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S'pore firms not engaging mobile phone users

Enterprises in Singapore not doing enough to engage users through mobile phones, even as many indicate interest in receiving updates on utilities and loyalty schemes, finds new report.
Written by Tyler Thia, Contributor

Singapore enterprises are not tapping the mobile platform to engage their customers amid user interest to receive relevant updates on their devices, according to a new survey.

Released this week by mobile messaging and commerce services provider, Sybase 365, the report revealed that while 49 percent of Singapore respondents indicated an interest in receiving utility updates, only 9 percent had the opportunity to do so. Some 47 percent said they were interested in receiving updates about customer loyalty schemes but only 15 percent noted they were currently receiving such service.

While 62 percent of respondents from Singapore said there were comfortable accessing the Internet via their phones, Sybase 365 noted that enterprises should engage in mobile marketing to proactively reach out to consumers.

Ross Elmsly, Sybase 365's country manager for Singapore, said in the report: "An average text message is read within four minutes, compared to 48 hours for an e-mail. Leveraging mobile customer relationship management (CRM) will enable companies to actively engage customers in a timely and relevant manner. "

Elmsly added that mobile loyalty programs offer a lower cost per customer compared to a program on a traditional platform, thus, lowering the barriers to entry for smaller businesses interested in implementing an effective mobile customer loyalty program.

The study, which polled 1,552 mobile users in the region, also found that mobile banking was one of the services Singapore respondents were "most likely to purchase", coming in fourth position out of 12 services surveyed.

Of the 259 Singapore respondents surveyed, 28 percent were already using their phones to conduct mobile banking and other finance-related transactions, with 25 percent checking their stocks and shares on a weekly basis.

The service that generated the highest interest was account balance enquiries, at 86 percent, followed by bill payment due alerts at 83 percent. Another 82 percent used their mobile phones to access fraud reporting and transactions updates.

"In order to engage customers at every point along the customer lifecycle, from creating awareness to providing post purchase support, companies need to consider leveraging mobile customer engagement technology into the CRM mix," added Elmsly.

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