Editor’s note: This press release is sponsored by Smart Communications, Inc. and was handled by BrandRap, the sales and marketing arm of Rappler. No member of the news and editorial team participated in the publishing of this piece.
As the world ushers in the end of the pandemic, a grim global economic outlook poses new challenges to businesses, and organizations must go back to the basics and embrace their purpose.
This is the core message of Francis E. Flores, SVP and Head of Consumer Business Group – Individual at Smart, in his insightful Breakout Session at the recent Digicon 2022, the largest gathering for the digital marketing industry in the Philippines.
Flores shared three key ways companies can thrive and stay relevant in this challenging global business climate.
1. Connect to your core
Going back to basics and understanding the core purpose of a business remains an important guiding principle amid the evolving challenges that businesses face today. This will serve as the North Star – something to help steer the company towards long term success no matter the challenges they may face, according to Flores.
“For Smart, it has always been to provide the best customer experience to Filipinos,” he shared. This meant prioritizing investments in network infrastructure to support the growing mobile connectivity of Filipinos nationwide. As a result, Smart recently earned a rare distinction from Ookla as the Philippines’ Best Mobile Network.
To help find an organization’s North Star, Flores borrows from German investor Martin Schilling and asks three crucial questions: “What is your purpose beyond profit? What is your business ambition? What is that one metric that matters to your organization?” Once these have been answered, it’s time to engage customers.
2. Empower your customers
As customers are cutting down on spending, it is even more important to be able to deliver an outstanding product or service. But how do you know what’s important to your customers?
Flores suggests really listening to your customers and understanding their needs can help you quickly pivot and innovate products or services that cater to an ever-shifting market.
“At Smart, we see to it that we respond quickly to changes in consumer behavior and trends, and anticipate the needs of our subscribers,” he said.
For example, as more people are adopting a hybrid setup for work and school, there has been a growing demand for a bigger and more open-access data. This prompted Smart to quickly introduce Smart PowerAll, a prepaid offer that comes with 8 GB for all sites and apps, Unli TikTok, and Unli Texts to All Networks, valid for 7 days, for only P99. They also saw TNT customers seeking more budget-friendly options, so they introduced TNT Sulit Affordaloads, which offer value-packed data promos for as low as P10.
By truly knowing your customers, empathizing with them, and responding to their needs, companies are able to empower them and at the same time be a reliable partner and trustworthy ally.
3. Deliver the best possible customer experience
Beyond providing essential products or services, organizations should strive to deliver the best possible experience for customers by exploring ways to simplify their lives or making their experience with you as frictionless and hassle-free as possible, according to Flores.
“It’s really not so much about coming up with a simple product than having a simple customer journey,” explains Flores. He suggests an app or expanded channels that customers can use to more easily access and avail your product or service. Or even a no-fuss sign-up process or hotline support.
“Delivering the best possible experience also entails going beyond driving sales and coming up with ways to delight your customers through lifestyle perks and rewarding experiences,” he continues.
Enhancing customer experience also requires planning for business continuity amid possible disruptions like the pandemic. To aid this, companies should empower their organization to be agile – whether to streamline a tedious process, correct an error, or develop a totally new solution.
Flores joined over 70 leading speakers at Digicon 2022, led by world-renowned marketing expert and academic Mark Ritson, Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington, and 2021 Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa. Over 300 companies and 2,500 participants attended the 5-day hybrid event last October 10 to 14. – Rappler.com