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Inside Infobip: Managing Customer Success in North APAC

Inside Infobip: Managing Customer Success in North APAC

Our Regional CSM for North APAC, Keat Yieng Tan, reveals the secrets to customer success management in her region.

So far in this series, we’ve gone “Inside Infobip” to take a deep dive into the various teams and functions that make up the world’s leading omnichannel communications platform. We’ve looked at the importance of Core Operations and Presales, but these functions mean nothing without one essential component – a customer. That’s where CSM, or Customer Success Management, comes in. It’s one thing to bring in a client, it’s another to keep them engaged and satisfied with your offering.  

For this post, we spoke to Keat Yieng Tan, our Regional Customer Success Manager for North APAC (China, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea) to get a glimpse into what CSM means in that region, and how her team is working each day to deliver for our customers. 

One region, many cultures

How do you define customer success in APAC? Well, it depends where in APAC you’re talking about. 

Did you know? 

  • Filipinos send 400 million text messages every day or 142 billion a year, earning their country the nickname of “texting capital of the world”. 
  • In Thailand, personal names can usually be very long – and for this reason, most people will use nicknames. Some of the more common nicknames can sound amusing – like Meow or Chang, which translates as “elephant”.
  • When traveling abroad and choosing a restaurant, the first question someone from Vietnam might ask is “Is it sweet?” or “Do they serve veggies?” 
  • Many in China no longer carry cash – they use WeChat Pay or AliPay for any payment, even to street vendors.   

Just as cultures vary around the globe, they also vary within the Asia Pacific region. This is key to understanding how customers interact with your brand — you have to know where they’re located and the associated cultural norms in order to understand who they are and how to engage them.  

With 14 offices in the APAC region, customers from each country require different approaches, according to Keat. The CSM team needs to be mindful of the current political situation (e.g. trade war), history, religious aspects, and of course, language variations. 

North APAC is a very challenging market; each country has its own business culture. They use different languages here but share some social and cultural elements, e.g., a generally fast-paced society and an emphasis on seniority and hierarchy.

Keat Yieng Tan, Regional Customer Success Manager for North APAC

The path to customer success management 

For Keat, her Customer Success Management career path began with an honors degree in IT Management from Multimedia University in Malaysia. 

Prior to joining Infobip, she worked as a Systems Engineer in the semiconductor industry, and then as an Operations Consultant for a Microsoft partner. The knowledge and experiences she gained in these positions, coupled with an interest in the telecommunications industry, led her to an Account Manager position at Infobip while it was starting up in the region more than seven years ago. With support from her peers and superiors, she was able to grow into a managerial position. 

Working at Infobip has helped me to learn and grow tremendously. It is my honor to be able to serve my team and our clients in North APAC today.

Keat Yieng Tan, Regional Customer Success Manager for North APAC

Teamwork is everything

Just as Core Ops and Presales can’t operate without Customer Success Management, CSM can’t succeed without close connection to other Infobip teams. Keat sees her role as a bridge between CSM team members and Sales, Presales, Core Operations and Profitability Management. 

Teamwork is everything for customer success managers
Keat Yieng Tan
Regional Customer Success Manager for North APAC, Infobip

Sales and Presales are the front line for clients, while CSM takes over and works to foster the business bond and engage them in other relevant offerings with the support of multiple internal teams including Finance, Operator Partnerships, Business Analysis, Legal — you name it. My mission in my role is one of ‘enablement’, making things happen as we all work like mechanical gears joining together to drive a vehicle forward.

The secrets to success in CSM

Keat believes adaptability is an essential skill for Customer Success Managers, be it adapting to new products, tools, and solutions as our company evolves, or to the diversified business cultures of countries and local team members we serve. 

Being part of a start-up, you need to move quickly, and It takes a lot of patience and understanding to work with people from different backgrounds in such a fast-paced environment.

Keat Yieng Tan, Regional Customer Success Manager for North APAC
Infobip Customer Success Managers on a team outing
Infobip Customer Success Managers on a team outing

In order to be successful in handling client queries and issues, sometimes it’s not what you say to your customers, but how you say it to them. Putting yourself in a client’s shoes will trigger you to think about what you could have done to improve their experience, or how to avoid damage to the business relationship in the event of a crisis. When confronting a client issue or concern, Keat finds it helpful to start by having the desired end result in mind. This will encourage you to develop far-sightedness in your daily work. 

It takes months or years to build a trusted relationship with clients, so we need to ensure the continuity of an excellent client experience throughout their journey with us. Consistency in providing quality service is key.

Keat Yieng Tan, Regional Customer Success Manager for North APAC

CSM in action: A client’s success story

How does all this integration actually translate to client success? 

Xiaomi logo

Keat points to a client, Xiaomi, an internet company with smartphones and smart hardware connected by an IoT platform at its core and ranked fourth globally in terms of smartphone shipments. Xiaomi is the youngest company on the 2019 Fortune Global 500 list. Currently, Xiaomi products are present in over 90 countries and regions around the world, and have a leading foothold in many of them.   

Xiaomi became an Infobip client in 2015, at which point their business was just starting to expand internationally. They realized they had to grow their messaging capabilities in order to compete globally, so they came to Infobip to enable them to deliver verification codes to customers via two-factor authentication for added security and efficiency. Through Infobip’s solutions, new users can register for a Xiaomi account via one-click SMS registration, which takes mere seconds.  

Today, their daily servicing consists of direct communication by the CSM and also a Presales Engineer, in addition to the typical support from the Core Ops team. A true effort by an organized “Account Development Team” (ADT) across internal teams ensures the continuity of success Keat believes so strongly in.  

Xiaomi logo
Fan Nan
Passport Manager, Xiaomi

Infobip’s global messaging service has reduced the complexities of Xiaomi’s international SMS requirements, resulting in an improved user experience for our customers. Throughout our years of working with Infobip, we find that they are indeed a global messaging service provider of high quality.

Keat Yieng Tan
Regional Customer Success Manager for North APAC, Infobip

We have been working with Xiaomi for five years, witnessing the tremendous growth of this young enterprise as we helped them create a messaging service for their Mi users. Having a dedicated Presales Engineer and ADT team makes it easier for our Senior CSM to foster an even stronger bond with Xiaomi.

As a Regional CSM, Keat derives much satisfaction in contributing to a team which fosters a growing customer base for the company.

Infobip's North APAC Customer Success Management team
Customer Success Managers in NAPAC

Ready for a career in Customer Success Management at Infobip?