Regardless of all of the disruptions to companies, economies, and other people’s lives brought on by Covid-19, the pandemic additionally presents alternatives. Innovation has accelerated out of necessity, as firms uncover the way to purchase, service, and help prospects by way of digital and touchless factors of contact.
From healthcare’s improve in telemedicine to retail’s expanded deal with the omnichannel expertise, firms are redesigning their buyer expertise. Whereas these adjustments have been initiated as a result of pandemic, lots of the pressured improvements will doubtless develop into everlasting. In consequence, the previous six months have most likely seen extra buyer expertise innovation than the previous six years.
As an instance how firms are creating the next-generation buyer expertise, I exploit the instance of Jio, India’s largest digital providers firm and the second-largest cellular providers operator on this planet, with virtually 400 million subscribers as of June 2020. Jio’s quick progress has attracted big-name traders, together with Google, Fb, Qualcomm, and others. I serve on the Jio Board of Administrators.
Reinventing Gross sales and Advertising
When Covid-19 hit India in March, Jio confronted a disaster of the way to purchase, help, and repair its prospects in an financial system the place every one of these actions had been carried out in individual at bodily retail places. Take into account buyer acquisition. Not like america, the place greater than 70% of wi-fi subscribers subscribe to post-paid plans, most wi-fi subscribers in India go for pre-paid providers. With pre-paid providers, subscribers have to “recharge” their pre-paid service regularly. Recharges could be achieved with digital funds, however a overwhelming majority of Jio’s prospects want paying money at a retail retailer to “high off” their SIM playing cards.
When the Indian financial system was all of the sudden locked down on March 25, and the retail sector was fully shut down, Jio confronted an pressing drawback. If prospects couldn’t entry recharge places, Jio’s revenues would decline precipitously. The Jio area crew created and launched an initiative referred to as the Jio Affiliate Program. In lower than two months, Jio onboarded greater than 1.2 million associates who present recharge providers for purchasers of their hyperlocal neighborhood, which is perhaps a condominium constructing, housing society, or neighborhood. Utilizing the JioPOS Lite app, Jio associates are capable of take money and recharge providers for purchasers with out leaving their properties.
The Jio associates symbolize a wholly new distribution channel for the corporate, with broader attain and high-touch buyer contact, permitting the corporate to proceed buying and retaining prospects by way of the lockdown. In the course of the second quarter of the calendar 12 months, Jio’s subscriber base grew from 387.5 million to 398.3 million, with report revenues and income.
One other innovation necessitated by Covid-19 was the strategy to advertising and marketing cloud providers to small enterprise prospects. Historically, Jio salespeople would go to small enterprise prospects in individual, explaining the worth of connectivity and cloud providers and signing up prospects. Jio’s advertising and marketing and gross sales crew pivoted to digital advertising and marketing, making a sequence of webinars focused at small enterprise house owners. This proved profitable for speaking the worth proposition of small enterprise providers and producing leads from small companies. Shifting ahead, Jio plans to proceed to make use of digital channels for advertising and marketing to enterprise prospects.
Reimagining Buyer Service
Earlier than Covid-19, Jio’s buyer help was carried out by greater than 6,000 individuals working in name facilities. At the moment, greater than 97 % of Jio’s workforce works from residence, together with its total buyer help workers. Jio migrated its total know-how stack for buyer help onto easy cellular gadgets, to permit buyer care representatives to supply high-quality help from their properties. In line with Pankaj Pawar, the pinnacle of the gross sales and buyer care group, working from residence will doubtless develop into the brand new norm for buyer care, and Jio might by no means reopen its name facilities.
The shift to working from residence has elevated productiveness and high quality of lifetime of buyer care representatives, who now not have lengthy commutes. An additional benefit – Jio will be capable of recruit buyer care representatives from smaller cities and rural areas, creating high-quality jobs whereas lowering worker prices.
From its inception 4 years in the past, Jio has pursued automation of its buyer care operations utilizing chatbots and voice bots. The corporate launched its voice-based digital assistant Hiya Jio in December 2017. At the moment, chatbots deal with 600,000 buyer queries from 85,000 prospects on daily basis, attaining 88 % decision with out prospects ever talking to a human being. Voice bots powered by synthetic intelligence (AI) reply 250,000 queries from 100,000 prospects every day, with 98 % decision. As well as, the My Jio self-service function permits prospects to test their account, machine, and repair, digitally — with 100,000 resolutions per day.
Redesigning Community Operations
Jio has embraced automation in its community operations from the start and is striving towards a “zero-touch” self-optimizing community, whereas sustaining reliability and efficiency. The corporate maintains over 200,000 cell towers throughout India. Historically, cell towers have used lead-acid batteries or diesel mills for backup energy. Diesel mills should be maintained and refueled manually, an costly and time-consuming course of. Now, Jio makes use of lithium ion batteries in its community, that are far cheaper than diesel mills and don’t want handbook upkeep. As well as, Jio’s cell towers use motorized antennas that may be electronically adjusted to optimize efficiency primarily based on site visitors patterns. The positioning of the antennas is pushed by an AI algorithm, which makes use of knowledge like name high quality and community velocity to repeatedly optimize the community, with out human intervention.
From Digital Life to Digital Lifeline
Jio was created with the imaginative and prescient of making a “digital life” expertise by way of a sophisticated wi-fi and wired community. In the course of the pandemic, Jio has develop into a digital lifeline for a whole bunch of thousands and thousands of Indians who’re confined to their properties and depend on the community for all important providers.
Jio’s push in direction of making a zero-touch buyer expertise was spurred on by the pandemic. However it will not have been potential with out the investments and foresight that had gone into designing the infrastructure to help the shopper expertise.
A zero-touch buyer expertise must be an aspirational aim for all firms. This aim requires upfront investments in design, automation, and AI applied sciences. Nevertheless it additionally requires creativity and agility to pivot at brief discover in response to challenges or alternatives.
Enterprise leaders the world over have been pressured to rethink how their firms will interact prospects from advertising and marketing to gross sales to customer support. Digital applied sciences, AI, and course of automation software program present a strong toolkit to create the next-generation buyer expertise. By combining these instruments with creativity and agility, organizations can develop into extra responsive and resilient in managing the expertise of their prospects.