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Susan is an independent digital communications and user experience strategist. She helps companies discover their brand voice and grow their business.
Shubharthi is currently part of the strategic marketing team at Regalix. His expertise mainly lies in the account-based marketing and programmatic advertising space.
Priscilla is a content writer who has worked for Infosys Technologies and other technology startups in India and abroad.
Moulishree is a freelance journalist with over 7 years of experience, she writes research-based analytical stories on technology and business.
Avanish is a Bangalore-based journalist who writes on business with a specific focus on technology companies.
Priyanka has covered every aspect of the IT industry as a tech journalist since its early days. She is now an independent writer, working on subjects like digital marketing, enterprise technology and high-performance computing, among others.
A freelance content writer, S. Sahu was the former editor of TCS's house magazine at Tata Consultancy Services. He developed tech marketing collateral for the company and helped compile and edit books and journal articles on TCS's technology innovations. He also ghostwrites print and online publications.
Prajwala is a Bangalore-based freelance journalist who writes on social issues, stories of human interest, and art and culture, among others.
Rajesh Nanarpuzha is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at IIM Udaipur. Previously, he has worked as a brand manager in Dabur, and as a business consultant in the retail and consumer goods domains at Cognizant and Tata Consultancy Services. Rajesh has an MBA from IIM Indore and a doctorate in marketing from IIM Ahmedabad.
Priyokumar Singh Naorem
He is a passionate UI & UX designer who thrives on creating engaging creative solutions.
A freelance illustrator, artist, graphic novelist and designer. She has designed and illustrated several book covers. Her personal illustrations so far have attempted to seize the fleeting absurdity and mood of places, things and people she encounters in a childlike, intuitive and expressive manner with closure, beauty and innocence – the things that she desires.
She is an artist and an educator who has taught and lectured at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Oxford University, the Victoria and Albert Museum among other institutions. Her installations, paintings, thread work and sculptures have been exhibited in Saatchi Gallery - London, C24 Gallery - New York, and Museum of Contemporary Art – Lyon, among other notable galleries and museums from around the world.
Purna Chandra Mahato
A commerce graduate from Delhi University, Parul pursued a masters in fine arts from Nottingham Trent University in the UK. As an artist, she is interested in line as a subject which has led her to follow architectural lines in built environments. She says she is also interested in how we perceive the environment that we inhabit and what happens when a subtle shift is made in things which we have been used to seeing in a certain way. We present six of her artworks here.
Shweta Malhotra is a graphic artist and designer from Mumbai, based in New Delhi.
After working with ad agencies and design studios for close to 8 years, she branched out on her own and currently works independently.s Her overall design aesthetic is minimal, bold and graphic, a response to the maximalist visual language prevalent in India.
Rithika Merchant (b.1986) received her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Parsons the New School for Design, New York in 2008. She has exhibited extensively since her graduation. Recent exhibitions include a duo show “Reliquaries: The Remembered Self” at TARQ, Mumbai; “Language of the Birds: Occult and Art” at 80WSE Gallery, New York; and group shows at Summerhall, Edinburgh and Artry Gallery, Kochi. Her work has been included in multiple group shows at Stephen Romano Gallery and The Morbid Anatomy Museum, New York. Born in Mumbai, she now divides her time between Mumbai and Barcelona.
Aniruddh Mehta is an artist based out of Mumbai, India. Trained in graphic design from the London College of Communications, Aniruddh is a self-taught illustrator and currently works as an independent freelance designer. He believes in finding the right balance between art and graphic design. He has worked closely in collaboration with Bhavishyavani Future Soundz, Qilla Records, Taxi Fabric, Adidas, Dell and United Colours of Benetton. He also goes by the moniker, ‘thebigfatminimalist’ and his style ranges from bold minimal forms to more intricate pieces exploring patterns and geometry.
Paramesh is an artist who enjoys working in both the realistic and abstract style of painting. He loves working with water color. Featured in this issue are a set of water color works that he has created exclusively for us on the subject of digital transformation.
Based in Mumbai, Chandrashekhar Thakur is a Senior Art Director and Illustrator at Truebil.com and the Founder of HAPPiNESS For You. He loves working with new styles of art and considers illustration to be his forte. Chandrashekhar has completed his BFA from DY Patil College of Applied Art.
Concept and Direction
Head of marketing at Regalix, Nimish drives research in emerging technologies and customer experience, and takes a keen interest in creative arts.
Jeff Huang is Director of Global Customer Success Operations at Zenni Optical. He is responsible for the company’s contact center readiness as well as operational excellence for service and support channels across China, the US, Morocco and the Philippines. Since 2018, Jeff has applied his expertise at Zenni Optical to support their disruption in the eyeglass industry. He has more than 18 years of experience in consumer digital product development and operations, with a focus on improving affordability and access in health care and education. Prior to Zenni Optical, he held a leadership role as Director of Operational Readiness and Operational Excellence in Kaiser Permanente’s Digital Experience Team and, before that, was a researcher at SRI International’s Center for Technology in Learning. Jeff holds an MBA from San Jose State University, a Master’s degree in Educational Technology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a Bachelor’s degree in Social Welfare with a minor in Education from the University of California, Berkeley. He is also a certified optician.
Interviewed by Uma Mageshwari
/ / How has the contact center function evolved in your company over the past few years?
Our customers are making the transition from a traditionally full-service retail experience to shopping online for their prescription eyewear. As a global customer service team, we have opportunities to bridge that customer experience gap and make it easier for our customers to engage with us.
We evolved from an environment with multiple, but siloed, channels to an omnichannel environment, where we integrated chat, voice and email into one platform. This omnichannel approach provides a foundation for creating a convenient and connected experience for the customer. We also strategically partnered with different BPO partners to build new contact center sites to improve the overall quality of our customer service.
For Zenni Optical, operating in e-commerce requires us to have a strong social customer care program and an online reputation management team across standard social platforms and online review platforms. This is because, whether a brand likes it or not, customer care issues will naturally surface in spaces where customers are sharing their voice.
/ / What challenges do you face while planning your contact center strategy?
What began in a San Francisco Bay Area garage in 2003 has turned into an online optical industry leader with over 28 million pairs of glasses sold in every country throughout the world. Our lean organization is scaling quickly, which is why healthy listening and establishing efficient communication norms across departments continue to be worthwhile areas we invest our energy and efforts in. Establishing an efficient feedback loop is a challenge and is even more important when we work with contact center vendors. Shared learning and keeping our ears close to the frontlines and the voice of the customer guide us and help to enhance our service and support capabilities.
/ / What are the key metrics you track to gauge the performance of your contact center?
For Zenni, customer satisfaction and service levels across channels are the key metrics we track. This data is even more meaningful when complemented with voice of the customer data. All of this together gives us a better view of how we can continuously improve customer experiences.
/ / What is the scope of cloud customer support in this industry?
To stay nimble now and be ready to evolve for the next opportunity, cloud customer support is critical for a company’s success. Cloud customer support is especially helpful when there is interoperability across vendor apps and platforms.
/ / Have you implemented an omnichannel approach in your contact center yet? What are the key areas you need to focus on while implementing an omnichannel approach?
After several years of optimizing a multichannel environment, where our various regional sites owned their respective channels and formed their processes, Zenni made the leap to partnering with omnichannel vendor Zendesk.
An area of learning often underestimated after the implementation of an omnichannel approach at Zenni is the need to continuously optimize and drive consistency across our processes and workflow changes.
/ / Has AI been introduced in your contact center? If it has, when was it introduced and how exactly has it helped your company?
AI hasn’t been introduced in our contact centers yet. However, we are exploring opportunities in which AI will help improve our customer service and support experiences.
/ / Which platform does your contact center currently function on? Why did you choose that platform?
As mentioned earlier, we selected Zendesk as our platform after an extensive review due to its ease of use for business users and its extensibility with a “plug-in” app. With chat, voice, and email integrated into one platform, we have one customer history that allows us to know the customer better and improve on customer experiences. Zendesk also centralizes reporting instead of trying to work with four different teams to gather and consolidate all the data so that we can gain much-needed insights. Another important benefit has been adding to the skill sets of our agents in order to help them work across different channels. This means that, as a program, we are able to allocate people to where the support demand is.
/ / What are the most effective ways in which your contact center captures customer feedback?
Tools that consolidate customer voice in one place and quantify that over time are extremely helpful. Our omnichannel platform helps us easily gauge the “chatter” about a new product and also monitors feedback from our social and online reputation tools.
/ / What are the pain points with respect to delivery in your contact center?
As our business continues to scale and customer expectations continue to rise, our ability to remain in a constant state of learning and optimization of workflows is critical to our success in creating a connected journey for Zenni’s customers. Being consistently exceptional in terms of how we take care of our customers across various support sites is critical for customer loyalty, retention and also referrals.
/ / What are the trends/technologies that you think will drive the contact center industry in the future?
Some of the trends/technologies in the future are
Building customer relationships in the healthcare tech sector
Marco Armienta, Director of Customer Experience, Valant
Designing your contact center around your most valued asset – your customer
Anthony Daubenmerkl, Vice President of Global Support & Client Success, Thycotic
Delighting customers or meeting expectations: The role of contact centers
Customer contact centers are now playing increasingly larger roles in B2B environments.
Preparing for the call center of the future
David Donatelli, Senior Vice President of Global Customer Support, Fuze
Customer support on a global scale in the financial services industry
Jessica Lovell, Director of Global Customer Support, Morningstar
Why customer satisfaction is serious business
Scott Gilbert, Senior Director of Global Customer Support, Qumu Corporation