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How Indian Startups Can Build A Global Customer Service Strategy


Apart from product and pricing, customer experience (CX) has emerged as a critical battlefield where businesses must go all out to win customer loyalty for long-term growth

Brands opting for an omnichannel business format must ensure seamless customer experiences regardless of when, where and how people engage with them

Deepika Christina of CM.com explains key CX trends and solutions that businesses must focus on to build scalable CX strategies

After nearly three years of mayhem and despondency on account of the Covid-19 pandemic, startups/ businesses and consumers look forward to transformational changes and a more fruitful 2023. But given the current business environment, all milestones, big and small, will take more work. For instance, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has stated in a recent report that global growth is estimated to slow from 6% in 2021 to 3.2% in 2022 and 2.7% in 2023.

However, India is a rare bright spot among its global peers and the fifth-largest economy. According to the IMF, the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow at a faster clip in 2023 (6.8%) than the top four nations – China (4.4%), Japan (1.6%), the US (1%) and Germany (-0.3%). India has also emerged as the third-largest startup ecosystem, right behind the US and China. More than 57K startups have been launched here, and their combined valuation stood at $450 Bn+ in 2022.

Despite their track record, Indian startups must not get carried away. As rising unemployment and inflation pressure tend to remain significant global concerns, consumers are constantly re-evaluating their purchase decisions. So, apart from product and pricing, customer experience (CX) has emerged as a critical battlefield where businesses must go all out to win customer loyalty for long-term growth, as India targets a $5 Tn economy.

“Today, CX is the top priority for brands of all sizes – large, medium and small,” said Deepika Christina, customer experience manager at CM.com, global cloud software firm for conversational commerce.

Watch Deepika Christina, customer experience manager at CM.com, decode the key trends and solutions for building globally scalable CX strategies during an interaction with Inc42’s Trisha Nayyar.

Evolving to provide the best possible CX is probably the most purposeful New Year resolution a startup/business should adopt without delay. A SuperOffice survey shows that CX has beaten product and pricing for the third time. Additionally, a Salesforce report reveals that post a positive experience, 89% of customers are more likely to make another purchase.

Speaking about the key trends dominating the customer experience landscape in India, Christina highlighted a critical area. Spurred by the government’s push to ‘build local, think global’, many Indian businesses now harbour global ambitions. But what works in India may not necessarily work elsewhere.

“Businesses/brands need to remember that personalisation is key to acing the CX game,” said Christina. “So, they should be aware of the unique cultural nuances of the region they are planning to enter.”

Also, brands should track how customers in a particular market engage with businesses and act accordingly.

Interestingly, India’s digital-first D2C brands can leverage the CX advantage to the hilt. The country’s D2C market opportunity is set to surpass $302 Bn by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 24%. To push this growth momentum further across offline retail, many brands have adopted an omnichannel approach (online+offline presence). In fact, 50% of Indian D2C Brands already have an omnichannel presence, and 29% of them are mulling over the same, as per Inc42 reports.

As brands focus on the omnichannel format, ensuring seamless customer experiences has become vital regardless of when, where, and how consumers engage with brands.

For instance, Christina discovered something startling when analysing a significant drop in a client’s CSAT (customer satisfaction) score. “It mainly happened because the company was not giving its customers the option to reach out to the brand through their preferred channels,” she said.

Scalability is another factor that brands must focus on when developing their CX solutions. When startups/businesses are doing well and even eyeing global expansion, they should be prepared to ramp up customer engagement to ensure top-quality customer care. Conversely, when they go through a lean phase and challenging times, there must be options to scale down CX operations.

Businesses/brands considering global growth must formulate their CX strategies keeping these crucial factors in mind. Building the right kind of CX should be done only after understanding customer behaviour and growth prospects in a specific market, she added.

Christina also took this opportunity to cite how CM.com’s omnichannel support solution – Mobile Service Cloud – helped Revolution Beauty, a renowned global brand.

“We were able to help Revolution Beauty’s customer support representatives slash their backlog of about 2,000 conversations to zero in about 14 days. It also increased service agents’ productivity by 50%,” she claimed.

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