By Pooja Aggarwal, Head Of Business Operations, Schindler Group
Pooja Aggarwal, Head Of Business Operations, Schindler Group
Pooja has won many accolades and awards during her professional career and Chairman’s award at Aditya Birla Group is the most cherished one. She is one of the youngest P & L women leaders in manufacturing business in the country.
Customer Delight has been a buzzword across the organisations and industries since last couple of years. With the advent of technology and obsession of users with social media, all companies have been ramping their efforts to make their presence felton every platform. Both B2B & B2C businesses have been adapting their business models to be able to not only attract customers but also enhance their engagement to retain them.
Traditionally, B2B sales & customer experience(CX) has depended heavily on personal interaction. From in-person meetings to demos to industry events for networking – B2Bhas been all about understanding the problem statement and delivering solutions, personally. While majority of the businesses in these industries were adapting to the new world and dialling up digital efforts, the pandemic hit has amplified that need. It has exposed weaknesses in existing business models and gaps in digital readiness of these organisations to deliverCX.
With the new world and technology continuing to overload our lives, companies need to recalibrate CX efforts, and with most people cooped up at home, it’s suddenly more important than ever to get digital experiences right. To deliver outstanding digital experiences and encourage loyalty, here are key aspects that businesses should define to adjust to the next normal.
Revaluating the Customer’s Expectations
Customer Delight is the very favorable experience of the client when they have received a good or service that significantly surpasses what they had initially anticipated. Critical word here is “Anticipation”- the expectations of a customer. The customer’s perception of great experience changes over time and expectations increase.
Understanding the expectations is a continuous process rather than annual feedback surveys as needs are evolving everyday. The more we listen to our customers, the better we understand their needs and this in turn helps us to build successful business.
It all starts from effective listening. Zappos says that the number one tool any company can use is listening. They “respond to every single customer inquiry, whether it’s via phone, email, live chat, Twitter, Facebook, Zappos blog, etc.” In fact, many of Zappos improvements are inspired by their continuous customer feedback. Listening is a special art and companies need to invest in skill building of their teams rather than outsourcing this critical activity completely. This cultural shift of reskilling the employees is as important as the technology itself to sustain the business.
In addition to physical touchpoints, a number of social listening tools have cropped up to listen to what every customer is thinking & actioning like. “Har customer kuchkehtahai” as everyone’s needs are unique especially in B2B scenario. Listening to the voice of every customer to be able to meet their latent and core needs is much feasible than earlier. Companies must invest in these simple tools and have internal teams seek feedback on continuous basis.
“Companies can improve their touchpoints with a wide variety of communications technologies like chat and messaging services”
Redefining the Business Strategy & Cultural aspects
Building a great customer experience and continuously improving it requires company-wide commitment. Think of CX as the heart of the business and clearly define what needs of the customer your business delivers and how. The customers' experience always spans the entire journey: it begins the moment they discover the company and continues across all subsequent interactions including purchases, support calls, repurchases, and word-of-mouth referrals. The core departments as well as the support functions including supply chain, HR as well as Finance also needs to build their department goals with Customer experience as apart of it.
The execution of the strategy needs a paradigm shift in mindset along with complementary change in organisation’s culture. Companies like Uber, Amazon and Google have built the business models of the future. They’ve redefined their industries. They’ve rewired the customer experience. They’re not afraid to fail fast, learn from mistakes and make the changes necessary to stay well ahead of the market. Brick & Mortar businesses too need to be comfortable with failures, quicker product prototyping and development of teams to deliver those customer centric solutions.
Revamping the Communication tools
Customer experience is defined by the interactions and experiences that customer has with a business throughout the entire customer journey, from first contact to becoming a happy and loyal customer.
Transforming CX is not only redefining how businesses connect with their customers, it’s relooking the various touchpoints that could deliver value.
Companies can improve their touchpoints with a wide variety of communications technologies like chat and messaging services. It’s quicker, cheaper and easier for companies to communicate with customers than ever before. Well executed, targeted email campaigns to potential customers in the market, or regular e-newsletters can effectively help companies engage and stay in touch with existing and potential customers. Live chat on website can allow visitors to connect with representatives on demand and get answers to their queries instantly. While there could be multiple channels of communication, there is a strong need for discipline in ensuring consistent communication of values and emotions across, including traditional ones.
While social media sites-e.g., Facebook, Twitter, YouTube-may work great for some organizations, they may not be the best option for others. Similarly, while some customers may prefer to be contacted via email, others may want or appreciate a phone call or a face-to face meeting. Customised solutions necessitate personalised CX.
Customer expectations are higher than ever and word of mouth travels fast!
And as the customer becomes even more empowered, it increases the importance of the customer experience.
Customer experience is an area that needs constant nurturing and care and, with a greater focus on customer experience strategy, companies will realize a positive impact on customer loyalty, higher retention and increased revenue growth.