Chatsuda Santanont
Chatsuda Santanont

Embracing change as an opportunity for success in the digital age

Tech January 29, 2018 01:54

By Chatsuda Santanont
Special to The Nation

As the head of “customer value management” at DTAC, I view my team’s main task as offering our customers the right product at the right moment through the right channel. 



It’s a task that involves advanced digital tools such as machine learning, but my background is neither in computer sciences nor in marketing.

I began my career in finance, before alternating positions in marketing and finance. With every new beginning, I believe, the most important quality is attitude. I aim to embrace change as an opportunity for new successes. For one, you can’t really avoid change – but nor should you try to!

Change is a great opportunity and I encourage you to take a new job every three to four years. Whenever you change jobs or are given a new object, you need to be ready to deal with many unpredictable things: new responsibilities, new colleagues, a new boss, etc. Therefore, a “can-do attitude” comes first. Of course, you may be gripped by a fear of failure as you are about to start a new project. But we need to dare, to take risks and to act fast. 

When you fail, think of it instead as gaining experience. Look back on both your failures and successes to learn from them.

The ability to embrace change is particularly critical right now because change is inevitable across all industries, including media, banking – and telcos as well. 

Digital is the future. We need to be open-minded, acknowledge reality and learn to cope with consumers’ behaviour and technological changes as quickly as possible, changing the way we work and how we approach our customers.

Diverse customer behaviour

Traditionally, in our industry, the way to offer our products and services was done via SMS and MMS with designated timing.

But this approach is no longer in line with the fact that the patterns of customer behaviours are increasingly diverse, as are their lifestyles.

Digital technology offers a more precise approach, allowing marketers a deeper understanding of individual customer behaviours. Thanks to new tools, it is as if we had a million media planners on hand. 

And with the significant migration to the use of digital channels via the DTAC app, we have a fantastic opportunity to better know our customers and offer them the right service at the right time.

One of the key factors of success to drive digital growth is our “data scientists”. They are responsible for modelling and analysing insights on customers in order to find the reasons why they don’t show interest in the services we offer and what we should be doing better. Our data scientists collect a billion points of data daily from our customer base of 20 million subscribers.

In addition to contextual marketing, we have used machine learning on image recognition systems in collaboration with DTAC’s sales group, with the aim of verifying SIM registrations. Moreover, we are developing a social listening tool in partnership with the social engagement team and call centre to trace, analyse and measure the feedback from our customers’ voices through DTAC’s Facebook page.

Digitalisation has pushed change faster than ever. We need to think differently, act fast, test and run. If something works, let’s grow it. If something fails, let’s pivot. Our key motto is “fail fast, learn faster”. Honestly, this is the most challenging job I have ever had. Once we reach the top, we celebrate a little, then we have to move on. Life is an endless journey.

Chatsuda Santanont is head of customer value management (CVM) at DTAC.