Written by Vivek Jaiswal | Co-founder, Customer Guru
Is the customer experience fire catching up in India?
India is one of the most vibrant and growing markets in the world. With a projected GDP growth rate of 7.6%, India is poised to become one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
Obviously the open economy has brought about an influx of global investments across industry segments; and the consumers have evolved with it. Indian consumers want more bang for their buck and are definitely not compromising on the service quality anymore. To maintain a competitive edge in this market it’s imperative that companies focus on delivering an outstanding customer experience too. A study by Oracle in 2013 emphasised this further. The report highlights:
- India-based firms can lose as much as 18 per cent of their business due to lack of a good customer experience strategy
- 72% of Indian executives surveyed felt that customers are willing to pay more for great customer experiences
- Indian businesses are still weighing the importance of customer experience and only 29% are just getting started with a formal customer experience initiative
Clearly the need is felt and more and more companies are taking notice.
Are companies becoming more customer experience focused in India?
As per Nielsen, India is also leading the world in consumer confidence index.
This puts Indian businesses in a great position to grow with the economy and ride a wave of high consumer confidence. Indeed, the market is experimenting with a combination of mobile, social media, and data analytics platforms to reach out, hear, and understand the customer behaviour and expectations. With the boom of smartphones, Indian consumers completely leap frogged the PC era. This again has opened a flood-gate of opportunities for companies to tap consumers through newer channels. Indian online businesses such as e-retail and app-based service delivery platforms are thriving in this market. However, with time they are discovering the importance of customer experience.
With my experience helping Indian companies setup a customer experience strategy, I have understood that not just established brands but also startups are keen on differentiating themselves through customer experience. The realisation is clear: it’s not just about providing a product or service now. Consumers are aware, connected, and more informed than before; and the entire process they have to go through in order to purchase a product matters. The voice of customer is out in the social media and is nothing but a reflection of customer experience levels. Indeed, companies are looking at exploiting every opportunity of interacting with their customers, to provide a positive and magical experience and, with such key focus on customer experience, they are bound to create a loyal customer base with time. Companies are willing to invest in customer retention as much as in customer acquisition, and the trend is slowly catching up.
With new-age brands like Flipkart, Redbus, Bookmyshow, Oyo Rooms, Swiggy, and Myntra, consumers are experiencing an entirely new way of dealing with their ticket booking agent, shopping mall, budget hotels, delivery guys, and multi-brand retailers. Customers have also learnt that they can demand a better experience and make a positive or negative impact on these businesses if the experience isn’t great. Obviously, companies understand this and are completely sold to doing whatever it takes to deliver exceptional customer experience. Therefore I say, the customer experience fire is catching up in India.
In the coming years, the Indian market will see how companies that focussed on customer experience thrived while others who relied on ‘bad profits’ perished. It is an exciting time for customer experience professionals in India! Would love to hear your comments, thoughts and ideas in the comments below.