CX Speak

Deliver Top-Line Experience and Make the Lives of Your Customers Better: An Exclusive Interview with Ms. Meera Iyer, Marketing Head, BigBasket

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 across India, we have another gem of an interview with Ms. Meera Iyer. Ms. Iyer is currently heading the Marketing at BigBasket, India’s largest online grocer serving across over 25 cities. Ms. Iyer drives initiatives for business growth and for delivering a top-line experience to the customers. She also has end-to-end experience in Marketing and Sales while she was working with Hindustan Unilever Limited for 9 years.

In a candid chat with Customer Guru, Ms. Iyer opines that every brand must provide a great experience to the customers without which it would remain just an average brand. She also discusses why customer experience, in today’s times, is truly the new branding.

We invite our readers to comment and ask questions on challenges that they might be facing in their organizations when it comes to setting up systems and processes to deliver a great experience. This article is framed in a question-answer format; please feel free to share your feedback on the article too.

With your experience of working with Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) for over a decade to switching gears now to a start-up environment at BigBasket, how different would you say is an established brand compared to a start-up in terms of the experience that it delivers to its customers?

All product brands, of a soap or a mobile, and service brands, such as BigBasket, provide a level of customer experience. The quantum of people experiencing it may change depending on the popularity and access the brand has. However, what a brand offers, whether it is to 100 customers or 100,000 customers, is not really a function of the age of the brand. It’s rather about what a brand decides from its founding days on its deliverables to a customer. Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) also had new brands that I launched and much before any launch, the marketing mix is already set. What changes over time is the natural evolution of the brand with some additions that happen over time. Similarly, BigBasket of 6 years back and today is different; but, the core principles of the brand stay – it’s a brand committed to making life better by delivering the widest range of high-quality groceries to customers on time, in full at fair prices, and by well-trained delivery executives.

In a recent interview, Hari Menon, the co-founder and CEO of BigBasket, said, “With fill rates and on-time delivery over 99%, our performance is the best even among global retailers. We have invested heavily in marketing and creating an infrastructure to help maintain our focus on customer experience.” Could you please let us know how this was made possible? Could you please share examples with the readers?

A start-up culture and customer experience are what the founders mold. In our case, we have a fantastic team of five co-founders, who have really set the bar high and have personally led the setup of systems and processes that enable us to deliver these truly noteworthy metrics. I believe what gets measured, gets done! So, when you set your team’s deliverables at 99% on time, it happens. And when you are truly passionate about it, you don’t just set targets; you look at ways to also achieve them in the best possible manner and you troubleshoot when they don’t, to rectify the same.

BigBasket clocked INR 1000 crore in sales in FY 2017, a more than 100% jump from the previous year. What impact has this rapid expansion had on the experience that you are delivering to your customers?

Our customer-facing metrics remain the same. We will not expand at the expense of any of these metrics. When you find a lot more of your family and friends using and recommending BigBasket, you feel good as a customer; it reinforces your choice and trust in BigBasket. So, we see that happening where BigBasketeers are becoming a sizable community.

What’s your take on the idea that “customer experience is the new branding?”

It’s true because of the media explosion and particularly digital media explosion that’s taken place. Earlier, an average product with lots of marketing dollars would be able to rule the roost. However, today, with voices of customers being easily tabled and distributed, it’s not possible to be an average brand and make above average claims. You will easily get trolled for it. It’s also becoming a reality with a sharp increase in customer choices. More brands and services mean that you better provide a very good customer experience to retain your customers.

What would be your word of advice to a brand looking to embark on the journey of customer centricity?

The word starts with the customer, so take your time to really understand your customer first. Beyond all the jazz of creatives and metrics is a human being and understanding what will make them a customer is vital. Experience will make them stick or abandon you. So, be clear on its importance!


Recommended Articles

Rajesh Pawar Customers First

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…

Gangadhar Krishna CXConsultant

Nuances of Delighting Customers: An Exclusive Interview with Mr. Gangadhar Krishna, Customer Service Consultant

At Customer Guru, we believe that Customer Experience (CX) should be the number one priority…