Customers are more demanding than ever. They have more power than they used to. They are smarter and have higher expectations than before. Well…technology has helped shaped their expectations but it is one part of the puzzle and not the magic bullet. Companies that do want to provide great experiences to their customers have to embrace tech but also need to have other things in check. People, processes, leadership and culture should work efficiently,” says Akshay Shah, the director and founding partner at Custometrix Limited.
Custometrix developed a platform called ratemyservice.co.ke which helps companies deliver great experiences to their customers. According to Mr. Shah, a lot of companies typically struggle with two things:
One, they find it difficult to collect data from the customer.
Two, they find it difficult to draw meaningful insights from data they collect.
Through ratemyservice.co.ke, companies are able to collect feedback from their customers as well as understand what customers feel about their brand. These insights act as powerful tools for companies to improve their products and services.
On the other hand, the platform helps consumers make better purchasing decisions by comparing one service provider to another. So if you are looking to open a bank account, take our insurance policy or buy a household product, you can search for the company and review feedback from real customers. It gives more insights about a product usage or service helping one make informed decisions.
Mr. Shah says their customers are companies in several sectors such as banking, insurance, telecom, automotive, transport and energy among others.
“Our platform has been helping firms understand their customers better and improve their services,” he notes.
For a number of companies, a large part of his is having actual data to make decisions on. “Data gives insights on something they were unaware of or might have been ignored. With the data analytics, they can improve communications with their customers, increase efficiency and deliver of service and settle a resolution among others.
Prior to setting up the firm, Mr. Shah worked as a management consultant across a number of markets for over 15 years. He has been skilful in primarily helping companies become more customer centric and operate efficiently.
“My first taste of entrepreneurship was with one of the consulting firms I worked at and we were trying to get a new capability off the ground until then I was largely happy to pursue a corporate career. And I think that is what made me consider there are more options than just climbing a corporate ladder.”
Despite the current hype about AI and bots, Mr. Shah casts his opinions about easier wins for companies that they need to tackle first. “Make sure your services are mobile first, use tech to enhance processes, use data better to understand customers among others.”
“As an example, a bank could look at how they could make their account opening and loan processing services quicker (you can open a bank account with FNB Bank in South Africa with a selfie, by the way!), insurance companies could look at how can they be more transparent and communicate better with their customers using digital during the claims process.”
Going forward, communication channels with customers will always increase and they represent opportunities to collect data. So the firm is looking at how it can leverage on the various communication means.
“Our focus will be on making it easy for brands to collect data and draw meaning from that. As a result, our product evolution will largely be guided by what our customers want from us,” concludes the executive.