Hi Aarthi, Tell us about yourself and your background and how you got to the CX space?
I have always been a customer-first thinker, and as such, spent my career in the service of Customers and clients through innovation, transformation, and culture-building spaces in financial services. My foray into formal CX started early on when I had to design a way to get customer feedback in a service center where there was none previously. It was the first time I learned about net promoter score and have not looked back since.
Online commerce was booming in 2020, and so did consumer reviews. How can brands better utilize this data to improve their customers’ experience?
Brands are all about perception, data and influence. Customer and community data are critical to all transformative efforts and help inform brands about their reach, effectiveness, customer perception impacts and value. This is a very big part of our CX agenda at M&T Bank.
In your POV – What is the ultimate checklist for a good customer experience strategy?
In short: listen continually; analyze multi-dimensionally; act and improve iteratively. We need to work today forward and future back at the same time — taking small-term steps forwards and “reimagining the future” in parallel.
How much has the role of customer experience changed in the social distancing era? What role has digital transformation had in this crisis?
Customer experience has become an incredibly important area given changing customer behavior, sentiment and, as a result, customer loyalty. New behaviors are creating new customer brand loyalties and these are going to shift the way industries are operating. Digital is a critical enabler of experiences, and if done right can help brands deliver on their promise while opening doors to the next generation of customers.
What was the biggest lesson you learned in 2020?
There is nothing more important than a human connection.
2020 was the year of webinars and online events; what was your favorite one?
With Nima Ghamsari at Blend. Huge success, we learn so much from each other’s experiences.
It looks like working from home is going to stay with us for the foreseeable future. How should executives gear up to the changing times?
I think of it as flexible and human-centric work styles — while many enjoy working from home, there are others who prefer a hybrid approach and flexibility on when they do. Keeping outcomes versus outputs in mind can help support employees and provide a healthier and more collaborative employee experience.
Last but not least, what is your favorite CX metric?
I believe in a balanced scorecard. So, it’s an aggregate measure that looks at customer, employee and organizational value to enable a well-rounded, value-based outlook.