How Genesys mastered the art of balancing empathy and customer experience
At a roundtable discussion hosted by Genesys and AWS in association with YourStory, industry experts explored the synergy of efficiency and empathy. Shradha Sharma, Founder and CEO, YourStory, led the discussion with industry-specific insights.
In today's dynamic landscape, the fusion of efficiency and empathy is no longer a choice but a necessity – especially in the realm of Customer Experience (CX). Organisations striving to excel in a crowded marketplace have discovered that the key to success lies in seamlessly integrating streamlined processes with genuine human connection. This delicate balance not only fosters customer loyalty but also ushers in a new era that allows efficiency and empathy to coexist, revolutionising the approach to CX.
Genesys and AWS, in association with YourStory, hosted a roundtable discussion with experts to understand the synergy of efficiency and empathy. Shradha Sharma, Founder and CEO of YourStory, led the discussion with industry-specific insights.
The panel comprised Anuj Kumar, CTO,; Gaurav Bagga, Senior Vice President (SVP), Head of Engineering & Product, ; Urmi Shah, AGM/ Head Customer Service & CRM, Paras Healthcare Pvt. Ltd; Aman Arora, Co-Founder & CTO, ; Manish Jha, Chief Information Officer (CIO), ; Vivek Agrawal, CIO, IndiaMART InterMESH Limited; Aakanksha Saini, Director of Product Management, ; Raghav Kumar, CTO, BellaVita; Arvind Heda, CTO, (Infoedge); and Hitesh Dua, Product Operations & CX Lead, .
Efficiency, often synonymous with optimised processes and resource utilisation, serves as the backbone of any thriving business operation. In the realm of CX, it means providing customers with seamless and swift interactions through the strategic use of technology, data analytics, and automation. Yet, this pursuit of efficiency must not overshadow the importance of empathy — the genuine human connection that fosters trust and loyalty.
The discussion explored the convergence of efficiency and empathy within CX and how it is shaping a new world for businesses, customers, and society at large. Panellists dived deep into the crucial role that personalisation plays in striking this balance, the power of feedback loops for continuous improvement, and the contributions of organisational leadership to successful CX initiatives.
From answering questions like ‘What does empathy mean, the difficulties of balancing empathy and efficiency, and ways in which organisations can ensure customers' needs are seamlessly met, the discussion also touched upon more sensitive aspects like creating empathetic experiences and holding leadership accountable for an empathetic approach.
The key to balancing efficiency and empathy
“Efficiency kills sympathy, that's what Shradha and I discussed at our first meeting. This is because efficiency is more like your brain, and empathy is the heart. There's always this conflict of managing the brain and the heart. But, this has been our success mantra for ages now,” said Raja Lakshmipathy, Vice President and Managing Director, India and SAARC, Genesys.
Raja shared how Genesys, being a leader in cloud customer experience and contact centre solutions, helped organisations quickly establish a remote workforce and maintain critical customer service during the pandemic. By providing free licences for 90 days to the Genesys Cloud CX™ solution, with the capability to deploy as fast as 48 hours, Genesys provided swift response and rapid action to help mitigate any danger to the public or employees.
By doing so it helped organisations ensure data sovereignty along with secure, reliable, and flexible services, to meet demands during the COVID-19 crisis.
“I agree with Raja on the fact that empathy pays in the long run. It will give you new business and it will give you repeat business and that is what will make you profitable,” said Manish Jha of Addverb.
Hitesh Dua of INDmoney chipped in: “Uber’s campaign — ‘If you are racist, delete Uber’ — is a very bold statement that shows that the brand values something and will stand by that no matter what, no matter the consequences. That shows how empathetic they want to be.”
To nail customer experience, organisations need to dig deep and understand how customers feel. The ultimate goal is to ensure that offered experiences make them feel good.
Urmi Shah of Paras Healthcare shared the impact of empathy, “By nature, we have empathy. When we empathetically treat customers, we’re able to build trust in customers. When you care for them and understand their history instead of treating them like a transaction, trust will become inherent.”
Physicians who were actively listening to patients had a more holistic understanding of what was going on. They were able to detect problems through clues like body language, voice, and tone, without having patients spell anything out.
Unlocking a holistic understanding
Aman Arora, Leverage Edu said,“For us, empathy goes a long way because college is one of the most critical decisions for a student in their life. They spend a lot and at that stage, it is one of the most expensive steps.”
In the same sense, the ability to empathise allows customer support agents to get a more holistic view of what’s bothering the customer as they feel more comfortable with opening up.
Gaurav Bagga from Pristyn Care explained how Pristyn Care focuses on empathy. “We are a data-driven company and we define tax on how much time a patient should spend in a hospital after a surgery. If everything gets done, we work with the hospital to get the documentation and other processes done.”
The customer experience conundrum
To completely empathise with customers, fostering a culture of responsiveness and improvement is of utmost importance.
Anuj Kumar of Adda 24*7 spoke about how empathy will help businesses. “I believe that personalisation could actually help bring empathy into the picture for other businesses. And that has the potential to increase revenue.”
Feedback loops play a crucial role here. This involves employing various channels for feedback collection, embracing real-time feedback mechanisms, and utilising advanced data analytics tools like sentiment analysis and natural language processing (NLP) to glean insights.
Arvind Heda from Naukri.com (Infoedge) said “Customer experience is an integral part of customer problems. We take each and every piece of feedback from the customer, be it job seekers or recruiters. And we also act on it as fast as we can.”
Vivek Agrawal from IndiaMART InterMESH Limited, agreed, adding “In the last 10 years, we have been focusing on empathy and efficiency. All our customer service employees are trained to first address the customer’s point to ensure that no repeat calls are made for the same issue.”
Leadership’s role in shaping CX strategy
Organisational leadership also plays a pivotal role in shaping a CX strategy that seamlessly blends efficiency and empathy.
Aakanksha Saini of Innovaccer said, “When it comes to customer experience, I’m thinking about, not as an outsider, but, putting myself in their shoes, and thinking about how I would’ve responded had I gone through this problem. And what can I do to solve that.”
Effective leaders articulate a clear vision for CX that prioritises both components, allocates resources accordingly, and fosters a culture steeped in customer-centricity.
Raghav Kumar from BellaVita said, “We try to be empathetic to our customers through our customer-first approach. And this I believe is a leadership-driven trait in an organisation.”
The way forward
Leaders empower employees to make customer-focused decisions and ensure feedback is integrated into decision-making processes. Investment in training and development programmes enhances employees' ability to balance efficient processes with empathetic customer interactions.
By setting clear metrics, regularly measuring CX performance, and remaining adaptable to evolving customer expectations, leadership can drive a culture of continuous improvement in CX.