EP #81 Unlocking the Future of Customer Engagement in Edtech

EP #81 Unlocking the Future of Customer Engagement in Edtech

About this Podcast

In this episode of the Martech Series Podcast, host Clyde Pascual welcomes Diep Bui, CEO and Co-founder of eJoy English Vietnam. Diep shares her inspiring journey and discusses the strategies her company employs to keep users engaged and address the rising challenges of new customer acquisition.

Diep emphasizes the importance of automation and personalization for customer engagement. With customers worldwide, eJoy Learning Vietnam aims to provide service and support 24/7 through automation, using chatbots or AI to answer user queries. Additionally, personalization plays a crucial role as customers expect relevant content tailored to their needs. eJoy Learning Vietnam plans to enhance product personalization to ensure users receive content aligned with their interests and goals.

Quick Snapshots
Here’s a brief breakdown of what’s covered in this episode:
Brief about eJoy English Vietnam
User Engagement and Retention Strategies
AI as an Opportunity and Threat
Addressing the Rising Customer Acquisition Cost
Predictions for Customer Engagement in 2023
Episode Transcripts

Clyds Pascual (00:00:05)

Hello and welcome everyone to another super insightful episode of Martech series podcast, specially created and powered by Netcore Cloud. I’m your host. Clyde Pascual and I’m very excited to have Miss Diep Bui here, the CEO and Co-founder of eJoy Learning Vietnam. Welcome Miss Diep.

Diep Bui (00:00:23)

Hello Clyds, thank you for inviting me here to share my journey with everyone listening to the podcast. I hope we will have a very interesting story.

Clyds Pascual (00:00:37)

Thank you very much, Miss Diep, for taking some time off today for this podcast. It’s a pleasure having you on our podcast. So, you know, we would like to have a quick introduction of yourself. I know that you had very extensive experience as a CEO and before becoming a CEO, just like any other Co-founder of a Startup, you started and you are looking after the UX and marketing for eJoy, please tell me more about yourself.

Diep Bui (00:01:19)

And I think I was very lucky at that time because I met my husband for the first time and it turned out that he was a senior tech technology leader in BNG, one of the biggest game companies in Vietnam at that time. And then…we shared the same idea about education because at that time my husband was very bad at English but he couldn’t study English. So with a textbook or with an English center, he failed. Yeah, he failed that method. And yeah but he loved watching Steve Jobs and due date on Bluetooth every day and he asked me like is there any way that I could study English with Steve Jobs and I said no way he is not an English teacher, and you couldn’t afford him like it would be insanely expensive to have a Steve jobs teaching you English. You know. So, then my husband, he thought about an extension to integrate into YouTube so that he can watch a video with the subtitles in both English and in Vietnamese. So that was how the idea came in. And then we got the extension and we put it on the Chrome store to see if anyone is out there who loves the idea and then he’s willing to pay for that. And then we and then we are serious. Talk about running a startup. In education technology. Wow, that. Yeah, that’s how we thought of it.

Clyds Pascual (00:03:19)

Wow. Wow. Yeah, that’s very nice. That’s very nice, dear. Wow, it is a very, very inspiring story. You know, yeah. Part of it’s a very inspiring story. So just to follow up the question because it’s very inspiring, all these things that you’ve done. You know in the age right now in the age of, you know, attention recession. Since you know, if you’re looking at that new first customer that paid you the agriculture student… and everything. So right now, in the age of attention recession, what packages have been best working to keep your users engaged?


Diep Bui (00:04:19)

Well, you know, from day one until now, I still believe that the ultimate reason why our users still use our product is because, like, we solve, we solve their problem. You know we bootstrap from zero to 1.5 million users right now. And we also have right now we have nearly seven, 700,000 active users every week and for every day we have 400,000 active users. And with the retention of 60% for the first week so that is our key metric. For the product engagement. So… refer back to your question about how we maintain our customer attention. So, we think that first we need to solve the customer problems. Yeah, in the best way that they couldn’t find from other products. So, we are the only two on the Chrome store that help our customers to watch videos on any platform, not only on YouTube, Netflix but also on Coursera, YouTube, or Amazon. So everywhere on the Internet they can use our extension to watch the video with dual subtitles and they can use our AI dictionary to have them look up the vocabulary. So because it’s super convenient for them to do the research or to learn any new things on the Internet. So that’s why our customers keep staying with us. And because we solved our problems with English, right? And, and, we also track our customer behavior. So, it will help us to be data driven. When we decide to create a new feature or something based on quantitative research and qualitative research as well and then when we create a new feature, we make our view of user experience which doesn’t make me think. So, we try to make new features very simple, very outstanding.

Clyds Pascual (00:06:53)

Alright, thank you very much miss Diep, you mentioned a while ago about your AI dictionary. So we’re talking about AI. There has been, you know, nowadays you know, if you see there has been a massive, massive shift in digital space with generative AI, just like, you know, chat GPT, Google is now impacting the market. Do you see this is an opportunity or a threat for your business?

Diep Bui (00:07:24)

No, I think it’s an opportunity more than a threat for any digital product. Yeah, it is, it is, clearly an opportunity for us because you know, before our dictionary doesn’t work for idioms or phrases or for slang, but now with the Chat GPT and with the AI we can help our user explain any vocabulary, any idioms, any phrasebooks which we couldn’t do with our previous dictionary, so it was so powerful for us and powerful for our users and, but I do agree that it is also a threat because, like, I can do it. My team can integrate the AI into our product. And so do others, and so do other kids, you know, like another team can also do it. We are not the only geniuses on this planet who know how to integrate AI right? Many other people out there also know how to integrate AI into that.

Clyds Pascual (00:08:38)

So, basically you’re saying that there’s also an opportunity, but you know it is on the other side because it’s also a threat because a lot of companies, a lot of companies the same as yours who can also do integration, can also do use the power of AI.

Diep Bui (00:08:53)

Yeah, so yeah, but, but

Clyds Pascual (00:08:55)

Having said that, sorry, go ahead.

Diep Bui (00:08:57)

I would say that it’s more of an opportunity than a threat for us because we are a digital product. But let’s say if we are an English center. I don’t know if that would be different.

Clyds Pascual (00:09:14)

Totally, totally, so, in, in, in, in the AI you know in, in, in the AI age right now you know there are things that we are still learning but my follow-up question is because you also mentioned about the users on how you can retain them. My further question is related to the new customer acquisition cost. So, in reality a lot of companies are competing for new customers, correct? With this competition, there has been a great, great challenge, which is the ever-rising new customer acquisition cost. What has been your company’s focus to address the challenge of new customer acquisition.

Diep Bui (00:10:06)

Yes, but I totally agree with you that the customer acquisition cost is rising and especially it’s rising crazily like you know like, like one year ago, like our CC process cost is quite below the average market price, like I mean like this, because we had such a unique product – the extension. So that everybody just spread the news, they our users, they just spread the news about us. So, we got a lot of authentic traffic by word of mouth. And so that’s why our costs are quite low. And it’s just, we just have about like I think it does like half of the dollars for one, for one user. So yeah, less than half of the dollar for one person, but right now, it’s increasing and right now it’s about Half a dollar. So last year, it was less than half a dollar, but this year it is half a dollar. So, I think it’s still very expensive compared to other teams, right, because usually they will have to pay about $1 to $2.00 for one list or maybe like 3 or 4 or even someone to get a contact lead and they must pay about $5. To get a contact list. But for us to have one piece of what we pay, we pay about half a dollar right now. But it’s, but it is still in the uptrend for us, and we are aware of that. So, I think we still focus on the 1st, we need to create the solution that our customer is asking for so every day we talk to our customer, everyday we chat, and we talk to our customer, and we listen to their wish lists and they’re paying, and we use data tracking and then we generate. How can I say we generate? And analysis of our customers we test. And then we try to figure out the most popular request from our customer. And then we will choose to solve that problem first. And when we solve that problem, we will advertise to our customers. So, then they will keep loving us and they will share about us with their friends. So that is how we create the solution that our customer is asking for. And, the second thing is we are building social channels to keep our relationship with our customers. For example, like we have TikTok, we have Facebook, and we have YouTube. Actually, we asked our customers about their favorite channels and when they answered. So, we view our social media presence on those channels and we try to create valuable content so then they can learn something from our channel and they can share about our channels with their friends. We also do AOL and influence the marketing, and we also do advertising. But then we put like 30% of our marketing budget on that. And 70% on other channels. So, I think there is no, no single way to solve this problem. We need to try many, many tactics. But I think. I will put the priority on solving the customer problem and then improving the relationship with our customer using our own channels.

Clyds Pascual (00:14:34)

Yeah, I agree with you, I. Agree with you. Yeah, community or a social platform is very important. The community is also very important, you know, to get the customer engaged. Now you know that in terms of engagement, you know. What do you think and on top of your mind, what would be your predictions for customer engagement and experience in this year 2023?

Diep Bui (00:15:04)

So I think I have two keywords in my mind about customer engagement and skills which are ‘automation’ and ‘personalization’. So by automation I mean like you know my customers we have customers worldwide. I mean we have customers in Vietnam, in Russia, in America and everywhere in the world and our customers want to talk and they want to chat with us 24/7. 365 days per year, so I live like yeah, and we couldn’t hire a support team to work 24/7. It’s too costly. It’s too expensive for us. So that’s why I say automation here like we can, we need to have a chat bot or using AI to answer our customer questions any time they want. So that’s why I say, that’s why I say automation here because, like, we need to deliver the service.

In a convenient and fast and efficient way for our customers whenever they need us. Right now, we haven’t reached that yet. We are still. We are still looking for the chatbot and the AI support solution on the Internet and we are not happy yet with any providers. We are still looking for that solution. That’s why I think it’s going to be our priority in 2023 to do automation for customer service. Also, for the products and for the product, then I think that the other keyword for the personalization, which means like our customer they are very focused now they don’t have like you say they have attention recession – they, so, they want everything on the app to be personalized to be relevant to their work. So, for example, if you study a new language, especially Vietnamese, you do business with a Vietnamese person. So, you really want to learn Vietnamese to have a business meeting with Vietnamese people, right? So when you want to study databases in a business meeting you don’t want to study Vietnamese food or Vietnamese animals.

Clyds Pascual (00:17:43)

Correct, yes.

Diep Bui (00:17:53)

You don’t want to study, you want to learn all the vocabulary, all the sentences related to business meetings. So that’s why we need to view, and we need to change, and we need to upgrade our products to be more personalized to our users. So, we need to provide them with any topic, and any content that’s relevant to their life.

Clyds Pascual (00:18:26)

Yeah, I agree. I agree with you because you know startups, especially in education or edtech, you know it’s never ending. It is never ending… I mean, sorry it is never ending development, and yeah and of course, you also mentioned a while ago, you want your users to learn English by AI right. So. What do you think is related to what you mentioned? What do you think is the role of an AI in education moving forward?

Diep Bui (00:19:02)

Well, yeah. So, I think like, Ai is to be like my source for education, like before the captivity events I usually, I used to hear from my friends caring about like why technology hasn’t been applied much in education. Why education technology is still way behind compared to technology in e-commerce or technology in business? And I Did agree with them about that. Because like, yeah, education technology hasn’t improved much for the past few years, but when AI comes, I think everything will change dramatically. Because like now, yeah, AI can replace a teacher in providing knowledge to the student. So, I can explain to you a little bit like, a student on eJoy if they watch, or if they watch a video, or if they read an article on CNN. There are so many new words for them, and no teacher can help them, can explain everything to all the students. 24/7. Right? No teacher can do that, no teacher can stay till midnight and then explain to her student about every new word on the article, on the video but AI can do that so if a student, he, he’s tried to stay up late and to study with a video on YouTube about climate change and if there is any vocabulary any viewers he can use AI to understand the video. The teacher. Doesn’t have to do that anymore. Like so, what do you think about that? No teacher can do that job 24/7, Right?

Clyds Pascual (00:21:34)

I mean, true, true there is none. I mean, we are humans. We are not machines. So, we have our limits as a human or as a teacher.

Diep Bui (00:21:50)

So I think AI can help teachers with manual work, right? so the teachers don’t have to explain everything to the student anymore. They can ask AI, they can, they can pick up from AI, but the teachers can do the thing that AI couldn’t do which is like motivating the students. Supporting the student when they lose hope in themselves. Yeah, AI couldn’t do that. Yeah, AI can’t deal with emotion right now. AI… don’t know about the future, but right now I can’t deal with human emotion, and AI doesn’t have common sense right now. Maybe in the future, but right now, no. So that is the job of the teacher. And it’s much more interesting than just explaining everything you can find from the dictionary. Oh yeah. So being a teacher now is becoming like… much more interesting than before with AI, so I think AI in education AI will set a milestone for education. Everybody can learn faster and more efficiently. And the teacher can focus on their main role of being a motivator and explain not and explain it like before.

Clyds Pascual (00:23:30)

I totally agree with you on that miss Diep because right now, you know AI would have been the easiest way, better explanation, better teaching in a way. But again, as you’ve said, there’s no emotion, there’s no empathy basically on the AI so that’s where the teacher comes in so going back to what you mentioned a while ago on the customer engagement and experience you said you’re still looking for a vendor for this so what do you think about a single vendor, integrated stack, or best of breed stack? What is your recommendation and why?


Diep Bui (00:24:17)

Well, when you ask the question. You are asking about a single vendor integrated provider for the customer relationship or data tracking?

Clyds Pascual (00:24:31)

For both.

Diep Bui (00:24:33)

Well, they don’t offer both for, OK. Well, so yeah, actually I… It’s best to have the best of breed, right? Because you only need to work with one provider and you only need to get familiar with one system only. But if that is like a Utopia, you know, like nothing happened to me because, like, I really want to connect with my customer via WhatsApp download and your Facebook. But the international provider, the international provider couldn’t help me with the Vietnamese social network and the local, local, and the local provider couldn’t help me with WhatsApp, (both laughing) yeah. So that is just a very simple example to help you understand my pain. Sometimes I really want to get the best of all, the best-of-breed stack. But then I couldn’t. I couldn’t buy it.

Clyds Pascual (00:25:50)


Diep Bui (00:25:52)

I still have to go with the solution that is the best solution that I have.

Clyds Pascual (00:25:59)

Alright, so this is. My last question to you, Miss Diep.

Diep Bui (00:26:02)


Clyds Pascual (00:26:05)

Tell us the most important user retention KPI you pay attention to. And what intervals?

Diep Bui (00:26:13)

Yes. So, because, like, and like I as I told you, like, my view is an extension to help users to discover the Internet and the English world on the Internet. So, we always look at the daily active users every day. Because like, it’s very important for us to know that our customers are using our product every day, because our user is like everyday use. But for other apps like RAP or Uber, maybe they do not need to track the daily active user because I use RAP like once a week. I don’t need to use wrap every day, maybe for them it’s different. But for me daily active users are very important and I also track like 3-day active users and 5-day active users and we also track the daily active users for specific reasons. And for example, for looking up words like we do, we want to know how many users are looking up words today and is that number increasing or decreasing? So if that’s on the upfront, we need to find out the reason why it’s on the uptrend. If it’s in the downtrend, we also need to identify the reason why. So that is our most important I could say that is our top star metric.

Clyds Pascual (00:27:59)

OK. Awesome Miss Diep. Thank you very much. Once again for the time. Thank you for the very insightful information that you’ve shared with us today and have a great, great week ahead. Thank you very much.

Diep Bui (00:28:16)

Yes, thank you so much again for having me here to share my story with everybody.

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