Loyalty provider is leveraging technology to create an exceptional omnichannel experience for members
This year’s SAPPHIRE NOW forum was something of a novel experiment in how technology can help businesses run fairly smoothly in uncertain times. “Reimagined” as an all-digital event and taking place entirely online, it offered a glimpse into how local businesses have coped with the COVID-19 pandemic, along with insight and advice on building bridges to the future.
Asia Miles is a case in point. Although business and leisure travel ground to a near total halt at the start of the virus outbreak, Asia Miles’ CEO, Paul Smitton, noted that Hong Kongers have found other ways to use their air miles. That includes, booking restaurants via partner apps like Open Rice, and buying things in “non-air” stores.
In fact, as one of the Executive Dialog discussion panellist at SAPPHIRE NOW forum on 9 June, 2020, he credits the pandemic with creating a massive acceleration towards digital. The surge in online commerce has been most beneficial to companies with at least the beginnings of a digital vision. The shift is also forcing many, less well-prepared organizations to play catch-up.
Over the last 20 years, the loyalty organization has strived to continually evolve and become more relevant and sustainable. In practice, that means looking for new ways to allow members to accumulate miles, and make the program as frictionless as possible.
It recently launched an initiative to enable members to interact with its service center via WhatsApp, live chat capabilities and chatbots to put information at their fingertips as quickly as possible.
Asia Miles is more fortunate than most. It invested in SAP’s commerce platform, and going live at the end of last year. Without that, Smitton believes Asia Miles would be left in what he describes as “a really tricky spot.”
Instead of struggling, Asia Miles is creating an exceptional omnichannel experience for members. And the business is actually expanding rather than simply trying to catch up.