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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

December - 2007 - issue > In My Opinion

Providing the Total Customer Experience

Naresh Wadhwa
Friday, December 7, 2007
Naresh Wadhwa
Organizations in India are making rapid strides on many fronts. However, along with this phenomenal growth come challenges and learning that we need to focus on. Today, it has become more challenging than ever to maintain and grow a loyal customer base, largely because customers have so many choices before them. Looking at today’s successful companies, it is quite evident that many have earned their customers’ loyalty by providing a ‘total customer experience’. By ‘total customer experience’ we don’t mean just great or improved customer service. Instead, we are talking about a major shift in the way organizations interact with customers from pre-sale queries to post-sale support and more.

So what entails a ‘total customer experience’? It starts, naturally, with a great product or service. It continues with easy transactions for the customer. And most importantly it is made satisfying by personalized interactions with company service representatives, subject matter experts, and other knowledge workers. The three key ingredients — a great product, easy transactions, and valuable interactions — are the ones that point the way to ensuring a loyal customer base today.

For many of us in India, we have pleasant memories of shopping at our local kiraana shop, or personalized interactions at our oft-frequented bank or restaurant. Such interactions made for easy transactions and continued loyalty. However, today, with the tremendous variety of choices available to us and the larger scales of operations we may not always have those enhanced customer experiences. And as for sellers, customer loyalty is that elusive figure that everybody is searching for.

A market of one
We live in an era in which customers want their individual needs and preferences fulfilled. Customers want companies to know and anticipate their personal preferences, and to provide products and services tailored to those preferences. For customers, a satisfying interaction is a personal one. The goal for companies — and it is lofty — is to get to know each customer by name, behavior, product preference, and communication preference, to essentially create a market of one with each and every customer. Companies can help to meet these challenges by:
* Adapting business processes to capture customer information


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