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Photo: iStockphoto
Photo: iStockphoto

Customer centricity key for startups to beat the pandemic slowdown say experts

According to experts, the global crisis has led to changes in the customer’s experience for both consumers and businesses

Startups will need to devise innovative strategies to increase customer engagement and technology will play is a key role in managing customer expectations feel experts. " The pandemic has increased the need for startups to invest in building customer loyalties and leveraging them to improve their business" said Shanthi Padmanabhan, VP, Customer Success, Salesforce India . “One thing that is making a difference for companies is leading through change with increased customer connect and enhanced customer experience," added Padmanabhan, who was speaking in the recently concluded panel discussion on startups, part of Mint's ongoing Pivot or Perish series.

According to experts, the global crisis has led to changes in the customer’s experience for both consumers and businesses. As a result, only startups that invest in improving customer loyalty will come out successfully on the other side. Padmanabhan said close to 42% of Salesforce’s customers say their “biggest challenge" has been to keep up with changing customer experiences.

“In the last quarter alone, we have grown by 30% year-on-year in terms of customers who are investing in technology for customer relationship management," she added.

While customer centricity has “never been more significant" than in the past few months, technology is in the middle of the storm. Padmanabhan mentioned a startup called Startupwaala.com, which recently built a self service app that allows customers to follow their requests and track status. “It’s energising to see that they’ve seen a 55% uplift in sales, and 40% boost in customer satisfaction, pointing to improved productivity and efficiency," she said.

According to Navneet Chahal, Partner at Bain & Company, the trend is true for the B2C sector as well. “It’s actually a good time to build intimate relationships with the customer," she said.

Chahal added that while there will be some depression and compression in consumer spending, that would translate to customers being more specific about which company or platform they spend their money on. “I think what that means for brands and companies is that they need to double down on the loyal customer base and generate more intimate experiences for these customers," she said.

Building customer centricity will also entail a shift in how companies serve customers, according to Chahal. Companies may have to shift operating and business models so that they can translate to greater customer loyalty.

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