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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.
Liliana Montijo is Head of Customer Service & Direct Marketing (Mexico) at Uline, a leading distributor of shipping, industrial and packaging materials. At Uline, Liliana is responsible for the company’s customer service and direct marketing functions in Mexico. Prior to joining Uline in 2018, she held senior roles at Grainger and GE Transportation, among other organizations. With several years of international experience in managing complex business environments, Liliana has expertise in operations, customer experience, marketing, sales, supply chain management and strategic planning across multiple industries. She focuses on helping organizations achieve long-term success by accelerating business growth to boost revenue, building high-performance teams and creating good work environments.
Interviewed by Ritu Josan
// What significant challenges are you facing as a result of COVID-19, and how do you work around them?
Being used to providing the best customer experience, I find three challenges to business continuity:
// Have your customer service delivery levels been impacted by COVID? How?
Fortunately, no. We were able to maintain service experiences as per our customers’ expectations.
// Has rep productivity been impacted by COVID-19 circumstances? How are you addressing this?
Yes, working remotely and technical issues are the first cause of productivity loss. The second is that we noticed the customers want to spend more time talking, sharing needs that they did not have before and looking for support. That certainly has had an impact.
“Manage what you can manage” is what I tell the team. We have to deal with some productivity loss while we ensure customer satisfaction. We established processes and monitoring to help our teams better control the interactions with customers.
// What changes have you observed in customer behavior during this period?
Conversations have become more personal. There is a greater need to address difficult situations and our customers now have needs that there were not there before.
I can say that our customers want us to listen to them more than ever before and, at the same time, are more sensitive. We understand that social isolation is one of the causes of this change in behavior.
// Have you noticed a change in the difficulty level of calls fielded since COVID?
That's right! Curiously, it is not because of technical difficulties, as I have mentioned before, but the intimacy of the conversations and the emotions are a new opportunity to enable better connections. These emotions are transferred to our employees. That’s why we have to prepare our leadership team to guide the CSRs well. Emotional intelligence has become critical.
// How has customer satisfaction trended since the advent of COVID-19? Do you have any insight into why?
Surprisingly, it has improved and this is because we have prioritized the needs of our customers in all aspects in order to serve them better. We have rebuilt processes and adapted our technology to ensure we maintain our service levels.
What has been your single biggest focus during this period?
Our primary focus is our employees. They are the ones that deliver the service every day. We have increased the initiatives that help them stay motivated. They are the ones that are telling us what they need and what the customers want.
// What will be the top strategic focus for your customer service function in 2021?
Our focus will always be on quality of service to provide the best customer experiences. We will continue developing solutions to be closer to our customers and be agile in the market. If a customer wants to talk, they will receive an immediate response. We don’t like IVR’s and have different channels based on the customers’ preferences.
Additionally, we want to take a more fundamental approach to make things easier for our employees. Without their inputs, it is almost impossible to achieve our vision of customer experience. I want my employees to be happy and in the right frame of mind to enable better customer service.
What are the lasting industry-wide changes that you expect to see staying beyond the COVID phase?
I see the continuous growth of the internet and digital platforms to do business. The importance of logistics, remote work and teleconferences will also continue.
// If you could share one piece of advice with the industry at large during this time, what would it be?
We have a new opportunity to enable a more human environment in the business world. We have to be prepared in the workplace with specific training dedicated to developing emotional intelligence and other leadership skills. We need to provide more empowerment to our people and be more attentive to the new laws and regulations in our respective countries. HR teams can help us establish new training methods that address these needs.
We also need to develop readaptation processes for the gradual return to offices. Earlier, we had to adapt people to remote work operations. But now we have the task of redesigning the processes to help them return to the office without disrupting their lives.