Aryama Dutta Saikia has been in the education industry for the past 13 years. She’s been with Jamboree Education Pvt. Ltd. since 2007 and is currently the Chief Operating Officer, heading 35 Jamboree centers located in 22 cities in 4 countries. With her expertise in designing and implementing scalable, sustainable, and robust systems, Aryama spearheads Jamboree’s expansion and diversification efforts.
Apart from this, Aryama has also been closely involved with many other departments of Jamboree such as Sales, Franchise Strategy, Admissions Consulting, Digital Marketing, Online training, and Customer Experience. She championed the cause of CX at Jamboree, creating and setting up a customer-service team from scratch. With her massive experience in education management, Aryama is a name to reckon with in the education sector in India.
About Jamboree Education
Founded in 1993, Jamboree is one of the most trusted names in India for education abroad. It offers comprehensive classroom preparation programs for tests such as GMAT®, GRE®, SAT®, TOEFL™, and IELTS™. Apart from test-prep, Jamboree also provides admission guidance to students. It currently has 35 centers in 22 cities and 4 countries including UAE, Singapore, and Kathmandu. The motto of Jamboree, ‘Transforming Careers, Transforming Lives’ is truly reflected in the testimonials that it receives from its students.
It was an honor to interview Aryama and get her insightful responses to the following questions.
What role has Customer Experience (CX) played in the journey of your company?
Jamboree Education is an extremely customer service-oriented organization. Jamboree has completed 25 years this year, and its growth has been primarily because of good word-of-mouth.
In your journey so far, which is the one CX initiative you had pioneered that you are proud of the most?
If I may, I would like to pick 2 initiatives. In 2014, I created the customer service department in Jamboree. The responsibility of this department is to call every single student and collect their candid feedback. We already have a system where students’ written feedback is collected by the center staff when they are midway through their batch. But, we found that students were more prone to give candid feedback when they are called by someone from the Head Office. Based on the recommendations of the customer service department, we brought in a lot of changes in our course structure and delivery.
The second initiative is more recent. Since April 2017, we have been creating WhatsApp group for every batch in each Jamboree center. I message in each group, introducing myself and giving my contact details. Numerous students have emailed me to appreciate the approachability of the management of Jamboree.
Generally, teams are always caught up in initiatives that are already planned. In this endeavor to meet the existing KRAs, initiatives that could actually create a positive CX get missed out. How would you handle such a situation and align the team towards the CX goal?
We regularly educate the teams about the significance of positive word-of-mouth. The teams are aware of the data – that 50% of our revenue comes from referrals. This data is available to the teams through our management information systems. This has been enough to bring alignment.
What is your vision around CX at your company? How do you see it evolving in the next couple of years?
The vision is to support and hand-hold each student at every step of his journey – from exam prep to applications – in a proactive manner. Currently, our support is more reactive than proactive. The only way to provide customized support to each student is to use technology and integrate it with our existing systems.
What is your word of advice for businesses embarking on the journey of customer-centricity?
The only way to be customer-centric is to put yourself in the customer’s shoes. When in doubt, ask yourself what you would want if you were the customer. Do to your customers what you want to be done for you, and more importantly, don’t do to your customers what you don’t want to be done to you.
Image courtesy: Bram Vanhaeren – HypeBea
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