Mar 11, 2021

Zendesk + StashAway: Scaling support in a conversational era

William Girling
3 min
Zendesk + StashAway: Scaling support in a conversational era
Wendy Johnstone, SVP & COO APAC, discusses trends in APAC finance, new customer expectations, and why messaging is the future of customer experience...

“The Asian finance industry is currently seeing unprecedented changes: digital disruption, shifting customer expectations, and obviously the very challenging economic environment presented by the pandemic,” says Wendy Johnstone, SVP & COO APAC, Zendesk, in reference to the company’s recently released Customer Experience (CX) Trends Report 2021. “Customers have stepped back, re-examined what their priorities are, and adopted new behaviours. They want to connect in a more convenient, conversational, and personal way with brands, and that's really been driven by messaging.”

A leading provider of customer service software, Zendesk’s mission has always been to democratise customer service software to help foster better customer relationships. Johnstone joined the company in May 2020 following a long career working at some of the world’s largest tech brands, “I love the transformational impact that technology can have on not just our companies, but also on our lives.” Passionate about helping companies embrace digital adoption, she has been driving operational excellence across the APAC region, connecting with customers and understanding the key areas for market growth.  

It’s an important mission, particularly at such a turbulent time of change in the finance industry and socio-economic upheaval. In such an environment, it’s vital to understand where the wind of prevailing customer sentiment is blowing, and that’s exactly what Zendesk has been helping StashAway to do. “We started working with StashAway back in 2017, when it was looking to improve both its customer engagement and its customer service agent efficiency. StashAway wanted a solution that could scale as the company itself grew,” Johnstone explains. The digital wealth management platform subsequently adopted a host of Zendesk’s solutions, including email support, help centre, knowledge management, analytics, reporting and more. 

“We’ve helped StashAway deliver the world-class omnichannel customer experience they’re known for,” continues Johnstone. “Customers can use a variety of channels and with a completely unified view, StashAway’s agents don't need to waste precious time manually synching customer data across disconnected systems,” a useful capability, particularly as the company continues its expansion into new markets like the Middle East, Thailand and Malaysia.  

Linking back to the findings of Zendesk’s CX Trends 2021 report, Johnstone noted that “messaging has very quickly become the preferred channel for customers to engage with businesses,” drawn by its convenient, fast and personal nature. StashAway was among the first to deploy Zendesk’s WhatsApp integration when it was launched, and doing so enabled the company to dramatically reduce their first response time to just 30 minutes - significantly lower than the industry benchmark of 24 hours. Shortly following its introduction, she relates that it has quickly become a strong customer favourite. 

StashAway’s focus on its customers and view of CX as a strategic differentiator has placed it in good standing to address the changing needs of its customers. “It’s a fantastic partner of ours and the relationship has really grown and deepened over the years. A big reason for this has to do with the team,” Johnstone concludes. “StashAway is a digital native, and these are the organisations who we see disrupting the norm and driving the transformation in financial services. It’s taking a very open minded approach to trying lots of new initiatives; Zendesk is very honored to be StashAway’s partner and support its growth.”

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Jul 24, 2021

Amobee Appoints Nick Brien As CEO

Elise Leise
2 min
Nick Brien, a CEO with a proven advertising track record, will help Amobee achieve digital growth

In its latest strategic move, Amobee—a global multimedia advertising leader—announced that Nick Brien will be its Chief Executive Officer. The company is entirely owned by Singtel, Asia’s leading communications technology organisation, which provides consumers with mobile, broadband, and TV and businesses with data hosting, cloud, network infrastructure, analytics, and cybersecurity tools. 

Brien, who has worked for Microsoft, Intel, P&G, and American Express, will take over to drive the next generation of advertising tech. Said Evangelos Simoudis, Chairman of the Board of Amobee: ‘Nick has the deep expertise in advertising that we need to seize the market opportunities ahead’. 

How Did Brien Get Here? 

Before joining Amobee, Brien led 15,000 people across 40 divisions as CEO of the Americas for Dentsu International. For thirty years, he’s helped brands pilot unique advertisements, keeping up with the latest trends. He’s served as CEO of McCann Worldgroup, global CEO of IPG Mediabrands, President of Hearst Marketing Services, and CEO of iCrossing. Over the course of his career, he’s consistently strategised how to keep up with digital shifts. Now, he’ll capitalise on Amobee’s legions of experienced data scientists and developers. 

‘I’m excited to be joining Amobee at such a transformative time in our industry’, Brien explained. ‘We’ll pilot advertising accountability and intelligent decisioning. And there’s no doubt in my mind that optimising media performance—whether you’re targeting, planning, buying, or delivering—can only be achieved using applied science, machine learning, and data analytics’. 

What Does This Mean for Amobee? 

Amobee is set on growing its personal brand within the advertising sector. As APAC social media influencers, Gen Z growth hackers, and viral content producers start to enter the field, established companies will be working doubly hard to keep up. Amobee, however, is still looking good. With a Gartner Magic Quadrant for Ad Tech, a Forrester New Wave recognition, and now, Nick Brien as CEO, the firm is set up for success. 

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