Hi Priyanshu, tell us about yourself and your background.
I come from an IT Consulting background with a little over a decade of experience in providing solutions in the space of digital transformation. I also have managed cross-platform online consumer-facing products. I’m an advocate of improving CX by using a unified digital strategy that is built on top of emerging technologies.
How did you start working in the customer experience space?
My journey in customer experience started when I was working as a product manager for a web & mobile-based application. The product provided POS and Omnichannel sales for more than fifty-thousand small and medium businesses across the globe. At that point, I realized keeping customers happy, which was not limited to building interactive interfaces and providing 24X7 post-sales support. We needed to “wow” customers if we had to beat competitors who provided similar offerings. We shifted whole attention to create a seamless customer experience. We improvised every way a customer interacts with our company at all stages of his journey – including the marketing materials they see before they become a customer, the sales experience, the quality of the product or service itself, and the customer service they receive post-purchase
What do you think the top priority should be for a company that wants to improve its customer experience?
A company should build a holistic strategy that is focused on customer experience, with senior leadership setting the tone, it needs to percolate across the organization.
Strategy impacts people, process, technology, and the overall culture of the organization. It must be the priority if you want to provide a seamless customer experience.
How can companies better listen and understand their customer base?
Thanks to technological advancement, understanding customer behavior has gotten easier than ever. Now the key is to become predictive rather than reactive in engaging customers.
We help companies to identify critical customer touchpoints and use business intelligence, analytics, behavioral recording tools, and personalization to increase customer engagement. The use of chatbots and digital agents can help companies manage omnichannel presence with ease. Feedback loops can be created as part of an integrated experience. Using automation, customer issues can be seamlessly passed on to the back-end team, reducing lead time to resolutions.
Many companies are currently undergoing digital transformation processes – what are your tips on a successful digital transformation?
Leading successful transformation is not an easy job. It requires planning, effort, discipline, and perseverance. Here are some tips which to me, are extremely critical in driving digital transformation:
- Establish a dedicated leadership at different levels to drive digital transformation
- Start with qualified business cases that translate into well-stated objectives
- Make it about the users, i.e., employees and customers
- Challenge the status quo of the existing operating model, re-design internal and external operations to take advantage of disruption
- Choose technology and service providers who align with business priorities.
- Drive a culture of change and adaptability
- Last but not least, transformation is an ongoing process, so Analyse, Optimize and Adapt
What are some CX companies/solutions you’re keeping your eyes on right now?
With Artificial intelligence and machine learning coming into the picture, there are many players who have entered this arena. A lot of niche innovative solutions are custom-made to cater specific needs of companies using these technologies. The company I work for, Proven Consult, has made some amazing solutions using AI, chatbots, and automation that have helped companies in the retail and utility sector to improve overall customer experience.
I’m excited to see more solutions around multichannel chatbots, voice bots, automation integrating customer-facing processes with back-end, intelligent customer profiling, and engagement, coming from niche service providers working in AI and Automation domain.
What are some of your tips for people who want to work in the CX sphere?
These are my favorite 5 tips for people who want to work in the CX sphere:
- CX should be part of your basic values
- Make listening to your customer top priority
- Learn to understand VOC (voice of customer)
- Embrace technology
- Be proactive rather than reactive
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?
First, I would talk about few trends like digital transformation, e-commerce, omnichannel sales, digital workspaces, which were there for quite some time but have seen multi-fold acceptance and acceleration post-2020 pandemic. Companies are looking to build new operating models and diversify sales avenues; they are embracing digital like never. “Digital” is in a charter of every CXOs from small companies to unicorns.
On the other side the be the behavior of customers has evolved, consumption of digital products and services are at all-time high.
People are taking online courses and prefer teleconsultation with doctors. Acceptability of digital education and health is a great indicator that customers are understanding and will continue to accept such services in the future.
As the market looks to recover in phases, I foresee customers sticking to ordering online. They have gained confidence in the quality of doorstep delivery and the cost-effectiveness associated with it.
eCommerce boomed in 2020, and consumers started leaving more product reviews online. How can we make the most out of this momentum?
Reviews influence customer trust and purchasing decisions. They also impact search engine ranking thus cannot go unnoticed. We need to use social listening and analyze the voice of customers. Positive or negative reviews need to be managed and catered to on social channels. These reviews also need to go back to the product team to build upon.
Further, the reviews can be used to sense market opportunities, understand customer expectations, and create campaigns that resonate with the audience.
What is your favorite CX metric? Why?
CX metrics that need to be tracked have their own importance depending upon the nature of the business line and product we are dealing with.
But one metric that excites me most is Customer Lifetime Value. CLV helps us determine how much a customer is worth to the business over their lifetime. Customer lifetime value helps us see what we are getting from their investments in marketing, acquisition, and customer experience.