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Trust and Human Experiences: How customer delight drives business scale

As part of TechBlaze, an initiative by Airtel Business in association with YourStory, leading entrepreneurs and technology decision-makers came together for a roundtable on ‘Revolutionising the Human Experience’, and shared insights on how businesses can meet the evolving -needs of consumers

Trust and Human Experiences: How customer delight drives business scale

Tuesday July 11, 2023 , 8 min Read

Every brand today strives to stay steps ahead of the competition, and they do so by embracing innovation that is in line with technology and user trends. It’s time for businesses to adopt the act of bringing a human-centric approach to every interaction and create meaningful experiences for customers. Having this connection is a gamechanger, and this is what makes organisations stand out!

To understand how the art of human delight can be a catalyst for growth, Airtel Business, one of India’s largest and most trusted ICT services providers of connectivity, IOT, Cloud, Data Center, Security, CPaaS, Adtech solutions & more to businesses of all sizes, has launched TechBlaze. Exclusively designed for leading entrepreneurs, startup leaders, technology decision-makers, and marketers, the initiative aims to bring together insights on latest trends, learn from experiences, leverage innovative solutions and collectively grow.

As part of this initiative, the first roundtable, ‘Revolutionising the Human Experience’, among others to follow, was held in Bengaluru in June 2023. The discussion was moderated by Chetan Bhagat, author, columnist, and YouTuber, and Shradha Sharma, CEO, and Founder of YourStory. It brought out interesting insights around building scale, trust, and innovations for lasting customer relationships through redefined human experiences.

The roundtable started with Sharma speaking on building long-lasting customer relationships. “Customers carry these experiences far and wide helping brands expand their reach,” said Sharma.

As the discussion progressed, Avinash Deepak, Senior VP and Business Head, Airtel Business, outlined how customers today want an element of human touch to any of their engagements with brands. “Even as businesses go digital, the human experience plays a critical role to establish trust with customers,” he said.

Bhagat stated that another important aspect for brands to focus on is keeping customer relationships intact, even as they scale. “Often in the growth phase, brands lose connection with their customers. To be successful, it becomes necessary today to decode how one can keep close to the customer, even when expanding the business,” he said.

Let’s dive into the conversations that came to the fore!

Listen to your customer

Akhil Gupta, CTO and Cofounder, NoBroker, India’s first prop tech unicorn that has digitised renting, buying properties without middle men, shared that one of the key reasons their business remains close to the customers is because they enable savings for them. “We take initiatives to listen to our customers that give us insights on their pain points, so that we can make their experiences on our platform an absolute delight,” he said.

Saurabh Odhyan, CTO of FreshToHome, which delivers fish and meat within 24 hours of harvest to customers, spoke about how the brand lays utmost emphasis on quality, so that the best product reaches customers. “We buy at source from fishermen and then the produce is under temperature control throughout its journey, till it reaches the customer’s doorstep. And this integrated supply chain is our strength,” he said.

Govind Soni, CTO and Co-founder, CoinSwitch, a crypto and wealth tech app and platform, shared that since trust in crypto businesses is low among consumers, they focused on building a chat option for users. “We established a chat option to listen to our users. We also rethought our products to help users invest small amounts so that they could experience the crypto asset class easily,” he said.

Create a value proposition

While technology remains a great enabler of services and products, personalised experiences and a human connect definitely give an edge to brands, said participants at the roundtable.

Sheshank Sridharan, VP, Tech and Product, Furlenco, a furniture rental and subscription platform, explained how value-added services impact the market. “For us, automation can’t replace the human experience, as every minor customisation requires careful attention. Optimisations become limited, and logistics become a critical factor in our operations. We recognise the deep personal nature of this relationship, and strive to ensure that we never make mistakes that could compromise safety or satisfaction,” he added.

Swapnil Gupta, Vice President, Engineering, Xpressbees, which offers last-mile delivery solutions and shipping services, agreed, stating, “Our ability to take care of smaller players and protect them has been instrumental in driving customer experience.”

Vivek Gupta, CTO of crypto exchange platform CoinDCX, spoke about how the company focused on creating value from Web3 assets for consumers. “Our aim is to raise awareness, educate, and make crypto accessible to our users. This, in turn, helped us to solve, learn, and grow with them,” he added.

While brands grow with their customers, it also becomes important to build products that keep pace with evolving trends. Kaushal Shubhank, VP-Engineering, Glance, a lock screen experience that helps users discover tailor-made content, spoke about acquiring Roposo, a short-video social platform in 2019 that helped to add vernacular video content and live-streaming to its platform. “We have always looked at future technologies to be relevant to our users,” Shubhank added.

Helping customers with the desired outcome also plays an important role in creating value. As Yogesh Nehra, President of Technology, upGrad, which offers upskilling programs for professionals, revealed how the company worked to offer personalised human experiences to users. “To scale this as a service, we used technology where we offloaded the non-emotional tasks to a non-human, whereas the emotional part was addressed by a human. This ensured customised support without overwhelming resources,” he shared.

Build trust

Building trust in consumers is of utmost importance for brands to keep their customers close. Gaurav Bhalotia, CTO, Udaan, a business-to-business ecommerce platform for MSMEs, shared that the most challenging aspect of scaling for a company is building trust with customers. “We have dedicated relationship managers for our users, open channels of communication, and proactive measures to address potential escalations that ensure intervention and quick resolution.”

Amol Wanjari, SVP, Engineering, ACKO Insurance, a digital insurance platform that aims to humanise insurance for people unfamiliar with what they are buying, said building trust comes from generating awareness and educating the customer. “There is a lack of awareness and understanding about insurance, making it a challenging market. We understand our customers, educate them, and cut out intermediaries. The delight factor for the customer is when the claims are met, which then results in renewal,” he said.

Delivering consistently on quality is another important aspect to building trust with consumers, said Saurabh Tiwari, CTO, PolicyBazaar, a platform for all insurance-related needs. “As we grew, we used technology to understand call data and then train customer executives to ensure service quality. We established strong processes, where any anomaly is flagged immediately. Easy claim processing and phygital channels are some other solutions that we are working on to drive human experience,” he said.

Keep internal stakeholders happy, to deliver exceptional service

To drive human-centric experiences, it is also important for brands to empower in-house experience providers so they can deliver exceptional customer service.

Ramesh Kumar Katreddi, VP-Engineering, Jumbotail, a B2B platform for India’s wholesale ecosystem of millions of mom-and-pop grocery retailers, brands, and staples producers and farmers, shared how in March 2020, after the pandemic struck, the brand had to first develop an empathetic relationship with delivery partners to offer good customer experience. “During the pandemic, our business scaled 2X. But for us to execute on that scale, we had to make sure our delivery executives were safe. It was a revelation on building human experience,” he shared.

Madhusudhan Rao, CTO, online food delivery platform Swiggy, agreed. He shared, “We wanted to establish respect for our delivery heroes. To do so, we built features and ran campaigns that gave our delivery partners recognition. This gave delivery partners a sense of ownership, and they began to go the extra mile to deliver customer experiences,” he added.

Another important human experience that Swiggy established through technology was automatic speech recognition that helped in making its services accessible and inclusive to all users. It also helped unlock audio insights for delivery partners.

Ankur Srivastava, VP and Head of Product, Engineering, and Data Science, Rupeek, an asset-backed, digital lending fintech platform, spoke about how the company takes care of customer interface executives by enabling them with solutions like accurate geo locations so they deliver empathetic communication to make end customers feel valued and understood. “This helps us deliver customer delight like receiving the entire loan amount before the asset leaves their premises, secure packaging and protection, so that the emotional value associated with gold buying and loaning remains intact for our customers.”

Conclusion

The discussion ended with Bhagat summarising that while technology is an enabler, the most important aspect for brands to succeed is by humanising their connection with customers to leave a lasting impression. “Building products and services is an iterative process. Brands need to understand this to build exceptional human experiences,” he said. Deepak said establishing trust and data privacy offers a competitive advantage to any business. “Safeguarding user information is highly crucial today and brands must do everything to maintain privacy,” he concluded.