There are some interesting differences in the way that consumers behave in Malaysia when compared to the most mature consumer markets in the world, such as the US. For example, in the US only 32% of all Internet users use Instagram. That’s still a large number of users, but in Malaysia the same statistic is 73% – that’s right, almost three-quarters of all Internet users in Malaysia are using Instagram.
What does this mean for your approach to customer service in markets such as Malaysia?
Well, Malaysia Airlines is a great example of the necessary approach that must become commonplace. When Captain Izham Ismail became Group CEO last year he announced that the customer experience was now going to be the “center of gravity” for the airline. Captain Ismail is in an unique position to speak about the voice of the customer because he is the first CEO, of a major international airline, who was also a pilot earlier in his career. He knows his customer base.
Look at some of the comments he made soon after becoming Group CEO, such as “We don’t fly planes, we fly people” and “You can see on our website and on our apps, we continue to innovate for our customers.” As Captain Ismail recognized, apps, web experiences, social media and the customer experience are interlinked. Social media platforms have continually reinforced that Malaysia is a paradise for food. Recognizing the expectation travelers have of Malaysian cuisine, Captain Ismail focused on improving the food served during his flights. They are asking the question ‘why can’t we reflect the Malaysian foodie experience into the food our customers eat on the national airline too?’ This is truly connecting customer expectations, driven by unique customer attributes, to tangible improvements.
It’s no surprise that when global analysts such as Frost & Sullivan write about innovation and digital transformation they often mention Asian brands, including several from Malaysia. Just look at the F&S 2018 Malaysia excellence awards to get an idea of just how many innovations are being driven by the customer experience.
Collectively, these trends are shaping Malaysia today. A young population that is far more engaged on social media than more mature markets, a wave of digital innovation from exciting, disruptive, new brands, and established organizations pivoting to put the customer experience at the heart of everything they do. If you really want to engage with your customers in the APAC region then Malaysia is a great place to try new ideas – innovation is already all around.
Let me know what you think about the customer experience in Malaysia by leaving a comment here or get in touch via my LinkedIn.