“We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten,” said technopreneur genius, Bill Gates, about the evolution of computing. The benefit of hindsight and experience gives one wisdom that can be imparted to similar domains.
Like consumer behavior.
The advent of electronic commerce and cloud computing have enabled tech giants like Amazon, and Alibaba to influence the way we shop. With such platforms gaining popularity, other companies like Lazada and Redmart, have sprouted and taken root in the now highly competitive sphere of online shopping. Public transportation has also joined in the fray with companies like Grab, Uber and Go-Jek giving the existing network of cab companies a run for their money.
10 years ago, eyebrows would have been raised if someone suggested the ridiculous idea of making a purchase over a computer. The unwavering trust we placed in our beloved brick-and-mortar stores was absolute and no one or thing could come between. 10 years later, the situation is, amusingly, quite the opposite. E-commerce is all the rage and shows no sign of letting up. Perspectives have altered. Attitudes have changed. Behavior follows suit. There was a mindset shift. So what gives? How did we go from the analog world of shopping to the digital macrocosm we enjoy today? Simple. Bind information with convenience and deliver them with two shakes of a duck’s tail.
At Air Liquide, we were quick to recognize the need to make the procurement process easy for our customers. By marrying the convenience of online shopping and useful information that accompanies a gas purchase, the myGAS Customer Portal, a one-stop shop offering personalized service with a user-friendly interface, was formally introduced in 2015.
MyGAS, as it is affectionately known, is a robust system that provides customers with information from price to product availability at their fingertips. The system is also convenient in that it is configured to “remember” buying habits and to facilitate purchases. Besides digitalizing the way customers place their orders, the platform also enables our Customer Service teams to focus on their core responsibilities - serving our customers. With the tedious administrative work removed, these employees are now in a better position to provide higher level services to further enhance the customer experience.
MyGAS was launched first in Australia in May 2015. Created by the Air Liquide Australia team, the portal was designed with the Australian customer in mind. After its successful launch, the portal was replicated and adapted for use in Southeast Asia.The Philippines was the first Southeast Asian country to push out myGAS and the maiden effort saw resounding success. There was a seismic shift of 48% of total customers to the myGAS platform that can only be attributed to the dedication of the Philippines team. They cleverly tapped on the strong inclination of the average Filipino to the digital realm by making personalized presentations to their customers, highlighting benefits and encouraging use.
While enhancements continue, the one-stop self-service website has proven to be highly appealing amongst those who have started using myGAS due to the simplified reordering system as well as secure and quick direct accessibility to crucial documents such as product-specific information, cylinder stocks and invoices. Convenience is further enhanced as the system supports use on mobile devices.
What Lies Ahead
While it is easy to get carried away by the endless possibilities technology offers, it is important to take a pragmatic approach when it comes to addressing the different levels of digital adoption in the various countries that Air Liquide operates in. In addition, customer participation is also part and parcel of implementing digital improvements. The system is at its nascent stages and we are continuously working hard to enhance all aspects of our digital tools which are responsible for customer satisfaction.
These days, many of us have discovered the advantages of using online grocery shopping sites, like Amazon and Redmart to have groceries delivered to our doorstep, whilst others still prefer to stroll along the alleys of the supermarkets. Whether one is an early or late adopter of this technology is immaterial as digitalization is not a passing phase - it is here to stay. As much as Air Liquide works towards creating a system that is more robust and convenient, the onus is on us to prepare for the next phase of the digital age, ensuring that we heed the advice of Bill Gates to not underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten years.
To learn more about myGAS in your country, please visit https://myportal.airliquide.com/MyGas/
'Redefining Customer Experience: myGAS, our one-stop online portal for customers' was contributed by Camille Arnould.