To help you, our readers, get to know the humans behind Netomi, we chatted with Rupal Nishar, our VP of Customer Success, about the company’s customer-first approach, and trends in the world of CX/CS today. Here’s what we uncovered in our Q&A with Rupal Nishar.
Rupal, throughout your career, you have worked for SaaS organizations, and have also worked for some of the best companies, including Bridgewater Associates. What makes Netomi unique in its customer-obsessed and customer-first approach?
The nexus of everything we do at Netomi is ‘customer love.’ From designing products to processes, we weave in the customer’s sentiment and experience to make it a frictionless experience – whether that’s the brands we work with (our customers) or end-users (our customers’ customers). Creating wildly successful customers is a key priority in my everyday life.
In your LinkedIn profile, you mentioned that “If there is a book on Customer Success, Design Thinking or Consumer Behavior, I have probably read it.” What are the top two Customer Success-related books that you think every CS professional should read?
For me, two books really stood out: The Seven Pillars of Customer Success by Wayne McCulloch, and The Customer Success Economy: Why Every Aspect of Your Business Model Needs A Paradigm Shift by Nick Mehta (for more insights from Nick, check out this conversation between him and Netomi Founder/CEO Puneet Mehta)!
What are some of the major trends and ‘insider scoop’ in the world of CS/CX today?
Today, CS/CX is on the brink of significant transformation. Some of the trends we will see include:
- Customer-led growth – an approach that places the customer at the heart of every interaction, and on optimizing their entire experience
- Market leaders will be investing and leveraging AI to transform CS/CX
- Digital Experience Strategy will be on the forefront of every Chief Customer Officer’s agenda
Today, we are seeing a huge shift in proactive rather than reactive customer service. What are some tips you have for taking a proactive approach to customer care?
In the last decade, and across all industries, we have seen a shift in the mindset and brand engagement behavior of customers to a point where brands have become a part of their identity, and it is undeniable that brands are now part of the customer DNA. We have also found that companies that excel in proactive customer engagement see higher customer lifetime value, lower acquisition costs and better brand loyalists. The beginning of proactive engagement boils down to really knowing your customer – here, data is your foundation to drive the engagement models. A good data management strategy is a must, as the rich customer data, complete with analytics, will fuel actionable insights.
Some other tips include: preempting your customers’ needs based on where they are in their journey, personalization of the customer experience, and remaining accessible across all channels. Make it easy for your customers to connect with your brand – be that through email, chat, messenger – and any social platforms where your customers can engage with you.
In the complex landscape of today, one with shifting customer expectations in the face of pandemic-era living adjustments, inflation, staffing shortages, etc., how do we display empathy for our customers during these uncertain times? Why is this especially important today?
This is absolutely important, and there are numerous ways of displaying empathy for our customers. One is to ensure swift resolutions to their concerns, while also making their experience personalized. Understanding what matters most to them goes a long way, which goes back to my earlier point of really honing in on data, and establishing a feedback loop that allows you to make those data-driven decisions.
Additionally, being accessible is very important. One way to do this is to implement an omnichannel experience for the customers so they can engage with your brand wherever they are, and another is offering always-on support, whenever your customer needs support.
What is the key to customer retention? How do you keep customers coming back for more?
First, it is important to design your customer journey along with internal processes while keeping the customer’s experience top of mind. Aside from the experience, targeting the right customers is also critical to the success of growth. Another aspect to keep in mind is product usability – the lower the effort is for the customer to adopt and maintain the product is crucial.
Make sure you’re measuring and improving the value quotient for customers, and lastly, communicate, communicate, communicate – everything from product updates to engagement. Communication with customers is key to keeping them well-informed and in the loop, and keeping them connected with your brand.