Decoding the CX Challenge

– The Economic Times


Companies are finding it increasingly tough to meet the expectations of the new-age customer. We try to find out more about their customer experience strategies.

As consumers, each time we interact with a company, it leaves an impression. A sum of all such interactions is what we call customer experience (CX) – a concept that has been in existence since the time businesses have. Today, the rise of technology and multiple ways of communication has led to the rise of the new-age customer – one who is aware, choosy and multiplied with the power of social media, doesn’t believe in forgiveness or loyalty.

Pleasing him and driving brand loyalty is a tough task for companies trying to survive in today’s complex business environment. To decode the construct of the new-age customer and find out how companies are strategising CX, The Economic Times and ServiceNow (an enterprise software company), organised a roundtable discussion in Mumbai attended by several senior leaders from the industry. The panel was moderated by Suchetana Ray, Senior Assistant Editor, ET.

The biggest challenge that companies face today is matching up to the expectations of the digitally-savvy customer – who is searching for, reviewing and weighing his options before purchasing. Customising every need of the customer is tough. But the solution to that can be to keep yourself relevant. Reinventing and keeping in line with the customer is the only way forward.

Personalisation can help too. Like in the case of Reliance Jio, where its offering of a video bot instead of a chat bot, helped customers have a more personalised experience. Sometimes, challenges also come from internal forces, where brands face resistance in the form of employee loyalty which in turn disturbs the cycle of customer relations. That’s true because only empathetic employees can deliver CX for the brand. She also explained how extraordinary service delivery is impossible without trained and competent employees. Driving brand loyalty is another key challenge for companies. Customers are becoming more experimental, which in turn is making their loyalty questionable. So, it’s important for brands to understand customer needs and invest in tools to improve touchpoints that are damaging CX for them. One of them explained how the delivery company opened two call centres with vernacular-language capabilities in South and West India, in an effort to make the entire service customer-centric.

Many leaders believe that while large companies can afford such tech investments, it is a challenge for MSMEs. While consumers are becoming adventurous and risk-willing, businesses prefer profit-drivers. Investing in new technologies such as AI or automation often finds resistance within the organization.

But one section of the panel believed that CX wasn’t a short-term advantage, it was a long-term journey whose benefits are reaped over the lifetime of a company. Good customer experience improves customer touchpoints, builds satisfaction, generates loyalty, and gradually improves retention rates.

The experts viewed that irrespective of the CX challenge, an organisation’s DNA can superimpose it and create a solution. The outside-in strategy – where the needs of the customer comes first – should decide the structure of a company. Instead of creating solutions without understanding the problem, the long term gain is in listening, understanding and then creating a solution for the consumer.

Data can play a big role in enhancing CX too. It can help brands tap into their customer’s mind and understand processing fluency (ease with which information is processed). Amit Gajwani, EVP – Sales and Business, Cybage Software stated that same data is interpreted in a different way by different people. But, the issue isn’t about data, but the insights. In a commoditized world, a brand’s differentiating factor is its customer.

The bottomline is sustained continuous efforts are required by companies to achieve better CX. The industry needs to understand that it’s not about the price advantage anymore, it’s all about the experience.

You can read the original article in The Economic Times portal: