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A Winning Formula For Business Success

To remain competitive in an increasingly digital business landscape, Kino Biotech – a local provider of beauty and healthcare products – has shifted its focus to building better customer experiences.


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Published by Enterprise Singapore
on 01 Apr 2018

A Winning Formula For Business Success

Kino Biotech Pte Ltd has come a long way since it first started out as a business-to-business (B2B) provider of nutritional supplements and cosmeceutical (cosmetic that has or is purported to have medicinal properties) products 15 years ago.

Today, it has more than 4,500 sales points in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and China. Kino Biotech also works with global retailers, such as Watsons, Guardian, Sasa, Tesco, Carrefour and Boots, to bring its products to market.

In 2014, faced with intense competition from other players in the evolving retail healthcare landscape, the company decided to step up its game by enhancing its customer experience.

“‘Digital’ has transformed the way customers make purchasing decisions, shop and communicate,” says Ms Kristin Chong, the company’s Business Development Director. “We realised that we needed to get ‘closer’ to our customers, because it’s not enough to simply have a good product.”

The same year, it embarked on SPRING Singapore’s (now Enterprise Singapore1) Customer-Centric Initiative (CCI) to enhance its overall service levels and customer experience, and build better relationships with customers.

The CCI encourages companies to take the lead in raising service standards and helps companies develop service systems, conduct service measurements and improve service processes. It supports up to 70% of eligible costs for SMEs in target sectors, such as food and beverage, healthcare, hospitality and retail.

With the help of a consultant, the company identified key service improvement areas, and implemented an e-commerce website and e-learning portal for its staff.

Developing a stronger presence

As a B2B business, the main challenge that Kino Biotech faced was its limited view of customers. “We seldom get ‘face time’ with customers because we sell our products mainly through other businesses,” Ms Chong explains.

As almost every customer in today’s digital age is online, the company developed an e-commerce website to market its three brands – Kinohimitsu, Activa and Xpertise – and gain direct access to customers.

The website, launched in 2015, lists all of the company’s products, complete with product information, reviews and recommendations, enabling customers to make well-informed decisions. In addition, the website’s “Ask Tiffany” live chat service – operated by the company’s inhouse team of nutritionists – responds to customer enquiries and concerns in real time.

At the same time, the company set up “beauty bars” in department stores across Singapore and Malaysia to build better relationships with customers. “We provide a more personalised experience at our beauty bars. Customers can try our health and beauty drinks, which are presented in the form of ‘mocktails’,” Ms Chong explains.

Providing these new retail experiences has enabled the company to better reach and engage with customers, and examine their lifestyle needs and habits. This has resulted in the development of a range of innovative health products, designed specifically for customers on the go. “For instance, our collagen drinks that come in pocket-sized medical grade bottles cater to customers who travel frequently,” she says.

Enhancing staff knowledge

Kino Biotech also invested in an e-learning portal to ensure that its staff are fully equipped – both in terms of knowledge and technology – to manage customer needs and enquiries quickly and efficiently.

The portal – accessible to staff via mobile phones, tablets and laptops – lists not just all of the company’s products but includes bite-sized product information, recommended product pairings, and customer service standard operating procedures.

This helps the company’s sales promoters at various retail outlets to not just sell better, but also advise customers on the best product applications and solutions – turning staff promoters into credible advocates and brand advisers.

“The portal, which also features engaging product demonstration videos, has become an effective, easy-to-understand tool that helps our new and existing staff maintain service standards across all our outlets,” says Ms Chong. “At the same time, it enhances customer understanding of our products, improves overall customer experiences and drives sales.”

Staying focused on consumers

Overall, the CCI has helped Kino Biotech improve its customer service quality and brand awareness.

“Sales from our e-commerce website have been encouraging and steadily contributing to our annual profits,” says
Ms Chong.

This has given the company the confidence to expand its digital customer service initiatives.

“Next, we plan to implement a customer relationship management system to gather data on our buyers so that we can better analyse their preferences and needs, and develop targeted promotions and products that will take our customer service and business to the next level,” she adds.

She believes that in today’s highly competitive business landscape, companies need to be proactive in not just developing new products, but also understanding their consumers.

“That’s why we will continue to focus on building closer relationships with and engaging our customers through various digital and physical touchpoints, so that we stay on top of their needs and expectations,” Ms Chong says.

 

1SPRING Singapore merged with IE Singapore to form Enterprise Singapore on 1 April 2018.

Last Modified Date: 09 Jan 2020