The science and art of building profitable customer relationships
Understanding customer needs is the key to achieving overall business goals which in turn results in strong customer relationships and generates new sales through positive word-of-mouth recommendations. So how are businesses leveraging data and analytics to know their customers better?
To gain deeper insights into the subject, YourStory’s Brands of New India Mega Summit brought together industry experts featuring Vivek Prabhakar, Founder, Chumbak; Bhavik Vasa, Founder and CEO, , and Sankalp Mehrotra, Vice President of Monetization at at in a panel discussion on how businesses can bank on data and analytics for a seamless customer experience.
Building the brand-consumer relationship
Lifestyle brand Chumbak Design is based on the concept of design philosophy and is known for delivering a seamless customer experience. Decoding the secret sauce, Vivek explained, “Chumbak is 12 years old now, and from day one we have always valued customer feedback, which has been a great learning point. We started a tradition where every member of the leadership team has to spend an hour every fortnight listening to calls with the client servicing team to get a proper understanding of the problems being faced. Customers are loyalists and they won’t spend much time on your brand unless taken care of well,” he added.
Talking about understanding the customers’ tastes to retain them, Vivek said, “We are constantly in touch with customers while trying to understand what and why they are buying. Even small details like the kind of music to be played at our offline store, colour of our store walls, or the decor took us months to decide.”
Flipkart’s Sankalp highlighted the most important data points leveraging brands to create products based on customer needs. “There are two ways of understanding what your customer needs. The first one is building indicators like what the customer wants, their behavioural changes, how technology can be utilised for the betterment of the customers, and the second one is by market reports, statistics, etc,” he said.
Sankalp further revealed the various dimensions of identifying brand-customer relationships. “The first one is the brand's ability to identify customer trends and needs, and the second one would be keeping the brand relevant with continuous technological evolution. The third would be innovative marketing and communication, while the last would be removing complexities from aspects like quality control and optimising cost,” he added.
Sharing more about his revenue-based business model based on digital financing, Bhavik explained that GetVantage’s revenue-based funding is non-dilutive and founder-friendly
“We call ourselves a new-age growth platform, allowing the evolving D2C brands to grow and scale up. We wanted to help brands inventorise better so that they can access a lot more customers in the seasoned time. The last 18 months have been a game-changer in how consumers behave with brands. Having funded 150 brands in the last few months, we’ve observed that even if the customers are not buying, they are at least engaging with the brands online,” he said.
Metrics of successful customer engagement
Bhavik feels that this decade belongs to the emerging brands of India. Besides, technological platforms have become great enablers for brands to level up the playing field. “You can now reach your customers and talk to them directly and get constant feedback. Implementing digital marketing while targeting the exact customers is the order of the day. Proper engagement through technological tools, and quantifying feedback while implementing are the biggest hacks of successful customer engagement,” he added.
Tracing down Chumbak’s digital transformation while keeping up with the multi-channel approach, Vivek shared, “For us, it doesn’t matter whether the consumer goes offline or online, rather, what the consumer shops is most important. Almost 40 percent of our online resources get shipped from our offline store. Thus, from an omnichannel perspective, our biggest learning was the entire investment in tech and how the supply chain works so that the products would reach consumers at a rapid pace.”
Brands need to attain hypo-personalisation at scale to reach out to the same customers. Elaborating on how D2C brands can effectively communicate with their customers, Sankalp said, “Luckily, marketers today have tools based on which they can form a strong one-on-one connection with customers. In a heterogenous market like India, your customer approach cannot be homogenous. Flipkart, as a marketplace, can help brands achieve this hypo-personalisation, while building brand loyalty and category creation.”
Future of e-commerce
Discussing the content commerce journey, Sankalp feels that platforms need to find ways of either creating these journeys or becoming a part of them. “Content to e-commerce is something where brands have to find new ways of customer engagement. Marketers too need to shift from one node to another for constant engagement with customers,” he shared.
“Reality can be confusing, but brands need to go on a process of continuous experimentation and expansion. Consumers are constantly experimenting and brands need to be agile to keep up with that,” echoed Bhavik.
For Vivek, innovation is not a buzzword but an ongoing process. “What has worked for us in the past, might not be suitable for the years to come. One of the biggest resources we have is our consumer database, and investing more in tech helps us to understand the sales procedure, delving deeper into the kind of products they are seeking,” he said.
To make a brand stand out from the clutter, it is important to build a loyal community with its quality, product, price, and voice.
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