Embracing the new customer experience paradigm


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Embracing the new customer experience paradigm

  1. 1. January 2012Effectiveness vs. Efficiency:Embracing the New CustomerExperience ParadigmBy Shahnawaz Khan, Rupa ShankarHappiest Minds, Social Computing Practice © Happiest Minds Technologies Pvt. Ltd. All Rights Reserved
  2. 2. Effectiveness vs. Efficiency: Embracing the NewCustomer Experience ParadigmA vital component of owning a product or consuming service is CustomerService. In fact, most often, the nature of the customer experience defines theoutcome of a purchase process.Most organizations that have customer support functions have been investing inadopting best practices, such as Six Sigma in order to measure the efficiency andproductivity of customer service agents. They measure and evaluate metricssuch as time taken to close a call, tickets closed in a given time, throughput andspeed of transactions and calls being closed. The emphasis is on ‘closure’; thereflex action of customer service personnel is to ‘respond and close’ and theorganizational structure, processes, metrics, rewards and culture are builtaround this philosophy of ‘efficiency’. The focus continues to remain onefficiency and productivity irrespective of the nature of business or channel.Most customers complain that the customer care agents seem to lack “human-ness”—often wondering why agents who are responsible for delivering care andconcern and fix customer problems have little empathy and speak like robotsthat have pre-programmed responses.ENTER THE SOCIAL WORLDWith the growing importance of social media and organizations trying to engagewith customers in social channels, they find themselves applying the sameyardstick of “efficiency” from the traditional customer service model on socialchannels. Often organizations don’t realize that the playing field has changedand the rules of engagement in the social channels are different from the closed,controlled environment of the existing channels.In the social paradigm, organizations need to realize that the key is to havemeaningful conversations that can lead to insights for actions. Customer serviceagents need to take time, think and actually hear people out before engaging ina dialogue with customers. This calls for a new way of thinking— where theorganization and the customers speak a shared and common language. A © Happiest Minds Technologies Pvt. Ltd. All Rights Reserved
  3. 3. philosophy where the organization is part of the audience, where it is OK toaccept mistakes, where it is OK to be ‘human’ and empathize with the customer,where it is OK to indulge in simple, small talk with customers and not justfocusing on ‘responding and closing the call at the earliest’.Such a philosophy will require organizations to a realign themselves to a newparadigm for evaluating customer service delivery – parameters such as thenumber of conversations, the depth of dialogue will be measured and valued.Customer care will not be limited to the customer service division in anorganization. The organization will share and dialogue with customers as a whole– linking customers to specific teams within a company to address queriesbetter. The Social World calls for organizations to be rewired with the rightprocesses, metrics, training, coaching and ethos.EMBRACING ‘EFFECTIVENESS’ OVER ‘EFFICIENCY’ TO SERVE THENEW SOCIAL CUSTOMERIn the traditional model, customers and companies would have one-on-oneconversations via phone, email, IVR, etc. where customer service agents wouldresolve issues and close individual call tickets. With the plethora of customerreview sites such as mouthshut.com, yelp, consumercomplaints.in, communityportals and popular social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, customersare voicing their concerns, issues and experiences outside the reach and realm ofcompanies or customer service agents.Social Monitoring and Analysis tools can provide organizations with a snapshotof what customers are talking about their brands and experiences in socialchannels. The key challenge for organizations will not be in acquiring thisinformation but in finding a way to effectively respond and engage withcustomers armed with this information.Forward-thinking, customer-centric organizations realize this and are creatingspecific roles such as “Community Manager” and “Customer Experience Officer”to interact with consumers in the social channels and humanize their brands. © Happiest Minds Technologies Pvt. Ltd. All Rights Reserved
  4. 4. A COMPARISION OF CORE COMPETENCIES Customer service delivered in the new engagement model is fundamentally different from that delivered in the traditional model. The nature of the interactions determines the kind of core competencies required of the customer service agents. Below is a comparison of the type of conversations and the skill requirements: Customer Services Using Engagement, Customer Service Using Traditional Cookie Dialogue and Conversations Cutter Approaches  Effectiveness  Efficiency  Each transaction is a new one  Repeatability  Customer of One  Consistency  Extreme Personalization  Productivity  Empathy  Scalability  Human-centric  Mass Roll Out  Autonomy  Trainability To understand the differences in the two approaches described above, go through these sample responses from customer service agents.“Thanks for sharing your problem. I’ve  “Greetings from XYZ Company. Our cars looked into it and have taken the dealer to are the most reliable and this is proven bytask. The problem lies with the head gasket. 5,00,000 customer cars on the road today.Please take the car to the dealer and we’ll We cannot be held responsible for thesort it out ASAP.” way you have used your car.”“Looks like your low battery is due to bad  “The ABC battery has been officially sensor, or a loose connection. Please bring it certified for 35 hours backup by CERCI.”to the service station and we would behappy to diagnose the problem and helpresolve it.” “Yes, we realize that our dealers from the  “XYZ Company prides itself on winning northern part of country need a better ramp-up the No.1 position in customer satisfactionand are in the process of enabling it. Existing survey. Our dealerships provide industry- ORdealers are being taken to task, and newer leading after-sales service”customer-focused dealers are being shortlisted” © Happiest Minds Technologies Pvt. Ltd. All Rights Reserved
  5. 5. CONCLUSIONIt is not difficult to spot the conversations that are more human, respectful,engaging and more customer-centric—and thereby, differentiated. What type ofengagement would you like your company to have with customers?If your organization is starting out on developing a Social Customer Care journey,understand and embrace the concept of effectiveness. The social customerdemands experiences that are infused with care, empathy and human-ness.Happiest Minds can help you on this journey by evaluating your currentcustomer experience and brand imprint across channels and craft a road-map toenable your brand to succeed in the Social Web. © Happiest Minds Technologies Pvt. Ltd. All Rights Reserved
  6. 6. To learn more about the Happiest Minds Customer ExperienceOfferings, please write to us at business@happiestminds.comAbout Happiest MindsHappiest Minds is a next-generation IT services company helping clients differentiate and winwith a unique blend of innovative solutions and services based on the core technology pillars ofcloud computing, social computing, mobility and analytics. We combine an unparalleledexperience, comprehensive capabilities in the following industries: Retail, Media, CPG,Manufacturing, Banking and Financial services, Travel and Hospitality and Hi-Tech withpragmatic, forward-thinking advisory capabilities for the world’s top businesses, governmentsand organizations. Founded in 2011, Happiest Minds is privately held with headquarters inBangalore, India and offices in the USA and UK.Corporate Office United StatesHappiest Minds Technologies Pvt. Ltd. 116 Village Boulevard, Suite 200Block II, Velankani Tech Park Princeton, New Jersey, 0854043 Electronics City Phone:+1 609 951 2296Hosur Road, Bangalore 560100, INDIA 2018 156th Avenue NE #224Phone: +91 80 332 03333 Bellevue, WA 98007Fax: +91 80 332 03000 United Kingdom 200 Brook Drive, Green Park, Reading Berkshire, RG2 6UB Phone: +44 11892 56072 Fax: + 44 11892 56073About the authorsShahnawaz Khan (s.khan@happiestminds.com) is Rupa Shankar (rupa.shankar@happiestminds.com)the General Manager and Practice Head of the is a Senior Business Analyst in the Happiest MindsHappiest Minds Social Computing Practice. He Social Computing Practice. She brings over 7 yearsbrings in-depth experience in leading cross of experience in Brand Management, Marketingfunctional teams for conceptualization, Strategy, Digital and Social Media Marketing, Brandimplementation and rollout of social business Integration, Content Strategy and Customerplatforms. Most recently, he was responsible for Experience Research. Most recently, she worked atbuilding and managing various social computing ITC Limited, where she spearheaded opportunitiesplatforms at MindTree, winning multiple MAKE for consumer engagement in digital and socialawards for his work. Prior to that he led product media spaces for all ITC personal care brands. Priordevelopment for Wisdom and Acumen—a fourth to that, as an Analyst, Customer Experience, atgeneration knowledge management and Forrester Research, she created research thatcollaboration framework, at Srishti Software focused on the future of digital customerwinning the NASSCOM Innovation award. He is experiences—specifically, how companiespassionate about social computing and believes organize, staff, and create design processes thatthat, when leveraged in conjunction with mobility help them deliver breakthrough experiences viaand analytics, it presents opportunities to create websites, mobile, and other rapidly emergingparadigm shits in business enablement, digital touch points like tablets and apps.differentiation and customer engagement. © Happiest Minds Technologies Pvt. Ltd. All Rights Reserved