At Salesforce, Nichola Palmer works with customers to bring their stories of innovation and transformation to life. In this series featuring Trailblazers who are Salesforce customers, Nichola introduces Gratiano Yeung (Grat) from Roojai.com, the most visited insurance website in Thailand. With service in her blood and technology driving her dreams, Grat has become one of Asia’s most respected Chief Customer Officers (CCOs).
For 14 years in her birth city of Hong Kong, Grat walked the beat as a volunteer with the Hong Kong Auxiliary Police Force. On the streets and wearing her uniform, she learned the true meaning of service.
“Hong Kong is one of the safest cities in the world – the crime rate is very low. So, the role of the police is more about providing services and solutions,” says Grat, now Chief Customer Officer at Thai insurtech Roojai.com.
During her years in the police force, Grat also manned the phones in the Regional Command and Control Centre - liaising with police, firefighters and paramedics following emergency calls. In the last four years, she was serving at Inspectorate level and was a Patrol Sub-Unit Commander.
Policing was a volunteer role. Her paid work was in customer service.
“I graduated in 1998 with a Finance degree, but this was just one year after Hong Kong was returned to China, so there was also a big financial crisis and it was not easy to get a job,” she says. “By chance, I went to a start-up and was employed as an agent in their contact centre.”
For two decades, Grat worked her way up in customer service. She managed, designed, and implemented new technological systems for contact centres.
“I think it’s in my blood,” she smiles. “I’m passionate about delivering very good customer experience. When you’re able to help someone, you always feel joy and happiness.”
Grat moved from Hong Kong to Pattaya in Thailand with her family for the job with insurtech Roojai.com.
The change in culture prompted a change in management style, and presented an opportunity to rethink Roojai.com’s service operations. In Thailand, Grat says, people work quite differently to Hong Kong.
“That has pushed me to think about how I can implement technology better for different cultures,” she says. “For example, I developed more automation to increase efficiency. By automating more workflows, we streamlined collaboration across the team.”
Grat had the perfect career background to develop such a system. From helping citizens on the streets of Hong Kong, to helping car and motorcycle insurance customers on the streets of Thailand, Grat’s service journey has always involved a delicate balance of human connection and technological wizardry.
The systems Grat has helped to implement, for her team and customers, are now revolutionising the automotive insurance industry.
Grat’s service team utilise Salesforce solutions to ensure absolute personalisation of every customer interaction. They also use artificial intelligence, via the smartphone cameras of customers, to make the insurance claims process easier and quicker, and far cheaper for the business.
“People’s expectations are getting higher and higher,” she says. “Contact centre staff must proactively figure out what else they can do to provide better innovation or better solutions for our customers.”
“For example, Roojai.com is the first online company for car insurance in Thailand to offer video car inspections after an accident. We don’t need to send a surveyor to inspect the car. This is built into the app with AI.”
“With this, the customer saves time and we save time, effort, and money. From an operational perspective, every time we send out a surveyor it costs about 600 baht if it’s in the Bangkok metropolitan area, and upwards from 1,000 baht in upcountry regions. Every month, we cover 3,000 to 4,000 inspections. So, imagine how much we save using this technology.”
So, is Grat a customer service leader who also implements technology, or a technologist who also works in customer service?
Actually, she’s neither, she says.
“I’m a transformer,” Grat explains. “Previously, I worked in call centre operations, but now I create innovative solutions, not just for our customers but also for our agents and other users.”
“My vision is to share my knowledge on contact centre innovations. I’m looking forward to being an impactful leader in the contact centre industry and helping more agents to deliver value-added service to customers.”
For more stories of our Trailblazers, check out these other posts from our Inspired Trailblazers series: