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 digital transformation space. I have also manged cross platform online consumer-facing products. I’m an advocate for improving CX by using a unified digital strategy, which should be built with 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 and mobile-based application. The product provided POS and omnichannel sales for more than 50,000 small and medium businesses across the globe. At that point I realized that keeping customer happy was not limited to building interactive interfaces and providing 27X7 post-sales support. We needed to “wow” the customer if we wanted to beat our competitors who were providing similar offerings! We shifted our whole focus on creating 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?
Companies 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 overall culture of 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 advancements, understanding customer behaviour has gotten easier than ever. Now the key is to become predictive rather than reactive in engaging customers.
We help companies identify critical customer touchpoints and use business intelligence, analytics, behavioural recording tools, and personalization to increase customer engagement. 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 and customer issues can be seamlessly passed on to back-end team using automation 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. I will try to provide 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 translates into well stated objectives
- Make it about the users, i.e., employees and customers
- Challenge the status quo of existing operating model, re-design internal and external operations to take advantage of disruption
- Choose technology and service providers which align with business priorities
- Drive a culture of change and adaptability
- Last but not the least, transformation is an ongoing process so Analyze, Optimize and Adapt
What are some CX companies/solutions you’re keeping your eyes on right now?
With artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning coming into the picture, there are many players that have entered the CX arena. Lots 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 has helped companies in retail and utility sector to improve overall customer experience.
I’m excited to see more solution around multichannel chatbots, voice bots, automation integrating customer facing process with back-end, intelligent customer profiling and engagement, coming from niche service provider working in AI and Automation domain.
What are some of your tips for people who want to work in the CX sphere?
I will provide 5 key 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 from quite some time but have seen multi fold acceptance and acceleration post 2020 pandemic. Companies are looking to build new operating model and diversify sales avenues; they are embracing digital like never. “Digital” is in charter of every CXOs from small companies to unicorns.
On the other side the be behaviour of customers has evolved, consumption of digital products and services are at all time high.
People are taking online courses and prefer tele consultation with doctors. Acceptability of digital education and health is a great indicator that customers are understanding and will continue to accept such services in future.
As market looks to recover in phases, I foresee customers sticking to ordering online. They have gained confidence in quality of doorstep delivery and 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 decision. They also impact search engine ranking thus cannot go unnoticed. We need to use social listening and analyse voice of customer. Positive or negative reviews need to be managed and catered to on social channel. These reviews also need to go back to product team to build upon.
Further the reviews can be used to sense market opportunities, understand customer expectation, and create campaigns that resonates with the audience.
What is your favourite CX metric? Why?
CX metrics that need to be tracked have their own importance depending upon nature of business line and product we are dealing with.
But one metric that excites me most is Customer Lifetime Value. CLV help us determine how much a customer is worth to the business over their lifetime. Customer lifetime value helps us to see what we are getting out of their investments in marketing, acquisition and customer experience.