Friday, July 30, 2021
Home Interviews CXBuzz Interview With Vasudeva Akula, Ph.D., Co-Founder & Head of Data Science...

CXBuzz Interview With Vasudeva Akula, Ph.D., Co-Founder & Head of Data Science VOZIQ

Hi Vasudeva, tell us about yourself and your background

I am one of the two co-founders at VOZIQ. We help recurring revenue businesses retain their customers using AI and Machine Learning Algorithms using our cloud-based predictive analytics platform. Over a 25-year long career, I had the opportunity to deploy advanced analytical solutions to over 100 contact centers worldwide. This experience allowed me to develop a deeper understanding of customer behaviors and connecting that understanding to business value in the form of retaining and growing revenue.

Over the years, while designing customer-centric solutions, I also discovered that a large number of customers who call to cancel their subscriptions can’t be saved with traditional reactive customer retention processes. This is because customers make up their mind, and often find alternative solutions before calling to cancel their relationships.

This single scenario often costs mid-to-large scale recurring revenue businesses millions of dollars in lost revenue and requires spending even more money to replace these lost customers year after year, limiting their growth. This discovery lead to establishing VOZIQ back in 2012, where we help establish proactive retention processes, which are not only more effective but also more cost-effective when compared to traditional retention processes.

What is the biggest misunderstanding about customer experience, in your opinion?

I must say it is – If customers aren’t complaining, they’re happy.

While poor experience remains to be the biggest reason of customers leaving, most of them don’t express their displeasure before switching to another brand.

Vasudeva’s tips for improved customer loyalty

What can companies do to improve customer loyalty and retention?

There are three key considerations:

  • Deliver consistent and personalized experience throughout the customer journey.
  • Identify and address customer concerns before they become problems.
  • Ensure value-enhanced service interactions to validate customers’ investment in you and help them maximize the return on that investment.

What do you think is most relevant and why: CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score), NPS (Net Promoter Score), or CES (Customer Effort Score)?

NPS is the most relevant and effective metric for me as it is based on the entire tenure of a customer, not just their latest transaction. It denotes loyalty the best by indicating which customers are going to stay with your brand and likely to be your advocates.

How can companies better use social media in the era of customer-centricity and personalization?

Social media is an excellent channel to improve customer experience by analyzing the topics customers are talking about, understanding their emotions and sentiments, and addressing customer concerns proactively. Companies can use social insights to improve the self-service experience, reduce service tickets and provide customized services and offers based on customer activity.

What is your opinion on AI-based chatbots to handle customer support?

Chatbots have boosted customer support operations by offering enhanced self-service and simultaneous and multilingual support across multiple channels while reducing service costs. At the same time, they reduce TAT and service tasks through automation.

However, I firmly believe chatbots strengthen human agents significantly, but they cannot replace them.

Last but not least, what is your favorite CX metric?

It’s NPS.

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