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Guest Column: The greatest brands are the ones that take 'Onus' of customer experience

Service technology is changing the face of customer support and service.

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NEW DELHI: Customer experience is about brands demonstrating their commitment to prioritizing and anticipating the problems of the customers and taking the onus to provide a solution to the customers. One of the frequent problems that were most customers face while purchasing online is the whole complexity of the 'return' process.

Agile brands are managing this, by using technology to simplify this process and some cases even ensuring that the need to return itself reduces. Service technology is changing the face of customer support and service and empowering the customers to make their lives convenient at all hours of the day.

The three, brands that are emerging as shining stars by using technology in effective ways to deliver effortless convenience.

a) Zomato 

When buying from an aggregator, the problem often becomes about who takes the onus in case of a product quality issue. In a recent experience, there was a wrong order delivered by a restaurant via Zomato, an Indian restaurant aggregator. The fault according to me lay with the restaurant, as it was a wrong variation of the dish that had been served up. It did not a case of an incorrect order picked up by the delivery boy. The restaurant in itself was unreachable / not contactable. None of the numbers worked. However, a simple chat exchange solved my problem; Zomato took onus and refunded the amount without the need for an actual conversation with a customer service executive or even any follow-up on emails/chats, etc. A simple chat message that can resolve the consumer’s concern, can create a lasting impact in the customer’s mind.

b) UNIQLO 

Given the pandemic, physically shopping for clothes is becoming an 'preferred' option for many, and rightly so. Yes, online shopping for apparel is possible. And it has its perks like saving time and effort, allowing us to compare brands, filter and shortlist our options at the convenience of a click, the aftermath of dealing with returns because of 'size' related issues just makes the shopping process longer. It is then that I do miss the occasional suggestion of the salesperson for the right size. Uniqlo’s size measurement technology tool solves this problem so efficiently for people like me. This simplistic technology on their website for online shopping requires you to enter your physical measurements, and it prompts a recommended size for you for that particular apparel, thus making the customer experience significantly much better. Gone are my days of taking the onus of opening size charts and trying to assess which size would be comparable basis a standard size chart and hence a better fit for me.

c) Amazon

Amazon has always been at the forefront of introducing innovations aimed at making the experience easier for its customers. It provides customers with a whole host of options to ensure minimal effort and convenience for the user. Minimal effort is a key and a determinant of your experience regardless of whether you are buying or returning a product. Effortless experience is what leads to customer loyalty. Many retailers are reaching new heights in ensuring a seamless purchase experience however only a few can surpass expectations when it comes to the 'return, ' experience. Amazon is a stand out brand in this aspect. Both the process and policies are aimed to please the customer and require minimal effort. Customer support is technology-driven yet easy to access, pick up is prompt and convenient to organize again via technology, and policies are fair, which are essential elements to ensure a seamless 'return experience.’

(The article is written by Hansa Research senior VP and national head – CX Practice Piyali Chatterjee. The views are personal and Indiantelevision.com may not subscribe to them.)

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