Using the magic of technology and data to enhance connected experiences

17 February, 2023

Understanding customers and what drives their satisfaction has been a primary business challenge, even before the advent of digital.However, customer experiences are changing dramaticallyas the world becomes increasingly digitized and markets get more competitive.Enterpriseleaders are facing competition both at the strategy as well as operational level and are seeking new digital tools to ensure that they deliver better customer experiences.Particularly in businesses with multiple customer touch-points, ensuring operational excellence through technology enablers improves not only customer experiences but employee experiences as well.

Forbes India, in collaboration with ServiceNow,brought together leading luminaries from the world of business, under the banner of its exclusive thought-leadershipseries - ‘The COO Collective’, to explore these trends. In apower-packed panel discussion,held in Delhi, Rishi Mehta, President & CEO, WAISL;Anil Vinayak, Group COO, Fortis Health Care;Om Manchanda, MD Dr.LalPathlabs andVenugopalArcot, Sr. Director, Solutions Consulting, Service Nowshared their insights on the broader theme, ‘Enhancing Customer Experience through Connected Enterprise’.

As the leader of a legacy brand, which has built immense customer trust over the years, Om Manchanda explained how his companyovercame challenges using digital tools, saying, “We have a multi-channel collection model, wherein our customers come to us via hospitals or franchisees or they may just be walk-ins. In the past, these three channels were not connected and there was no efficient system to record multiple visits. Now, with digital technology, we are able to pull up customer records at any location from across channels with just one simple identifier, like a name or phone number.” Having access to all the reports together on an app makes the customer journey more convenient and also enhancesoperations, bring in greater convenience for employees as well.

Consolidating customer data and facilitating patient journeys is a challenge in the hospital sector too. With myriad interactions between patients and hospital staff, both medical and non-medical, it becomes a complex ask. Anil Vinayak shared his experience of using data and technology to offer patients greater convenience, adding, “We are also focused on how to use the information available to the hospital, gathered at multiple touch points, to enable the physicians to provide excellent care to the patients, in this age of multi-disciplinary problems.”

In another sector that is characterized by numerous client touch-points - airport management, customers who enter an airport want to get through the necessary interactions as fast and seamlessly as possible so they can proceed to the lounge or retail area. Rishi Mehta,whose company provides end-to-end technology solutions for airports,recounted, “Data from various processes has to be captured and studied to make this possible. The challenge is how to use the data in a meaningful manner and, at the same time,honour the customer’s privacy also. We have to ensure that the right services are offered to customers while keeping their data anonymous.”Conceiving services that will be truly valued requires combining anonymity with personalization, which is a challenge.In other sectors too, there are challenge such as silos of data that come from different islands of technology and different sources, the need for safety and security and determining the quality of data.

With all the apparent challenges, technology is an enabler of better experiences, operations and outcomes. Company C-suites are driven by the need to understand what the customer wants and there too, technology can be a huge enabler.Implementing a digital overhaul to make operations more efficient is a journey that cannot happen overnight. It requires bringing about mindset changes within the entire ecosystem of stakeholders and everyone must be made a part of the solution.Over time,technology can expand and add value to wider circles of interactions, typically by converting touch-points into touch-less points.

With respect to the concern about whether a business has invested the right amount of capital in creating the right kind of technology, ServiceNow’sVenugopalArcotexplained that over the past two years, a majority of companies have accelerated their investment in technology because they had to move to touch-less and remote systems.“To gauge the outcome, we look at ‘total experience’, which is a blend of three aspects woven together – customer experience, employee experience and technology experience. Optimizing all three is the magic we have to aim for.”

With the launch of 5G, backed by blockchaintechnology, which creates scope for a string of audit opportunities and transparency, the possibilities for data generation and capture will completely change businesses models.It will transform the way businesses operate today, tomorrow and thereafter.