Customers are the center of every business. By focusing on the customers and creating strategies that are customer-centric, businesses are sure to succeed. However, in the current environment of disruptive innovation, businesses are challenged by the rising customer expectations. To counter this challenge and offer guidance and counseling, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Academy of Asia hosted their second roundtable on 5th July, 2018 to discuss customer strategies that are most suited to the digital age.

G Shainesh, Professor of Marketing & CRM, IIM Bangalore, talked about the many things that customers dislike and how to work your way around these. For instance, aggressive selling, non-personalized service, unkept promises, waiting time are some of the few things that can ruin a customer journey. On the other hand, a good shopping experience, with no hidden charges or unpleasant surprises, that is convenient and enjoyable will keep a customer coming back to you. By using sophisticated analytical tools that help in understanding the likes and dislikes of your consumers, CX professionals realize the experiences that really matter to their consumers and how to shape it to be a positive one.

Anjan Kalyani, Director of General Business Sales, Salesforce India, discussed how the Fourth Industrial Revolution was disrupting business and how it was shaping customer expectations. With the advent of AI, machine learning, blockchain to name a few, bridging the gap between older models of marketing and rising technology is essential.

However, technology has to be placed in the right hands according to Vivek Shaurya, Sr Director of Customer Experience, Infosys who talked about setting businesses up for success by ensuring your organization is equipped to deploy the technology to increase efficiency. SaaS is one of the many things that technology has provided that can help in picking the right customer strategy.

“Do you cause pain to your consumers?” asked Dr. Anil Pillai, Director of Terragni Consulting, bringing up the topic of cognitive load placed on customers that can cause unsatisfactory customer experiences. What customers want, in simple words, are simpler experiences that secure for them what they want.

While marketers are looking into investing in AI as it seems to be the next big thing, Tapan Acharya, Director of  Sales, Freshworks, cautioned how AI needed to come from a curated learning experience to provide the best customer experiences. By bringing in the example of ‘TayTweets’, Microsoft’s chatbot, who started out well but with free learning turned into something unintended, he proved his point.

Meanwhile in omnichannel marketing, the identification of the channels that are right for your business was one of the topics Shail Singh, Head Strategic of Business India at Zendesk, touched upon during his talk.

Moderated by Burzeen Vakil, Head of Marketing at Red Hat the panel for “Being A Change Agent For CX” comprised of Sridhar Rao, Infinum Growth Insights, Harish Pant, Managing Director of Hampsons, Dinesh Narayanan, Director at Vasutti Services Private Ltd, Ashwin B, COO of Exide Life Insurance. The panel discussed how CX should be a concern from the top to toe of the organization chain to create an impact in your business. Customer engagement, Burzeen remarked, was the new competitive advantage for companies.

The second panel, moderated by Jessie Paul, CEO of Paul Writer discussed how AI can help in enhancing your CX agenda. The panel included Amit Garg, Head Analytics at CustomerFirst Now, Dr. Harikrishna Maram, VC at Universal Digital University, and Lalit Bhise, CEO, Mobisy Technologies. “AI can help enhance CX, sure, but only when it’s done right, when the process is right.” Jessie said. AI while revolutionary is effective only when it manages to capture every single touch point of a customer journey. In every field, AI has its uses but it is essential to ensure that AI is used for enhancing CX and not for sales alone.

The key takeaways of this interesting Roundtable and panel discussions were that while technology can aid in enhancing CX, it has to be strategized by understanding exactly what the customers want and delivering exactly that in the most efficient way possible using the tools of the digital age.

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