Shweta Jha currently manages three functions in Ferns N Petals – Training, Quality, and Customer Experience. She believes that these functions are interrelated because when an organization has the right kind of employees and partners, and they are trained well, they will ensure that the customers have a great experience. Shweta has 12 years of experience in the field of Customer Service and has been instrumental in creating and implementing exceptional customer experience strategies. In every role that she has played, her focus has always been on optimizing the customer’s experience. She is an ardent Customer Experience advocate and her main priority is to put customers on the front line of importance for both employees and partners.
About Ferns N Petals
Ferns N Petals is India’s largest flower and gift e-retailer and one of the largest in the world. It pioneered the concept of flowers and gifts in India. Starting with a single store in 1994, Ferns N Petals has a massive pan-India presence today. It has consistently been honored for its pre-eminence in creative spirit and service capabilities, making it one of the most sought-after brands in India. Ferns N Petals passionately strives to be the largest premium gifting leader with flowers, gifts, cakes, and weddings being the core verticals driven by people first approach and innovation in all spheres of business.
It was an honor to interview Shweta and receive her wonderful responses.
Please give us a short introduction to your journey to becoming a CX professional.
I started my career with Convergys in 2002 as a Customer Service Representative. From there, I moved on to the aviation industry, where I worked as a cabin crew for seven years. I was genuinely fond of meeting and interacting with people, so the aviation industry was a perfect fit for me. Those seven years of traveling taught me a lot, both professionally and personally. I have worked in a few other industries before finally joining e-commerce. Irrespective of the industry, all of my roles have revolved around customer service and customer experience.
Could you please describe the closed-loop feedback management process followed by Ferns N Petals currently?
We have a dedicated team that works on each and every feedback or complaint received from a detractor or even a passive customer. Subsequently, the team gets in touch with the customer and offers the best possible resolution. We have complaint-handling standard operating procedures, but a lot of times, we deviate from them so that we are able to resolve a customer’s concern up to his/her satisfaction. When we say ‘100% Smile Guaranteed’ on our website, we actually mean it. We, as an organization, take customer satisfaction very seriously. It’s only after we have won the customer back by the service recovery done by the team that a case is closed.
Walk us through your typical day as the Customer Experience Manager at Ferns N Petals.
A typical day starts with analyzing the previous day’s NPS reports and notifying the concerns to the relevant departments. By doing so, we take action on reducing those reasons and this, in turn, will reduce the number of detractors. Besides this, a lot of my time is spent in training employees and partners. Innovation is a word very important to all of us in the organization. It’s an integral part of our vision and mission as well. I ensure that I take out some time every day in planning strategies that are innovative and that will add to a customer’s experience. Coaching and mentoring my team is something that I am very passionate about and I make sure that I spend some time every day with them, irrespective of how packed my schedule is.
What were your biggest challenges in setting up the closed-loop feedback management process at Ferns N Petals? How do you suggest that other CX professionals get over similar challenges?
In terms of setting up the process, I did not face any challenges. My biggest challenge was and has been in having the right kind of people to run the process. It’s not been easy to hire and train a team that is as customer-centric as we are as an organization. My advice to other CX professionals would be to have a robust team, who speaks customer service as a second language. Frequent training and mentoring of the team is also a must. After all, the team will be the custodian of your process.
Where do you see the biggest value add of this closed-loop process in your organization?
The biggest value that the closed-loop process has added has been in retaining customers. Every feedback received is addressed and every complaint is resolved. This process has been instrumental in building and retaining customer loyalty. By regularly closing the loop, we are able to win over the detractors and passives. These customers will not only do business with us again but will also talk about our service with others.
Finally, how do you think the customer experience practice in India is going to shape up in the next two to five years?
The emerging trend now is customer experience, rather than customer service. In the years to come, customer experience will be the deciding factor for customers to choose a brand. Companies will be constantly innovating to improve customer experience as customer experience is a journey, and not a destination. Understanding the customer journey is about learning what customers expect from the moment they begin considering a purchase to the time they give you a rating after they have experienced your product and service.
Image courtesy: Bram Vanhaeren – HypeBea
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