Hi Pooja, tell us about yourself and your background.
I am a meticulous, results-driven and passionate customer advocate with over 22 years of experience in Customer Service, Digital and Business Transformation and Customer Experience Management across Banking, Telecommunication, and Airlines sectors respectively.
I have worked as Chapter Lead – Digital Product Owner across multiple Digital Tribes: Digital Cash Solutions (DCS) and Self Care & Internet Banking at ANZ Bank. Prior to this, I was in a leadership role with Vodafone Idea (one of the Top 25 Global Telecom companies) which is re-defining the rules of Customer Engagement and achieving Service Excellence. I am adept in driving innovation, industry practices and cross functional collaboration to achieve greater synergies at work.
How did you start working in the customer experience space?
I started my career in the customer service area within the Airlines industry before moving to the Telecommunications industry. I enjoyed interacting directly with the customers and took pride in resolving the customer’s needs and keeping the customer first.
Can you tell us a little bit about your current role?
In my last role with ANZ Bank, I was driving a strategic accessibility initiative across the enterprise digital portfolio (website and internet banking). This includes collaborating with business and technology leaders and the user community to introduce a fit-for-purpose accessibility solution. The initiative was a good learning experience to understand how technology can make meaningful impact on customers with special needs.
How can companies better listen and understand their customer base?
To be a customer-centric company, there should be mechanisms in place to listen to the customers directly. While outsourcing and technology has helped companies reduce cost and manage operational scale, it has distanced customers from employees. Often the customer feedback percolates through multiple layers or channels. Therefore, the company must have initiatives that bring the employees closer to their customers and review technology to empower employees to listen to customers in channels of their own choosing (social, digital, messaging, mobile, community, etc.) – ones that are beyond the spaces owned or managed by the company.
What are some companies that you think are doing an excellent job at customer experience, and why?
Customer experience circles around the Discover, Buy, Use and Resolve journeys respectively. Companies need to ‘wow’ their customer (supersede or at the least meet their expectations) at each touchpoint or moments of truth. Any company who can keep this consistent across time and location, can be judged as a good company. It can be a cafe round the corner, a design company like Apple, a delivery company like Amazon or a one-stop-shop (or do-it-yourself) company like Ikea (or Bunnings), etc.
Many companies are currently undergoing digital transformation processes – what are your tips on a successful digital transformation?
A successful digital transformation should adequately address the following drivers:
- Readiness to change: Assess current-state of the company; research on future-outlook and industry trends; secure dollar-commitment and dependent resources (skills, capabilities, and infrastructure) to undertake the transformation journey.
- Roadmap for change: Define a pragmatic roadmap that accelerates value delivery in a time-bound manner; including interim assessments and course-corrections.
- Making the change real: Ensure the delivery of outcomes (new ways of working or business benefits) by means of ‘intrinsic’ and ‘extensive’ change adoption – by making the ‘users’ (customer, employee or partners) as the center of the transformation.
What are some CX solutions or tools that you’re keeping your eyes on right now?
I usually follow key trends, news and insights related to CX solutions in the areas of CRM, Social CRM, CX Analytics, UI/UX and Conversational AI. I follow the social media channels of key technology companies, handles of key CX influencers, and news websites like CXBuzz.
Did you read any interesting books this past summer that you’d like to recommend?
I have grown fond of audio books and enjoyed the journey that Jack Ma took to build one of the most valuable companies – Alibaba. Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built is written by Duncan Clark.
What is your favorite CX metric?
Customers Effort Score (CES) is a good metric, which when implemented correctly, gives a good account of the effort that a customer (also the company) goes through to resolve a transaction – be it an issue, request, or a query. Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a popular metric which finds prominence in the annual report of companies. In my previous role as Head of Customer Experience and Digital Sales and Service, we introduced the Customer Experience Index (CEI) which was a holistic and data driven metric, it would take real-time values from various (sub) metrics, namely touch-points or points of experiences (Say 4G/5G service experience for mobile customers), to generate an overall experience score for the customer. That was a powerful proposition, as it could be a non-intrusive experience metric (derived based on data rather than checking with the customer) or may be generated in combination with NPS.