Hi Vartika, tell us about yourself and your background.
Hello there. I am Vartika Kashyap, Chief Marketing Officer at ProofHub. I like to think of myself as the guide at the workplace. I started out at ProofHub as a marketing manager, I have seen my skills evolve from marketing senior to team manager, to the leader, and now as a guide running successful campaigns and trying to help my team improve customer satisfaction, experience, and retention every which way we can.
What is the biggest misunderstanding about customer experience, in your opinion?
I believe the biggest misunderstanding is that customer experience is about “pleasing the customer”. I have seen so many organizations putting in a ton of resources in building customer-pleasing experiences rather than focussing on customer value. Sure, the customer wants to feel good when they interact with your brand but if the experience doesn’t impart the right value in terms of service quality and after-sales support, it will miss the very point.
What are some of the newer CX companies/solutions you’re keeping your eyes on right now?
My eyes have been firmly set on Real-time intelligence for personalized customer experience. The internet has already grown to a point where companies are trying to build experiences that shape-shift on the fly. With the availability of hundreds of data points on customers, I believe AI-based CX is the next big thing in the industry. It will enable companies and their customers to extract more value throughout the sales process.
What can companies do to improve customer loyalty and retention?
The most important thing to boost customer retention is to build consistent engagement with the customers. This can be done via re-engagement campaigns, loyalty programs, and new offers. The idea is to target these campaigns in a way that we keep the customers anchored to the business even after the purchase has been made. In today’s increasingly digital age, it has become easier to build and deploy loyalty programs such as cashback offers, reward points, etc, that give your customers practical reasons to stay loyal to your business.
What do you think is most relevant and why: CSAT (customer satisfaction score), NPS (net promoter score), or CES (customer effort score)?
I believe all of these metrics are significant. It’s hard to describe one as more relevant than the other because they reflect upon different kinds of customer behavior. You can use any of them in coherence to your measuring index based on the kind of information you wish to extract. For instance, the NPS can’t characteristically describe the factors behind customer satisfaction, hence, I’d have to look at CSAT, if my goal was to measure customer satisfaction for a given line of business.
How can companies better use social media in the era of customer-centricity and personalization?
Companies can get valuable information on customer behavior, choices, and persona types from Social Media. The platforms have grown into a rich cluster of chatter and opinion-sharing that companies can use to personalize CX. In addition, the tweets, post comments, and status updates about a particular product or brand describe a lot about customer perception. I believe this kind of data holds great value for anyone looking to focus on customer-centricity.
What is your opinion on AI-based chatbots to handle customer support?
I believe technology has come miles ahead of what it used to be a few years ago. The chatbots are only getting smarter at having a humanized conversation, side-by-side, integrating complex business processes. We will see more companies installing AI-based chatbots at some level of their customer acquisition/support cycle to minimize churn, and automate robotic processes. I am deeply impressed by the capabilities shown by IBM Watson, and Google’s Dialogflow in respect to AI-chatbot development.
What was the best movie you saw that has come out during this past year?
From last year, I would consider the Korean movie – Parasite, to be my best watch so far. I was amazed at the symbolism and the hidden, almost imperceptible social message that the movie had to offer.
Last but not least, what is your favorite CX metric?
For me personally, the retention rate matters a lot. I say this because my product belongs to an industry that has fierce competition and onboarding with a new competitor is always an option. In such a market setting, if we are able to retain our customers for a long time, and increase our retention rate, I believe that is an important metric for measuring the quality of our efforts along the way.