Past events

Custommerce India Chapter 6 Round-up

The great customer service debate

The economic challenge is staring us in the face. It is now, more than ever that organizations should be working harder to retain customers. Because customers are less forgiving of a mediocre or poor service experience. When it comes to service, the vast majority will not complain and most will go elsewhere. Simply because they are spoilt for choice. They will want to deal with organizations that demonstrate that they want and appreciate their business. These challenges are driving changes in strategy that will affect business in more ways than one. And while there are seemingly innumerable strategies offered to counter this situation, nothing drives the point home hard enough; nothing examines the applicability of these strategies in daily life; and nothing examines multiple aspects of a strategy. At Custommerce India Chapter 6, held at Mumbai, the aim was to do exactly that – examine strategies that will help organizations not only weather the economic challenge, but also pick up strategies that will help differentiate them from competition. The debate looked at the following strategies / themes.

Theme 1 – Which drives desired customer experience better
– Value based strategy or metric driven strategy

Most practitioners who promise service nirvana tend to define service as a set of activities the enterprise will do which will result in a set of numbers; which in turn will establish to the enterprise and to themselves that the job has been well done. While the numbers may be valid in isolation, if you look at the big picture of customer service
– you may realize that all is not well. The customer may actually not be expecting a metric from you. Instead, they may be expecting a value when you service them. Point is – where do you apply metrics and where do you apply value?

Theme 2 – Technology is an enabler for desired customer experience – Yes / No

One has read extensively on why customers are becoming disloyal. We believe this is happening simply because they feel increasingly distanced from their vendor organizations – technology is a key factor in creating this distance. However, it may not be the technology per se that is to blame here. It could be the improper design in the deployment of that technology that is to blame. Technology can be a wonderful tool to enhance customer experience. However – proper care has to be taken in strategizing and designing that deployment in alignment with company goals.

Ramesh Venkateswaran, the Chairman of Custommerce said that the task of Custommerce is to transform Customer Interaction Management through Customer Centricity for a Customer Driven Economy. This entailed – Knowledge creation, Knowledge sharing and Benchmarking. He introduced Custommerce's latest initiative – CINDEX – a benchmarking platform.

Dr. A. Parasuraman in his keynote address concluded by saying, “Be cognizant of customers’ and employees’ mental readiness to embrace technology-based service systems”, he added “In replacing or supplementing 'hi-touch' with 'hi-tech' be aware that 'one size may not fit all'”.

One of the speakers, Sundaram Ramaswamy, in his presentation asked to use metrics to continuously acquire insights on the customer expectation and concluded by saying "Measure what is needed and make it easy to understand & use!"

Speaking on the topic 'Technology – Must have for Great Customer Service', Raja Gopalakrishnan argued that technology goes a long way in satisfying the transactional needs and requirements of customers in a manner, time and place of the customer’s choosing.

opinion

Technology is an enabler for desired customer experiences

Yes No

in publications


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