CX Speak

Establishing a Customer Centric Mindset Across Organizations: Mr. NRKS Chakravarthy

The sole mission of this initiative by Customer Guru of sharing the experiences of successful Customer Experience leaders across India is to inspire and guide professionals in bringing about a customer-centric change in their organizations.

In continuation of the series, we have another gem of an interview with Mr. NRKS Chakravarthy, a business leader who has worked with major telecom brands in India. Throughout his illustrious career of over two decades with globally renowned organizations, Mr. Chakravarthy has been recognized for demonstrating exceptional passion in creating customer-centric and people-focused organizations. Owing to his rich expertise in the arena of Business Excellence, Customer Experience, Analytics, and Insights, he has successfully set up Business Excellence functions from scratch and enabled profitable long-term growth.

In this candid interview with Customer Guru, Mr. Chakravarthy shares his invaluable tips on how to inculcate customer centricity in an organization’s culture in order to delight customers at all times and to grow persistently.

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

As a professional, you have led multiple customer-focused initiatives. Which was that one initiative you are really proud of?

As the head of the business excellence function in one of my previous organizations, I was entrusted with the task of conceptualizing and executing a robust framework for delivering great customer experience to our internal and external customers. As part of this initiative, we focused on how to ensure minimal effort for both frontline executives and end customers. We re-engineered all customer-impacting processes in collaboration with all relevant departments and eliminated complex and non-value activities from the frontend staff so that they could focus on delivering an effective resolution to customers within the least possible time. The frontline staff was empowered to take decisions needed for resolving customers’ issues in the first instance itself. Furthermore, they were encouraged to share their feedback and ideas to eliminate the reasons for customers to call contact centers. These initiatives not only resulted in a seamless experience but also led to substantial cost savings.

The introduction of ‘Customer Effort,’ which was used to assess the effectiveness of customer experience delivered and to measure the amount of effort expended by the frontline staff, was a game changer. We were able to achieve significant results through strong alignment and integration of key performance drivers – people, processes, and technology.

Today’s customer is aware and always demands the best. How do you ensure that you are on top of what your customer desires?

I personally believe in understanding various drivers of customer experience and then benchmarking the best service practices for those drivers across industries and geographies. This enables one to see where one stands. That is when one can customize and provide a better experience to customers. This process also requires brands to reimagine experiences based on what is happening in the industry across the globe.

What do you think the future of customer experience holds?

I think we should eliminate the reasons for customers to contact the organization for any service-related issues. Businesses need to bring in design-thinking to their products and processes so that customer issues are projected and planned in advance. The need is a flawless product that should eliminate the need for complaints. Self-care and empowerment to customers on the product itself should eliminate the need for customers to depend on the organization to solve their problems. So, the future of customer experience would lie in providing a preemptive solution to customer issues, enabling organizations to deliver a predictable experience.

What would be your word of advice to organizations that wish to embark on a journey of customer delight, wanting to use it as their strategy for growth?

My advice would be to first, build a crystal clear understanding around who the customer is and, then, design a product or service-offering with the customer at the core. When this understanding of the customer is incorporated into the design of the product, it takes the customer experience to the next level.

What would you recommend to large enterprises with a deeply ingrained mindset and culture? Where do you think these organizations can start in their quest to become customer-centric?

When an organization increases in size, all departments look at their own goals. What they forget is that the purpose of all their departments is derived from one entity – the customer. Obviously, for a large organization to function effectively, you have to have departments. However, one thing that needs to be done is that the managers and the leaders need to validate every activity of what these functions are doing against what the customer wants. And doing so is not very difficult.

Most of the large organizations follow Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). They just need to ensure that all these KPIs and activities have a customer flavor to them. It just requires a change of mindset – a mindset that must focus on customer centricity.

NRKS Chakravarthy-CX Quote

Disclaimer: The views and comments expressed in this interview are completely personal and made at personal capacity as an experienced customer experience professional.

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