This post was originally published by Margery on LinkedIn, here.
After Grab acquired Uber’s Southeast Asia business in 2018, I joined Grab to lead the company’s Social practice. It’s been quite a ride working in the Global HQ of Southeast Asia’s first decacorn!
For those of you who are less familiar with Grab, we operate in 339 cities across 8 countries. Our app has been downloaded more than 166 million times and we’re currently valued at over 14 billion dollars. We are in the business of rideshare, food delivery, financial services, ticketing, e-health and more. We are undoubtedly Southeast Asia’s Everyday, Everything App.
Thankfully we have a vocal customer base, so the social and digital web is a real-time focus group for us. Every day, we’re given thousands of opportunities to make Grab better – in some big and some small ways. It’s the Social@Grab team’s job to Listen to our customers, Connect with them on their terms, and Captivate their attention. I consider us a driving force for customer centricity.
And, we’ve been working very hard to deliver on customer centricity in a way that drives meaningful and quantifiable impact to the business. In particular, we’ve found that our work as it relates to safety is when it all comes together.
I believe we are helping Grab to be a safer platform because we can:
Be where our customers are across the social & digital web
Quantify and prioritize issues
Stay in front of negative conversation drivers
Thanks to our partnership with Sprinklr, the Social@Grab team is innovating ways to drive customer centricity within the business, specifically as it relates to safety.
Because safety. Southeast Asia accounts for 25% of the world’s road traffic deaths, which is disproportionate to the population of the region (8.5% world’s population). So, using this one data point as a signal, you can infer that it’s relatively unsafe on the roads in the region. Second, road safety is a big part of why GrabTaxi was founded in Kuala Lumpur in 2012. Hooi Ling needed to get home safely from the office and she felt that she had to either be on the phone with her mom, or pretend like she was on the phone with her mom, to ensure the driver knew someone was accountable for her whereabouts (more here).
And finally, still today, we have the ambition to curtail all preventable safety accidents. So we are using everything at our disposal to achieve this, including Sprinklr.
So let’s talk about how Sprinklr is helping.
First, and perhaps most importantly, Sprinklr gives us wide visibility of the public conversations relating to Grab, and offers a way for us to be where our customers are online to help shape their experience, as well as their perceptions.
Historically, our social team was beholden to our wider customer service platform, which has some limitations on conversation visibility. But now with Sprinklr we’ve increased our social & digital conversation coverage by 40% by simply being able to monitor mentions on Facebook’s dark posts, on non-tagged mentions on X, formerly Twitter, as well as Instagram (for starters).
As an example, we’re able to pick up mentions of people using our platform in an unsafe manner – think riding motorbikes on pedestrian paths or soliciting services outside of the platform – and bragging about it on platforms without properly tagging us. We can now capture these mentions and not only interject publicly that we don’t condone such behavior of driver partners, but we can also take relevant action and demonstrate our commitment to making the platform safer. As another example, which coincidentally happened in KL nearly 7.5 years after we were founded, a young woman mentioned that she felt uncomfortable with a Driver partner so shared a screenshot of their ride information with her mom. Fortunately, we are in a position now to educate our passengers that we have products to help address this, like Share My Ride. Taken together, such engagement shows we care about our customers and we are consistently seeking to improve their experience on our platform by taking action with their feedback.
Second, Sprinklr has enabled us to effectively quantify qualitative information, which can help us to prioritize actions that matter to our customers and the business.
Historically, we were reliant on agency partners to provide listening data and insights. This was slow, disempowering, and led to siloed data in countries and more specifically, in country marketing. Through Sprinklr, we have a consistent data source of public social & digital mentions; we have empowered talent in every local market accessing and scrutinizing the data in real time. And, we have a regional team to compare data across markets for centralized functions, such as our geo team, tech team and safety teams. With Sprinklr we have a platform that is strong and flexible enough to quickly manipulate the data for the benefit of the wider business and, ultimately, this means social data is actionable.
Using the conversations around e-scooters as an example, the GrabWheels (Grab’s e-scooter product) team was able to inform its marketing communications at a crucial time of pending legislation around e-scooters. With the government ban on e-scooters in Singapore (more here), we had a strong impetus to tune in to conversations in other markets where e-scooters legislation was still being discussed. In particular, we drilled down into conversations in Indonesia. Unfortunately, there was a fatal accident involving GrabWheels in Jakarta, which was the catalyst of a spike in conversation about the safety of GrabWheels and more broadly e-scooters. With Sprinklr, we were able to schedule weekly exports from the GrabWheels dashboard so the team was aware of how the conversation was evolving, key viral assets, and from this information able to understand key conversation themes, channels where the conversation was happening, as well as key conversation leaders. Taken together this data helped inform our marketing approach to double down on safety comms, prioritizing the issues we knew to be a problem online to creating a program offline to educate users.
Finally, Sprinklr is helping us accurately reflect the sentiment of conversation about Grab so we can make informed adjustments to the positive or negative reception of news and conversations.
Historically, the Social@Grab teams used a suite of local tools, which were custom built for their specific market. Whilst the tools themselves left something to be desired, the level of accuracy of sentiment was much stronger. We are currently working closely with Sprinklr on evolving their NLP accuracy for Southeast Asian languages like Vietnamese, Thai, and even Bahasa. Sentiment accuracy impacts the credibility of our listening data in each market. So in the very near future we are excited that Sprinklr is delivering on their commitment to improve its accuracy of Southeast Asian languages (Thai’s recent improvement from 60% to 80%) by constantly building upon its corpus of regional languages.
As you know COVID-19 is global health issue, in particular in Singapore, as it was identified as an early hotspot outside of China. Using Sprinklr we have been able to stay ahead of potential issues thanks to accurate English sentiment tagging and alerts. We have smart alerts set up for any crisis and thus were able to pick up a mention about the frustrations with hospital pick-ups during this time. We then zoomed in to the increasingly negative conversations about the transit of healthcare workers at this time to understand what we could do better to ease the fears of our customers, as well as better serve them in a way that also protects our driver partners. Ultimately, social signals were one of the catalyst to establishing a fleet of cars dedicated to our health care workers. Check out #GrabCare. We remain tuned in to the reception of the product in market by running a live display of the related conversation in our war rooms.
Grab is not going to slow down our pace of innovation. We will continue to roll out products like GrabCare – ensuring we have the best products and services live to out-serve our customers. So we need a powerful enterprise platform like Sprinklr that provides us a lot of control to capture, escalate and respond to social & digital signals…especially as it relates to safety.
When we do that in a way that is timely and accessible, social data enables better social experience. And, people talk about great experiences. They remember great experiences. They buy from companies that provide great experiences. And, they hold the competition to a standard they just can’t reach.