CX: A driving force to the success of the brand

CX: A driving force to the success of the brand

CX agents and employees can better devote their time to tasks that need a human touch, such as those that require higher-order thinking or collaborative effort, and will allow for a higher volume of tickets to be resolved at a much higher efficiency. In a recent conversation with the Editor of siliconindia, Vasudeva Rao Munnaluri, RVP India and SAARC, Zendesk, shared his thoughts on role of CX in current market.

Focusing on the customer makes a company more resilient, according to Jeff Bezos' well-known adage. For a customer relationship to be strengthened, a positive customer experience is necessary. As a result, CX's function became crucial.

CX is significant since it can make the difference between retaining customers and losing them to competitors. Any firm should make enhancing the customer experience a top priority since it can increase brand loyalty and repeat business.

The quality of the product, ease of use, and customer service are just a few of the many elements that affect the customer experience. Understanding what drives customers at each point of the customer journey is necessary for developing a pleasant customer experience.

Zendesk started the customer experience revolution in 2007 by enabling any business around the world to take their customer service online. Today, Zendesk is the champion of great service everywhere for everyone, and powers billions of conversations, connecting more than 100,000 brands with hundreds of millions of customers over telephony, chat, email, messaging, social channels, communities, review sites and help centers. Zendesk products are built with love to be loved. The company was conceived in Copenhagen, Denmark, built and grown in California, taken public in New York City, and today employs more than 6,000 people across the world.

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In a digital-first economy, the way customers want to interact with brands has changed. It’s not enough to just have great products. Brands need to deliver great experiences too - and do so consistently - in order to earn and retain customer loyalty. Across organisations in India and Asia Pacific, we’re seeing customer experience (CX) gaining importance as part of the business strategy. In fact, our recent CX Accelerator report found that 79% of Indian companies say CX drives revenue. A similar proportion (82%) believe that without continual improvement to their CX capabilities, they would lose business to more customer-centric competitors. Customers have more options than ever before today, and delivering exceptional customer experience as a point of differentiation is crucial to business success and growth.

Why is it crucial to balance automation and human touch in accelerating Customer Experience?

There is a long-held, widespread belief that support agents and AI don’t get along, stemming from the apprehension that artificial intelligence (AI) is here to replace humans. This line of thinking couldn’t be more wrong. By thinking about agents and automation as opposing forces, businesses often miss out on a huge opportunity to grow. A balanced human-automation strategy needs to consider how AI and automation can serve customers while also enabling agents.

AI can help agents address the most common and often repetitive queries. With high-quality data that is timely, tangible and accurate, the margins of error are low while answering more commonly asked customer queries. This means CX agents and employees can better devote their time to tasks that need a human touch, such as those that require higher-order thinking or collaborative effort, and will allow for a higher volume of tickets to be resolved at a much higher efficiency.

AI can also provide better context to agents before an inquiry even reaches them. Context is the key to delivering great CX. Using AI-powered tools provides context for agents, helping them meet customers’ expectations and provide a consistent user experience. A balanced strategy also ensures seamless handoffs from automated chat to human support, giving agents a detailed transcript of the conversation, allowing them to catch up with ease without needing the customer to repeat themselves. When done right, automation can deliver a better human support experience, which enables businesses to deploy agents wisely and also reduce churn and burnout.

Companies are rethinking their CX data strategy and technology. How do these play a vital role in accelerating CX adoption?

Customer data often comes from multiple systems. This is unavoidable as businesses rightly provide various touch points for customer interactions, to allow customers to reach out on any preferred platform. It is through these support touchpoints that businesses can capture customer interactions and tune into the directly-expressed needs, interests, and concerns of their consumer market. This adds a layer of personalization that goes beyond just superficial data points to truly understanding them. Staying on the pulse of customer expectations also allows businesses to translate insights into actionable trends, ensuring they consistently deliver the best brand experiences.

We’re at a point in time where data is incredibly dynamic, and customers who demand their privacy is not compromised. They have a lot of power to decide what information they want to share or withhold. Organisations therefore need to invest in modern systems, especially in the right data architecture and analytical tools. Doing so helps them identify gaps in the customer experience so the teams can work on areas of improvement. Having strong data architecture becomes critical to success in CX. To avoid silos, businesses need CX technology that connects all data sources through an open, flexible platform.

For businesses to gain actionable insights, they must be able to quickly compile and analyse real-time data. Agility and adaptability become indispensable qualities for businesses for long-term success.

What is the impact of personalisation on customer experience? What are the steps that enable personalised CX?

Personalisation makes customers feel more valued, which inturn inspires brand loyalty.

Companies provide personalised service by gathering customer data and interactions, then leveraging that information to deliver unique experiences suited to said customers.

Customer support data is a treasure trove of customer insights that tells businesses exactly what customers want, how they want it, and when they expect it to be delivered. Businesses can use these insights to drive conversions more effectively. For instance, understanding the major concerns of first-time buyers helps businesses develop compelling messages for campaigns that can bring in new customers. Offering the right deals and promotions based on what customers want and expect strengthens customer confidence in your brand.

Customer experience has taken on a new definition during the global pandemic. What were the challenges faced and what steps were initiated to overcome those challenges?

Much like our customers, we felt the challenges that COVID-19 created too, especially in the early days. Customer demands changed quickly as a new wave of digital transformation took over businesses across many industries. Speed, simplicity and agility have become key factors in how we overcome these challenges.

Through these times of change, we realised that consumers really just want to communicate better with companies and use platforms they are already familiar with — like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Instagram. Putting the customer first has never been more important. Business leaders who recognise the importance of CX need to ensure their organisations are equipped with the right tools and strategies to deal with changes.

This was part of the inspiration for our focus on building a conversational CRM. We are focused on connecting customer service to everything it needs to be successful. This means access to a full range of intelligent, real-time data and services because customers want to engage with brands on their terms. And they want these engagements to be quick and convenient. Ultimately, we want to provide businesses with the ability to staff support teams appropriately, and deal with any foreseen or unforeseen changes with flexibility and agility.