Pitch CMO Summit: A discussion on understanding the purchase journey to create great CX

The panel of experts spoke on how companies that provide exceptional customer service set themselves apart from the competition

e4m by Pallavi Borkar
Updated: Jul 6, 2018 8:53 AM

Is technology driving the future of Customer Experience (CX)? Companies that provide exceptional customer experience service set themselves apart from the competition. Achieving this requires a company to think beyond just customer service. Technology has given consumers immense power when it comes to making purchasing decisions. It is estimated that by the year 2025, 95 per cent of all customer interactions will be supported by AI technology.

At the Pitch CMO Summit in Bangalore, Sunder Madakshira, Head – Marketing, Adobe India moderated a panel discussion comprising Anika Agarwal, SVP & Head - Marketing, Digital & Direct Sales, Max Bupa; Deepika Sabharwal Tewari, Associate Vice President, Marketing, Tanishq; Kashyap Vadapalli, CMO, Pepperfry; Srivats TS, VP Marketing, Swiggy; and Kishan Kumar, Managing Partner, Wavemaker answered questions on CX sharing insights from their respective domain.

Agarwal spoke on creating brand value through CX, “At Max Bupa we sell health insurance, it’s a promise for a time when you fall sick, it’s not just purchase of a product, it's a promise for the future. The customer trusts you, you've built that trust, and the promise is delivered through CX throughout every part of their journey. The non-technology part of it also plays a huge role for us when we talk about CX, because that is the time when the customer is in the hospital for example. For us the whole customer journey is important, and how that whole is bigger than the sum of parts is what defines CX.”

Kashyap spoke of how the furniture and interiors category is highly fragmented, and that all the large brands put together is less than 5 to 6% of the total market.

“There is not high quality information or literature available for this category, so customers trust the carpenter or the brand when purchasing furniture - this reflected on the supplier's side. There was no standardisation of information, material, or quality. So trying to build a platform in such a wild jungle of a market was eye opening for us. Our category is very personal so when we spoke to customers the biggest issue was that there was a lot of anxiety among the customers when they are planning a renovation in their house. We figured out how to solve that anxiety among our customers. The mission was to organise the system and standardise, and make it predictable for our consumers,” he explained. He added that consumers would like to find something they like very fast and that’s what we are working on, “It’s a browse related category, people see a lot of images before they decide.”

Srivats of Swiggy says, “Customer Experience has been the cornerstone of our brand. We were not the first entrant into the category of ordering in from restaurants around, but there was a clear gap in CX with respect to getting a great reliable hassle free experience when you are ordering from a nearby restaurant. We realised the only way we could deliver CX where the consumer would be happy if we control the CX from start to finish - from placing orders on the app to receiving the food at their doorstep. Hence we invested in a delivery fleet that we own and manage. Word of mouth was a strong driver of our brand user base in early stages. Understanding what the consumers wants and personalising the experience to be relevant to every single user- that’s the magic of perfect sales.”

Tewari spoke of how brand Tanishq was the disruptor in the jewellery category where family jewellers were the final word when you bought jewellery 20 years ago. “Today we are the most dominant player in the organised market and that is because of the CX we have given to our customers. We are in a category where trust is important and loyalty runs through generations. We have managed to build that with our consumers. It is also important to be regionalised, to understand the nuances of each and every part of the country as types of jewellery vary from different parts of the states within the country,” she opined.

Kumar said the last few years the shift from outputs to outcome is centred on CX, which is the reality of life. He said consumers today are well informed, difficult to please and have the voice to share their experience. “Any good or bad experience can make or break businesses today. Today it's all about how to manage the consumer experience before and pre-empting what the consumers’ experience can be. We as a media agency are enablers to branda to create CX. It's imperative to understand the purchase journey to create great CX. It is all about the customer and making the customer feel important,” he asserted.

The panel agreed that a standardisation across all touch points is a key delivery agenda on CX and it is essential to create connections within the ecosystem.

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