desktops and smartphones to provide uninterrupted system access."

The CRM platform comes with social network tool, Salesforce Chatter. "New customer service operators can ask questions and other operators can share their knowledge and experiences, even though they are located in different terminals," said Chiu

Service Leap

Overall, the OneChangi vision has achieved CAG’s strategic goals. Chiu said overall service was more consistent and the customer-facing business practices of major partners and tenants had leapt ahead. In the process, CAG has recorded efficiency improvements across a number of measures, including operating costs, productivity, and service innovations.

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