Digitally optimizing OpX and CX for better ROI

08 December, 2022

Reimagining business operations to deliver better customer experiences

The organizational ecosystem has expanded the boundaries of customer experience (CX) beyond single technology platforms into multiple platforms, in both the physical and digital realms, through multiple channels. In this complex environment, companies that thrive are those that optimize the combination of operational experience (OpX) and CX to unlock value for all stakeholders.

As part of a marquee thought-leadership series - 'The COO Collective', Forbes India, in collaboration with ServiceNow, brought together stalwarts from the world of business, to explore these trends. In a thought-provoking round-table discussion, held in Mumbai, Amit Chopra, Managing Director, India and South Asia, Thermo Fisher Scientific; Sandeep Maheshwari, COO, Raymond Realty; Subodh Mehta, Senior Vice President (B2C), Godrej Interio and Scott Drummonds, VP, APJ Solution consulting, ServiceNow, shared their insights on the broader theme, ‘Combination of OpX and CX leads to better ROI'.

Having steered a B2B enterprise that clocked manifold grown, Amit Chopra shared his secret of success, saying, “We found that years of perfecting our model of relentlessly improving business processes, eliminating waste and improving the ability of our front-end staff to respond faster, has had a huge impact on CX. In this iterative loop, we measure our Customer Allegiance Score (based on what our customers think of us on parameters like sales, order fulfilment, the web experience, after sales service, etc.) and plough corrective feedback into our business processes, to drive improvement and greater efficiency at various points.” This resulted in a dramatic improvement in CX, as business processes and operational excellence improved. Undertaking surveys every month allowed the company to understand customer feedback at different touch-points, at a very granular level.

Sandeep Maheshwari's experienced suggested that similar principles apply in the B2C service space too. He explained that as Raymond's brand ethos is based on trust, quality, excellence and other customer-centric values, Raymond Realty adopted them too. “We sought to deliver CX through operational excellence while executing projects,” he said.

Leveraging 97 years of the group's experience in identify bottlenecks in its manufacturing processes, Raymond Realty applied the theory of constraints to its construction industry venture, so that it could deliver possession within RERA timelines. “We believe in committing less and delivering more and were able to deliver our fastest project two years before the RERA timelines. This operational excellence endorsed CX and brand trust.”

“In our industry, which is changing rapidly and getting increasingly competitive, prioritization has become crucial to succeed and achieve a good ROI,” shared Subodh Mehta. “After identifying the touch-points all along the customer journey, we focus on the processes that are delivering value at those touch-points; then, we disproportionately invest resources at those touch-points. Our second priority is with respect to the myriad processes that are required to run a business and deliver good CX. We identify key processes at the back-end that contribute to meeting the customers' needs and expectations and digitize and automate these, as much as possible, so that we can deliver a consistent, seamlessly experience, across time.”

It became clear from the experiences of B2B and B2C businesses, in both the manufacturing and service sector, that the biggest underlying driver for enhancing both CX and OpX is digitization. Digital business platforms power a business and bring employees together to serve the customer better. Digitization also allows enterprises to measure experiences and create a tight feedback loop, which provides the opportunity for optimization. Improving automation to simplify processes ultimately delivers much better CX.

“At ServiceNow, we firmly believe that connecting everyone allows the entire business to serve customer better,” said Scott Drummonds. “An agile business that connects people who are facing customers, to all the support functions in their organisation, is always going to deliver better CX. And, we all know that revenue and CX are positively correlated. So, effectively, getting OpX right drives CX, which in turn will drive ROI.” Digitally connecting employees, customer service and customers presents the ability to measure, improve, optimize and deliver great CX and OpX.

As the panellists described their unique digitisation journeys and how they transformed customer experience through digitization, they cautioned that the starting point for choice of technology must always be the customer and the outcomes that a company is looking for. Catering to this need, ServiceNow has been baking AI and ML into customer platforms so that the focus continues to be on customer outcomes first, while there are new age technologies being in-built to help optimize the business.