Fireside Chat between Tata Communications and Tata Realty: 5 ways how Technology bridges the CX perception gap

BrandPost By Tata Communications
Sep 24, 20239 mins
Emerging Technology
The customer pressing smiley face emoticon on the virtual touch screen and rated the service quality excellent. Customer service evaluation concept. The best of service quality
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In today’s digitally driven world, technology is revolutionizing the way businesses interact with their customers. Customer experience (CX) has become a key competitive differentiator, with almost half of respondents (49%) in the survey by Foundry’s State of the CIO report saying the need to improve customer experience increased in priority as a business initiative due to the current state of the economy.

Organizations are increasingly leveraging technology to enhance and personalize the customer journey. From data analytics to automation, technology plays a crucial role in shaping CX across various industries.

Tata Communications in particular, is leveraging emerging technologies like AI and automation to build a CX centric organization. The CIO team is homing in on customer engagement initiatives, and leadership is cognizant of the challenges in evangelizing CX as a keystone goal across the organization, with the aide of technology. A global survey by Foundry revealed CX to be among the top 3 priorities expected from CIOs and IT by CEOs.

This article captures an exploratory conversation between Hari Nair, VP, Sales, Tata Communications and Girish Hadkar, Vice President & Head IT, Tata Realty and Infrastructure Ltd moderated by Foundry team where they deliberate on how technology enhancements within organisations leads to seamless CX. This insightful discussion has been presented in the form of five key takeaways, highlighting the benefits technology brings to businesses and customers alike. 

Contextual conversations with Automation and Human Intervention

Organization endeavour to take customer experience to the next level, but rapidly changing market rules make this a herculean task. This is validated by findings in the State of the CIO report, which notes that organizations are working to enhance customer experience by analysing customer needs and behaviours (45%), delivering products and services in new ways (42%), and adapting products and services to meet changing demands (40%).

Girish, in his conversation highlights the importance of Tata Realty, a real estate company to understand the digital necessities of their customers. He adds that their customers sought a balance between their willingness to engage with digital channels, versus the need for genuine human engagement. To achieve this, the company needed data sets that were comprehensive in both the quantitative but also qualitative sense, from which they could extract crucial information for creating vivid customer personas.

With the advent of seamless tools and technology, Hari acknowledges how customers now prefer a proactive system, which allows them to attain the information as quickly and frictionlessly as possible. As he explains, “The business intention is not to discard the manual model, as Girish said, but to improve it in conjunction with an automated system to improve the entire experience. This integration with existing technology is critical before the changes can be implemented at the tool level.” They agree that their various interaction channels need an orchestration layer which helps them shift across them all seamlessly.

Thus, for organisations to innovate with a beating heart; they need both the benefits of speed and efficiency from automation, with the personal touch of human interaction.

Leveraging AI the right way

AI being the latest buzzword, businesses are expectantly looking to AI and automation tools to enhance customer experience. Girish confirms, “The advent of Chat GPT has all the business functions geared towards it.”

Girish highlights Tata Realty’s definitive policy when it comes to this new technology, having divided AI into three parts – conversational AI, self-service AI, and proactive AI, from the customer’s point of view.

The company is currently working on an assistive AI model, with several proofs of concept (POCs) tested with employees and other partners to evangelize it into a completely automated proactive AI. Meanwhile, Tata Realty’s homegrown bot Genie, can conduct open-ended conversations with the help of policies loaded in the backend, which allows it to have conversations with people and answer their queries, which they aim to gradually release to stakeholders, customers, and vendors.

Leveraging AI intelligently is a game-changer in bridging the CX perception gap and elevating customer experiences. By thoroughly understanding customer needs and preferences, organizations can design AI-powered solutions that offer seamless and natural interactions, providing instant support and personalized recommendations.

Well Integrated technology Stack

Seamless integration at the tool level plays a pivotal role in enhancing business abilities and customer experiences. By ensuring that different tools and technology solutions work cohesively together, organizations can streamline their processes, eliminate data silos, and provide a unified and consistent customer journey. When tools seamlessly integrate, it allows for a more efficient flow of information and data sharing, enabling teams to access critical insights and make data-driven decisions in real-time. This synergy not only improves internal operations but also translates into a more personalized and seamless experience for customers, enhancing satisfaction and loyalty.

Amalgamation of CRM with Customer Data platform

The amalgamation of CRM with a Customer Data Platform (CDP) provides businesses with a 360-degree customer view by combining data from various sources. This integration enables personalized marketing, real-time data synchronization, and deeper customer insights through advanced analytics. The data collected from this amalgamation becomes a valuable input to the orchestration layer, ensuring a seamless and consistent customer experience across all touchpoints. It empowers data-driven decision-making and improves customer service, ultimately enhancing customer experiences, driving engagement, and building stronger, lasting relationships with customers.

The right CX Technology Partner

While some needs can be fulfilled in house for an organization, partnering with the right CX technology provider is critical for businesses. Girish and Hari agreed that working with a technology partner that offers specialized knowledge, tailored solutions, access to advanced technologies, ongoing support, and strategic alignment is important. This partnership ensures optimal CX outcomes and a competitive edge in delivering exceptional customer experiences.

Hari added, “Tata Communications is a single global provider for Cloud, Network and Voice which is very important for customer experience deployments, with an understanding of the global regulations and complexities across multi-national environments. This is where we outcompete our contemporaries with our strong capabilities, compliance and regulatory knowledge alongside our network expertise. Tata Communications adheres to local security regulations to maintain customer and employee data integrity. We provide extensive voice connectivity with inbuilt fraud prevention as a service, which is a unique capability. All these factors play a very important role in CX deployments. Overall, Tata Communications takes a holistic approach to shaping an organization’s CX journey by assessing their current CX strategy, developing a customer-centric CX strategy, providing innovative CX solutions, and supporting their digital transformation journey.”

The Conclusion

Girish observed that when it comes to something as critical as the CX perception gap, every faction of the business comes together to craft the customer experience.

Today, the entire leadership is completely on board with the CX perception agenda. Girish concurs, “Be it the CMO, or the head of CRM, everybody understands that CX is critical. In terms of technology, what is needed is an amalgamation between a traditional CRM and a customer data platform.” This amalgamation serves as a good input for the orchestration layer, where the interactions can be evaluated based on the personas.

It sounds simple, but it’s not, Hari admits. CIOs and organizations are committed to harbouring a culture fostering CX, but challenges emerge.As Hari explains, “We’re reimagining the customer experience process. There is no shame in getting it completely wrong in the experimentation phase. You need a system in which you can agilely change to customer needs. Additionally, you need to train your employees too, because the concept of customer empathy has to be imbibed.”

Hari also informs that in a rapidly evolving market, rigidity devolves into future redundancy, so flexibility to customer needs is key. This means that the design of their orchestration tool should be an extension of what the user does.

Girish elucidates that ultimately, customer experience enhancement is not the responsibility of a single function like CRM, but of the business as a whole. “We have moved from a projects mentality to a platforms mentality. We have integrated our core platforms so that everybody can collaborate using the same data. What we want is to curate human experiences in the digital world.”

In today’s competitive landscape, organizations are leveraging technology to bridge the gap between customer experience (CX) perception and reality. This discussion between Hari Nair, VP of Sales at Tata Communications, and Girish Hadkar, VP & Head IT at Tata Realty and Infrastructure Ltd, sheds light on how technology advancements can transform CX, the realistic challenges in this path and the solutions brainstormed in the organization to triumph over them.

From contextual conversations with automation and human intervention to leveraging AI and understanding customer centricity goals, technology plays a crucial role in enhancing CX. Working with the right CX technology partner is also vital for businesses to achieve optimal outcomes. By fostering a culture of CX and integrating platforms, organizations can curate exceptional human experiences in the digital world. Embracing technology as an enabler and strategic tool, businesses can close the CX perception gap and deliver superior customer experiences.

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