Bringing better Customer Experience into view

Photo by Olha Ruskykh

Founded in 2017, PRISM+ is a local consumer electronics brand known for its gaming monitors and 4K TVs. While their most visible achievement is gaining a major market share in a short period of time, a behind-the-scenes factor in their success is successfully scaling their Customer Experience (CX) capabilities to meet demand. This was accomplished through partnership with Zendesk.

SMEhorizon speaks with Jon Ng, Managing Director, PRISM+ on his company’s journey and how an emphasis on CX has been a key component of their success. Jenny Choo, Regional Vice President, SMB, APAC, at Zendesk, also explains the importance of CX to companies like PRISM+, and how SMBs/SMEs with limited resources can improve their capabilities in this regard.

Delivering the big screen

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Asked about the inspiration to found PRISM+, Ng explains that its founders were originally professional gamers and lovers of e-sports. “We set out with a goal to make gaming products accessible to the masses so that they could experience the joys of high refresh rate monitors at a fraction of the cost,” he says.

“With our direct to consumer model, which removes middleman costs and passes on the savings to our customers, we were able to achieve that goal with great success, gaining a major market share in a short period of time,” he continues.

In the early days as a small brand, email was enough for the team to manage customer tickets. “However, as we expanded, we realized that we needed a more scalable way to handle ticket flows and collect data. We also needed an omnichannel customer support to support our customers better,” recalls Ng.

PRISM+ is not alone in recognising the need for investing in Customer Experience (CX) capabilities. Choo highlights that according to the 2021 State of CX Maturity Report by Zendesk, SMBs across the APAC region have actually improved their CX maturity in the past year quite significantly.

“A driving factor in this growth has been the pressure to keep up with rapidly shifting customer expectations,” she explains. “In order to lay the foundation for service excellence, SMBs have been moving away from transactional interactions and towards relationship-building conversational experiences.”

Choo also notes that an omnichannel approach is another crucial part of meeting customers’ evolving needs and meeting them where they are. SMBs identified as “Champions” in the report – those able to leverage CX as a revenue driver rather than merely a cost centre – offer an average of at least one more channel to their customers, expanding the number of personal touchpoints and improving the overall CX.

Keeping up with customer needs

By partnering with Zendesk, PRISM+ was able to scale to increasing inquiry rates efficiently through data gathering capability that helped the company identify customer’s needs quicker so that they could serve them better. “As a fast growing e-commerce brand, the power to scale according to customer needs with efficient flows and multichannel support is absolutely essential,” says Ng.

“As a brand, we understand that great service is one of the key pillars that makes a brand great. We put great emphasis on satisfying customer needs and we are committed to continuing to do so better.”

Underscoring the importance of this insight, Choo reminds us that happy customers tend to show their appreciation with their wallets, buying from brands and services that have delighted them. “Nearly four out of five Champions say that their service team has direct revenues that exceed costs. SMB Champions in APAC, who are almost four times more likely to operate a profitable service team, leverage their maturity to outperform customer satisfaction goals. This primary focus on delighting customers helps them to excel”.

New technologies to manage changing expectations

In particular, investing in scalable CX capabilities have helped them leverage the changes in consumer behaviour arising from the pandemic. “Our products were one of the essential products for our customers during the lockdown for both work and entertainment,” explains Ng. “As such we saw a sudden massive spike in demand in sales in a short period of time. We had to scale the team fast and in a short period of time to meet the needs of our customers.” Omnichannel support, flow management tools and data insights were essential in allowing PRISM+ to  scale according to customer needs efficiently.

This focus on CX during the pandemic was also observed in other organisations identified as CX Champions. “Technological investments play an important role in helping APAC Champions empower agents and drive superior CX,” says Choo.

“In particular, 52% of SMB Champions invested in increased utilisation of public cloud services, and 53% adopted new collaboration tools in the early stages of the pandemic. We also are seeing an increased focus in drawing executive attention to optimise CX – for example, C-suite executives at Champion organisations are 16.8 times more likely than Starters to review CX performance metrics daily.”

A high-res picture of the future

Not resting on their laurels, PRISM+ continues to identify as a customer centric brand and is currently exploring additional data management and AI tools to understand customer needs. “We are also improving our self-help articles sections as well as looking into doing video assistance for our customers,” shares Ng.

Discussing other promising new technologies companies can use to improve CX capabilities, Choo points out that messaging capabilities have risen to the forefront for all organisations, at every level of CX maturity.

“In APAC, over two thirds of SMB organisations predict that chat and social channels will be most used by customers three years from now – up from about half that say this is the case today. Preparing the necessary technology and processes to empower support teams across this shift will be key in allowing businesses to provide the conversational experiences that customers are seeking.”

Explaining key steps SMBs with limited resources can take to improve their CX capabilities, Choo explains that while resources may be lacking, it can be made up for with resourcefulness. “Tech-enabled efficiency increases productivity for smaller businesses that may lack the extensive financial and human resources of their larger counterparts,” she explains.

“Internally, organisations can start by understanding the tools their agents need to deliver the best experiences. For example, when adopting an omnichannel approach, agents must have backend integrations that allow them to see the customer journey from a single point of view.

“This means ensuring that the right data is available at the fingertips allowing them to access and act on customer outcomes at every point of interaction. On the front end, chatbots and self-service solutions can also help to streamline agent interactions, giving them time to attend to more complex customer queries and while leaving simple and repetitive tasks to AI,” she concludes.