Hi Amit, tell us about yourself and your background.
My name is Amit Jain. Currently I am working with Accenture as a digital transformation lead for their financial services business. My role here is to analyse order to cash processes for our large clients, identify opportunities to automate and digitize sub parts of their value chain and bring in value by optimizing their day sales outstanding and working capital.
I have done my engineering NSIT, Delhi University and completed my MBA from Indian School of business. Prior to Accenture, I have worked with multiple organizations as a product and digital transformation lead. I have headed innovation labs in my previous organizations to identify and implement digital technologies. I have a total work experience of more than 13 years in business and digital transformation.
How did you start working in the customer experience space?
In my career of 13+ years, I have worked with B2B products and services organizations where customer experience is everything. In my work experience, I have worked with multiple clients, where the project journey started with an understanding of who the users of your work output will be, what their problems are, prioritizing those problems and solving those problems using design thinking principles.
What do you think the top priority should be for a company that wants to improve its customer experience?
I believe the top priority for any company who wants to improve its customer experience is to nurture a culture to own end to end customer experience viz-a-viz their products or services. It is imperative that the company build a culture where employees understand the importance of owning the user experience right from the first touch point to the post delivery stage. Customer facing employees should be well trained on design thinking and customer experience fundamentals so that they are able to provide top class client experience from problem understanding to solution delivery.
How can companies better listen and understand their customer base?
Like I mentioned, the most important change required is the change in culture where every action should be driven by whether it will enhance customer experience or not. This cultural transformation is easier said than done. This change should be driven by leadership through regular messaging accompanied by training. All the customer facing employees should get proper training to implement design thinking principles which will enable them to identify the most pressing customer problems and solve them. Further, there should be digitized methods to take customer feedback at each and every touch point with the customer which gets automatically stored in a central repository for further analytics and intelligent recommendations to improve CX.
Many companies are currently undergoing digital transformation processes – what are your tips on a successful digital transformation?
I believe there are two parts to any digital transformation project:
Technological Aspect: I feel this is the easier part. You can hire an organization with the right expertise for your problem and they can take care of identifying the right technology for your needs and implementing. More often than not, it involves automation, using third party products and moving your value chain to the cloud.
Cultural/Emotional Aspect: I believe this is the tricker part because any digitization project is accompanied with a desired change in employees’ skilset, change in their roles and organizational structure changes. All these changes trigger insecurities among the employees around job loss and anxiety in changing their ways of doing things and learning newer technologies. Here, the organization has a difficult task at hand of messaging the changes in a cohesive manner, explaining what’s in it for employees well and then imparting the right training to the teams so that they are ready to use the technology for enhancing the customer experience.
What are some CX companies/solutions you’re keeping your eyes on right now
I think it is a very broad question with no specific answer. In my opinion, CX is becoming one of the most critical parts of any business and companies are paying a lot of attention and hiring the right talent to improve it. Ofcourse, digitization is playing a big part in it by capturing the customer’s emotions at various touch points.I see great innovations happening in the Fintech space with companies like Google (Google Pay) and PayTM making the whole payment transactions painless and cashless. These applications are true examples of sublime customer experience. Cred is another app which has a beautiful UI/UX which makes paying credit card bills super smooth. Apart from fintech, healthcare is one sector which is embracing customer experience design thinking in a big way. Aravind Eye Care in India is an epitome of that which has revolutionized eye care in India.
What are some of your tips for people who want to work in the CX sphere?
I believe everyone is working in the CX sphere. No-one is isolated from CX. Every employee needs to contribute towards an excellent customer experience. It cannot be a job of one team. The key skills which are needed are:
- Design Thinking
- Customer Interviewing
- Problem Solving
- Digital Transformation
So many things changed in 2020. While some things are going to return to “normal,” what are new trends and habits you think will stay with us in the long term?
I believe many things have changed for the good. There is huge focus on digital transformation now and will remain so as businesses have realized the long term benefits of it. Using cloud and AI to make solutions reachable beyond the boundaries of offices will become a new normal in the post pandemic world. The digital world is becoming much more well connected and it will increase inclusivity more than ever before.
eCommerce boomed in 2020, and consumers started leaving more product reviews online. How can we make the most out of this momentum?
Data is called the new fuel in this era. I believe there was a big boom around data analytics a few years back and it kind of got saturated which will get reinvigorated in this post pandemic world. To make the most of this momentum, there should be cultural transformation initiatives required in organizations focusing on decision making based on data. On the technology front, we will see more no-code tools requiring minimal tech knowhow to synthesize and make use of data. I just cannot stress cultural transformation enough to make use of the changes happening around. Leaders in the companies have a big job at hand.
What is your favorite CX metric? Why?
My favorite CX metric is NPS. If your customer is willing to recommend you to others, it means the world to you.