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TC Acoustic CEO Christian Honegger shares insights on how to turn problems into possibilities

TC Acoustic CEO Christian Honegger shares insights on how to turn problems into possibilities

 ‘A temporary restriction 

caused a permanent change

in consumer habits’.

– Christian Honegger, CEO of TC Acoustic

 

The theme for this year's South China Morning Post China Conference was Beyond the Pandemic: From Crisis to Opportunity – and it couldn't be more apt for us.

Over 65 of the region's policymakers, business leaders and industry experts were invited to speak about economic reform, regional stability and trends in technology and innovation. 

Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr. Chan Chun Sing shared opening remarks for the regional conference

Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr. Chan Chun Sing shared opening remarks for the regional conference.


Among the speakers invited was our CEO, Christian Honegger! Representing 1 out of the 9 SME business leaders invited.

CEO Christian Honegger in TC Acoustic's Singapore Office

CEO Christian Honegger in TC Acoustic's Singapore Office

 

In the panel discussion, Christian shared many valuable insights of how TC has not just survived, but thrived during the pandemic.

 

Not just surviving but thriving in a crisis 

 

Christian shared about how things weren’t all rosy at first. 

Amongst all the countries TC had a foothold in, it was bad news after bad news for retail...

First, Hong Kong rolled out travel restrictions.

Then, Circuit Breaker in Singapore.

And Movement Control Order in Malaysia soon arrived.

 

When circuit breaker was implemented in Singapore, 90% of our local distribution channels had to close for almost 10 weeks.

Sonos experience room in our Flagship Store at The Adelphi.

Sonos experience room in our Flagship Store at The Adelphi.

Even our Flagship Store that customers would frequent to hear our speakers in-person had to close temporarily too.

Online was the new vogue – a permanent one. Soon, our initially cautious customers started to embrace online shopping.

The company pivoted to online marketplaces like Lazada and Shopee. In doing so, we embarked on new ecommerce practices. One of them was livestreams.

collage of the livestreams TC Acoustic has held so far.

A collage of some of the livestreams we've held so far.

The setup, scripting and staging were honestly not easy feats but we took them in our stride. We put aside our camera-shyness, and put our customers first. We became their resident audio experts, residing behind their screens.      

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A post shared by TC Acoustic (@tcacoustic)


 Before we knew it, we already held 11 livestreams in the span of 9 months

These livestreams were just a sliver of the changes we had to make to adapt throughout this season.

Lazada's interview of TC Acoustic's seller journey. 

 

We went from arranging big deliveries to our retailers, to hundreds of doorstep deliveries to our customers. While it was a challenging transition at first, looking back, we’re glad we chose to see the opportunities.

TC Acoustic was awarded Klipsch Top Asia-Pacific Distributor Award
A close-up shot of Klipsch's 2020 Asia-Pacific Distributor of the Year award, modelled after the legendary Klipsch La Scala speaker.

 

In doing all these, the pivot paid off and we were awarded Klipsch's Asia-Pacific Distributor of the Year in 2020.

  

Changing in crisis yet consistent  

 

Belief in young people

Here in TC, we are empowered and believed in. In a time when most businesses scrambled to hire new talents to make the transition online, TC focused on training our in-house staff instead

Our staff participated in SkillsFuture courses to upgrade for the new economy

TC's staff team took online courses from SkillsFuture to upgrade themselves for the future economy.

In this season, no one was retrenched, but everyone took this as an opportunity to learn new skills. We doubled down to reskill and equip ourselves for the future economy. (Big shoutout to #SGUnited!) 

Oh and fun fact: The average age of our staff team is only 27 years old – one of the reasons we were able to make the transition to digital so quickly!

 

Commitment to excellence

We are the same online and in-person – we don't just sell products, we serve happiness.

One of our customer service agents assisted a customer through live chat at 1am (nope, no auto-reply bots here!) just before the customer hit the order button.

That’s just how available and hardworking our staff are – all on their own initiative!

TC Acoustic's staff team and brand ambassadors

TC Acoustic's staff team and brand ambassadors.

In fact, our Google reviews average at about 4.9 out of 5 stars, and behind each review is a genuinely impressed customer.

As of yet, we are almost at 800 reviews – that's 650 more reviews than we were just 11 months ago.

5-star Google review of TC Acoustic
5-star Google review of TC Acoustic

Two out of the numerous Google Reviews of TC Acoustic's services

 

People over profits 

It was a trying season for any company. But what we had was a can-do attitude. Our owners’ and directors’ response was to first take care of our people through our initiative – TC Cares.

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A post shared by TC Acoustic (@tcacoustic)

 

The virus may have kept us apart, but we never want to lose our personal touch. 

A huge thank you to the South China Morning Post for inviting us to share the insights of our journey thus far.  

 

By: Michelle C. and Ranitra N.