CX Speak

Embracing the Customer-First Culture: An Exclusive Interview with Mr. Rajesh Pawar, Professional Services Head

At Customer Guru, we believe that Customer Experience (CX) should be the number one priority for all the Indian businesses so that they become more sustainable and successful globally. Thus, we are on a mission to spread this awareness, inspiring and guiding professionals to adopt and inculcate a customer-centric approach. We are certain that this is a first step to help organizations WOW their customers and create raving fans for themselves.

Continuing with our initiative of sharing experiences of top-notch CX experts, we have another gem of an interview with Mr. Rajesh Pawar. Mr. Pawar is a Business Practice leader with over 23 years of industry experience of working with various Fortune 500 customers in their Customer Experience, Digital Marketing, CRM, Loyalty Programs, Business Intelligence and Analytics transformation engagements. Currently, he is running the Professional Services business for a leading a Customer Experience MNC.

In this exclusive interview with Customer Guru, Mr. Rajesh Pawar emphasizes on the fact that customer experience is the key to the success of every organization. He also discusses the touchpoints and factors that organizations need to focus on for embracing the customer first culture.

We invite our readers to comment and ask questions on challenges they might be facing in their organizations when setting up a customer-centric culture. We would be more than happy to help. This article is framed in a question-answer format; please feel free to share your feedback on the article too.

You have had an amazing professional journey catering to companies across industries. What has the journey been like and what role has customer experience played in it?

I am quite fortunate to have worked in the Customer Experience space early in my career especially with some of the world’s leading brands in the USA, EMEA, and the UK. It has now been more than a decade for me in this space. The various roles that I have played in my career have helped me work in diversified industries – from BFS and retail to consumer goods and new-generation eCommerce companies. Further, I got a great exposure to understand how these companies are embracing the customer first culture.

Customer Experience is the key to the success of every organization; it’s no longer a buzzword and companies need to inculcate this in their culture at every point that they interact with their customers – from prospecting to nurturing them to become customers, all the way to maintaining the relationship and ensuring that they continue to value the brand and stay loyal.

Which is the one CX initiative you had pioneered that you are proud of the most? What was the problem it was trying to address? What results were you able to achieve?

I worked closely with one of the leading Airlines company based out of the USA on their CX initiative. They were struggling to maintain their leadership position and their loyalty program was losing its sheen mainly due to a legacy platform and inefficient business processes. This posed a challenge to the demanding business needs – they were also losing the loyal customer base.

We helped them choose the right processes and technology to transform and delivered the project in the shortest possible time. The program went live successfully, helping them reclaim their position as a market leader. The platform and processes were quite well defined – when this company decided to merge its business with another airline, it took just 4-5 months for us to merge both the loyalty programs even though in the normal world, it would have taken years.

As a business professional, what is the biggest challenge for businesses to truly align with customer needs? How do you think they can overcome it?

Executive sponsorship and strong program management from the customer end are the biggest challenges that I have seen organizations face while embracing customer experience programs. If there is no clear strategy and a lack of ownership, such large programs remain in office presentations but never see the light of the day. The only way to overcome these challenges is by ensuring and creating a strong customer experience culture.

What is your word of advice for businesses embarking on the journey of customer centricity?

Customer experience is a journey – it is not just one single project. Companies need to understand this and they should be willing to stay invested – first for building robust platforms and processes; second, by letting their team adopt new process and technology and experiment with different strategies; and third, by optimizing the whole experience for customers.

Connect with Rajesh Pawar on LinkedIn

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