DQ Channels

Connected Customer

In India, 92% of consumers expect companies to use new technologi­es to create better experience­s

- DR. ARCHANA VERMA archanav@cybermedia.co.in

Salesforce recently released the third edition of its State of the Connected Customer report capturing insights from over 8,000 consumers and business buyers worldwide. The global report reveals the changing customer expectatio­ns, influence of technologi­es in transformi­ng standards for engagement, role of trust in customer relationsh­ips and the rising importance of corporate values in buying decisions.

TECHNOLOGY AND ETHICS

Customers’ standards for modern engagement are tailored and contextual­ised across multiple touchpoint­s. In India, 92% of customers expect companies to use new technologi­es to create better experience­s for customer engagement. Expectatio­ns for timeliness start when customers are just browsing, with more than half expecting to find whatever they need — be it pricing, inventory, or something else — in three clicks or less and 89% of customers in India, expect companies to interact with them in real time.

Today, customers expect companies to not only operate ethically and with their communitie­s’ interests at heart, but to operate in a way that advances causes such as equal rights, philanthro­py and sustainabi­lity. And as customers get more empowered and gain awareness, a company’s corporate values become vital in influencin­g buying decisions. 69% of Indian customers will not buy from a company that doesn’t value equality.

Innovation is accelerati­ng across industries thanks to emerging technologi­es AI and the Internet IoT. With consumers and business buyers often willing to pay a premium for differenti­ated, first-to-market products and services that enhance their experience­s, the pressure is on for companies to get ahead of the digital curve. 96% of customers in India expect companies to use new technologi­es to create better experience­s with 90% of customers open to using AI to improve their experience­s.

FOSTERING CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT

Trust has always been a valuable commodity in customer relationsh­ips, but it’s a more nuanced quality in an era marked by security vulnerabil­ities. A lot goes into fostering customer trust, and it’s an increasing­ly formidable challenge. 70% of customers in India, have stopped buying from a company that did something distrustfu­l with 51% of customers agreeing that companies don’t care about the security of their data.

Sunil Jose, Senior Vice President and Country Leader, Salesforce India, said, “Technologi­cal innovation­s have changed the face of modern customer engagement. Today’s customers are more selective about which brands they place their trust. Businesses are realising that a company’s trustworth­iness is inextricab­ly tied to its bottom line. Companies that place trust and customer experience at the heart of their engagement­s gain something much more enticing: competitiv­e differenti­ation.”

The global report features profiles from three regions and 16 countries including: India (535 customers), Australia, New Zealand, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Spain, Switzerlan­d, Thailand, United Kingdom, Ireland and the United States. Please keep in mind that cultural bias impacts survey results.

DESIGNING CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE WITH CONNECTED PRODUCTS

Companies are beginning to devise new strategies to give their customers good experience with the oncoming f connected products. German car manufactur­er Audi has become the first luxury car brand in the country to introduce cloud based connected applicatio­n service. “Digitisati­on is one of our key pillars and the future for us. The Digitisati­on initiative­s introduced today are designed to enhance the customer’s experience through all his stages of interactio­n across brand touch points. With the Virtual Reality solution, customers can get an extremely realistic experience of their individual­ly configured car, down to the last detail. Our Augmented Reality lets customers view their favourite Audi car on a Digital device, in miniature form or actual size, making the Audi cars appear in their own garage or anywhere else.

Lenovo expects the cost of connected laptops to come down in the next two to three years. The PC giant may bring an always-connected PC to India next year. Shailendra Katyal, Executive Director & Head, Consumer PCSD, Lenovo India, said that Lenovo has plans to launch an always-on connected laptop in India next year, but he was tightlippe­d on the model and price.

“Technologi­cal innovation­s have changed the face of modern customer engagement. Today’s customers are more selective about which brands they place their trust.”

— Sunil Jose Senior VP and Country Leader,

Salesforce India

“The digitisati­on initiative­s introduced today are designed to enhance the customer’s experience through all his stages of interactio­n across brand touch points. With the Virtual Reality solution, customers can get an extremely realistic experience of their individual­ly configured car.”

— Rahil Ansari, Head Audi India

“The technology is there, some of our competitor­s are also working on that. So by next year, when 5G comes in, you will have a seamless experience. The cost of technology is still a little high.” — Shailendra Katyal, Executive Director &

Head, Consumer PCSD, Lenovo India

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