Customer Experience: Who’s really paying attention!

When one walks into a Starbucks, the first thing that hits you is the smell of coffee. According to Vikram Idnani, Head-IT, Trent Ltd, there are many other small elements that together create a coffee having experience at Starbucks, starting an insightful discussion on customer experience. According to Rachna Nath, Partner, KPMG, good customer experience is generated when the difference between what the brand promises and what’s been delivered is bridged. For Samik Roy, Director & Country Head, Microsoft Dynamics (Applications) Business the memory and taste and the impression that the organization etches in the mind of the customers in the entire retail journey is customer experience.

Alisha Malik, Vice president, E-Commerce, Metro Shoes Ltd stated that creating customer delight is the essence of customer experience. This should translate throughout the purchase process and extend to after-sales services. She highlighted the importance of social media for customer engagement. Meenakshi Vajpai, CTO, VLCC Health Care Ltd opined that every single moment a customer engages there is an opportunity for retailers to provide effective customer experience. Consistent and holistic experience across all touch points is the basis of good customer experience, said Vinod Bidarkoppa, Group Chief Information & Technology Officer, Future Group. In the innumerable great experiences a brand providers, customers usually remember the ones that are bad, he added. Therefore, retailers should know how to negate a bad memory with efficient services.

Customer Experience for high profitability

Profitability is at the core of every retailer’s attention and good customer experience is an essential tool for that. A customer is touched by good experience and goes back to the same service provider. Here he is driven by his heart initially and then his mind makes him to do so. That was how Roy of Microsoft described the role of heart and mind that influences the wallet. Nath too related customer experience with brand recall. But customer experience should be designed keeping into account the customer’s perspective. Describing the next level customer delight Malik stressed upon personalized services using 3D printed shoes with exact specifications of a particular customer. She also added that education is required to elevate the skill level of the workforce to match the advances in technology.

Creating convictions about the brand across the channel is one method that VLCC is doing through interactions, wherein word-of-mouth is becoming an outcome of good customer experience, said Vajpai.

Consolidation of data and single view

Bidarkoppa and Vajpai highlighted the consolidation of data to create a single view of a customer for customer engagement and redressal. Roy stressed upon proper understanding and measuring the problems so that an effective solution can be devised to produce seamless customer experience.

By Suranjana Basu

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Retailers Association of India (RAI) is the unified voice of Indian retailers. RAI is a not for profit organization (registered under section 25 of Companies Act, 1956), works with all the stakeholders for creating the right environment for the growth of the modern retail industry in India. RAI is the body that encourages, develops, facilitates and supports retailers to become modern and adopt best practices that will delight customers. RAI has a three charter aim of Retail Development, Facilitation and Propagation.