In the age of social media, where your consumers can make or break a company in a matter of just 140 characters, maintaining the company’s brand on a positive note has become a challenging task. This problem is faced by most entrepreneurs and particularly in the e-commerce category, the voice of consumer plays a major role. Imagine if you would buy a product if it had anything rating less than 3 stars or even if the number of ‘critical’ reviews touches 1/10th of positive reviews.
We had to explore into this deep, and hence we interacted with Jayant Sood, Chief Customer Experience Officer at one of India’s e-commerce giants Snapdeal. Jayant comes with 25 years of rich experience, of which 20 years have been with American Express and the last 5 years with Bharti Airtel Ltd as the Chief Service Officer. He has an extensive background in leading and managing large scale operations delivery, business transformation, finance & accounting, change management and customer experience both within India and across International markets.
What are the challenges faced on a daily basis when it comes to maintaining positive customer experience and how do you overcome that?
Customer preferences, choices and expectations have evolved with ecosystem advancements around them, and they are now looking at multiple access points and channels. Millennials today, are well connected, the way information is consumed and circulated has changed to become faster, efficient and easy.
Keeping pace with this growth and evolved consumer needs, it has now become necessary for us to have and systematically run various social channels that would ensure prompt and immediate response to any consumer grievance and challenge. We must also ensure consistent communication with our consumers via these social channels, to ensure that we do not lose touch and are in complete sync with customer emotion and trends. The instant outpouring of reactions on social media and the consequent publicity have become a part of daily life of every business. Keeping track of conversations across multiple channels, it has become really important to step in at the right moments to minimize possible damage and resolving issues to customer’s satisfaction.
For Snapdeal, customer experience has always been a prime focus area, keeping in line with which we have developed efficient and satisfactory query resolution systems, through a dedicated team, to engage, respond and address with customers (Social Help channel) and a smart use of technology, to monitor and consistently set new industry benchmarks on responsiveness. We are focusing all our energies on providing a seamless and frictionless customer experience by becoming a part of our consumers’ daily habits. In this context, social listening is a key element to drive deeper, relevant, timely engagements with our customers.
What are the software that the company is using for social media monitoring and the company is addressing how many feedbacks on social?
At Snapdeal, we use a software that monitors social media and uses natural language processing (NLP) algorithms to differentiate between actionable feedback and noise. There are over 30 escalation groups within the company who are then informed about it, depending on the feedback, to take relevant actions. The software also helps Snapdeal to track past conversation history with a particular user. A robust team of 16 people that consists of analysts and agents, monitors social media 24×7 and engage with users. The team also works on analyzing the voice of the consumer. We at Snapdeal, on an average in a month, connect with over 6,000 unique customers across all social media channels.
Once a user interacts with us on social media, we categorically look for a unique identifier in our system. It can be an order ID, email or phone number as well. This is asked through a private message or a direct message. Once we receive a unique identifier, a dedicated team then calls the customer and solves their query. The objective is to better understand the concern of customers and resolve it as quickly as possible.
Our social media team helps us better listening program, thereby maintaining high responsiveness and addressing issues quickly. A balanced score card enabled through technology has helped us better drive the social media command center, by identifying important areas for growth & improvement. Since the time of its implementation, we have witnessed 20x increase in positive consumer conversations.
Responsiveness- The average response time has consistently been less than 3 minutes making Snapdeal one of the most responsive brands on social media in India. This was made possible through a combination of technology driven optimization and balanced score card.
With the rise in need to engage across social media with almost every customer, what keeps the internal team motivated?
Managing social media on a day-to-day basis can be monotonous for the team, thus motivating, educating and inspiring team becomes very critical. An employee spends a considerable amount of time at work and we at Snapdeal, are committed to creating a comfortable workplace where the employees can look forward to coming every day. We are constantly trying to make the process easier for our employees. The combination of technology and processes has helped the company in better coordination and communication between external and internal stakeholders, thus increasing efficiencies and leading to better performance by employees.
How does Snapdeal handle complaints over social media and ensure the user delight in the end?
Our social media properties help us learn more about our customers, and also enable us to amplify relevant content and get our messages out easier and faster. Our dedicated team works 24×7 in rotation to monitor conversations around Snapdeal. We are able to closely track actionable feedback and engage with users on a real time basis. With an objective of responding to users within 5 minutes, currently, more than 99% of users who connect with us are replied to within 3 minutes. There is a “very responsive” badge given by Facebook which is given to brands who reply to more than 90% of messages within 5 minutes. In the entire industry, Snapdeal is the only brand to have this badge.
What is your advice for early stage entrepreneurs for customer retention?
The entrepreneurs who can deliver personalized service will be able to create and build relationships to positively impact bottom line revenues and profitability of their businesses. We believe, to offer great experience, budding entrepreneurs have to be welcoming, listening to their customers, and be agile to tailor their offerings to consumer preferences.