The pandemic taught companies of all sizes that customer responsiveness is critical not only for business success but first and foremost for survival. In the past year, organizations had to shift towards new business models to quickly adapt to new consumer behaviour. However, new data released from Zendesk shows that although organizations in India recognise the importance of anticipating and adapting to customers’ needs, only 10% of enterprise business leaders and 19% of managers and admins in India have actually demonstrated having the minimum set of agility competencies that are needed to classify as “market leading”.
Yet it can be difficult for businesses to understand where to start in their journey to agility. As organizations around the globe consider how to recover from more than a year of uncertainty, while preparing to be ready for any emerging trends in the future, Zendesk’s Agility in Action research explores how organizations can adopt an agile mindset. Top findings include:
● Offer more choice, more often: More than half (59%) of customers in India are more or much more likely to buy from a company that offers their preferred approach to service. However, many companies are still missing valuable opportunities to hear from their customers where they are. Only 37% of mid-market companies in India offer three or more channels to their customers, and that number drops to 31% for enterprise outfits.
● Put the voice of the customer first: Customer feedback can act as a warning sign for trouble ahead, or a crystal ball for future trends. Globally, agile leaders are 4.7x more likely to report customer metrics in real time, making it easier to use CX analytics to recognise and respond to these shifts.
● Be ready for change: Leaders are consistently more flexible about changes in how customer service agents work. In fact, 85% of companies in India offer work from anywhere arrangements and 74% offer alternate work schedules.
● The right tools for support: To be ready for a landscape of ongoing change, companies are adopting a lean and flexible approach to both technology and its implementation. Globally, the main areas for investment identified are: expanding/adding business process automation (33%); investing in CX technology that easily adjusts to their needs (29%); and adding and/or expanding AI or machine learning capabilities (28%).
The research also revealed that businesses who have led in investing in the tools, process and culture for agility have seen positive returns. In particular:
● Agility is linked to cost and time savings: Agile businesses were better placed to reduce service costs in the past year. In fact, 68% of business leaders in India report that having high agility reduced their costs by 25%.
● Realising the potential for CX as a driver of revenue: Businesses are increasingly seeing the value of adapting to customer needs as the call centre takes on a new role. Nearly half (41%) of SMB business leaders view CX primarily as a revenue driver and 19% view it as a cost center. That number goes up for mid-market companies, with nearly two thirds (64%) of them viewing CX primarily as a revenue driver.
“In India, 93% of companies say COVID-19 sped up digital adoption. With hyper-digitalisation, organisations have no choice but to become agile to meet customer expectations and stay ahead of the curve,” said KT Prasad, MD & RVP, India and SAARC, Zendesk. “Customers today want simplicity and convenience despite the disruption caused by the pandemic. This is where agility bears fruits. Successful companies adopt a lean and flexible approach to change, be it tech adoption or its implementation. Investing in the right tools, removing knowledge gaps and rigid processes are all essential. Investing in agility goes beyond providing superior CX. It is a strategic investment for businesses.”