Delivery excellence with customer centricity
By Milan Kumar, Vice-President, Global Delivery, Nihilent Technologies
Customer centricity isn't only about providing good client services, but also about providing good expertise right from the notice stage, through the 'getting' method and eventually through the post-purchase method. It's a method supported by putting your client at the core of your business.
When you place your client at the core of your business, you collect a wealth of information inside your CRM (customer relationship management), which gives you a 360-degree view of the client, in turn enabling you to reinforce the client expertise.
In this highly competitive era, setting up a new brand is extremely tough. Customer retention is of paramount importance and organisations are striving towards adding that 'wow' factor to ensure a long-term relationship, says Milan Kumar, Vice-President, Global Delivery at Nihilent Technologies.
Successful organisations are continuously focusing on elevating their relationship with customer to that of partner. Additionally, by delivering better customer experience, you can achieve greater business agility, improved productivity - a must-have requirement to stay ahead of the competition.
Business value can be achieved by good customer experience, as it assures customer loyalty and a big chunk of the customer's wallet.
Customer experience can be measured in three ways:
* Consideration for another engagement;
* Ranking competitors over your brand; and
* Testimonials to a peer or potential customer.
Improving customer service operations is a change management process that requires co-ordinated effort across people, processes and technologies, and may run for multiple years.
Following are some important aspects that need to be considered in this programme:
Customer service strategy: Customer experience strategy details the experience you want to deliver across all communication channels and all company touchpoints that are in line with your brand proposition. Make sure that customer service strategy does not conflict with overall company strategy.
Communication flow: The dynamic changes in technology have exposed customers to various communication channels. Ensure you choose the right communication channels for customers, and understand the interactions that customers will have via each channel. Delivering an omni-channel experience is a definite plus. Also, make sure your individuals are empowered with the right content and information to meet your customers' expectations of service.
Technology empowerment: Choice of technologies will assist you in providing optimal customer service experiences. Customer service experience across communication channels should be standardise by use of technologies available, including social media channels; empower agents with contextual customer, product and service information and content; and allow agents to easily collaborate to quickly resolve inquiries. They must also be agile to allow companies to quickly react to changing business and customer needs.
Connect with people: People providing customer service are an important asset. An organisation's corporate culture, team structure, leadership practices, collaboration methods, training programmes, and performance measurement approaches are key factors affecting the individuals providing the service, and hence affect customer service success. It's also important to empower your agents to do the right thing for the customer.
Constant feedback: We need to develop a constant feedback mechanism to capture, discuss and agree on improvement areas rapidly. Feedback needs to flow uninterrupted and people should be geared up to think beyond. A customer satisfaction tool can be a good mechanism and should be designed to cover various customer stakeholders.
Organisations are adopting new incentives to enhance all of these drivers to add value to their customers. According to Forrester Research, 93% of corporates consider customer experience improvement as a key item on their strategic priorities, and among them, around 23% of organisations, have pulled it up to the top-most position. Each area offers different benefits to customers. Engaging people creates the warmth and compassion of your brand. Process helps removing pain points while technology eases the customer journey. So, if you are still aspiring to deliver a great customer experience, your competitors are already enjoying the lead you've offered them.