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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.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected lives and businesses across the globe. It is an unprecedented event, the likes of which have not been witnessed in recent memory. The pandemic has driven the global economy into a downturn, with nations around the world struggling to contain its disruptive economic impact. Industries have been affected in different ways, depending on what they do and where they are.
It is especially in times like this that businesses need to double-down on their focus on customer service with empathy in order to maintain customer relationships. Customer centricity and empathy are not just supposed to be nice-to-have added benefits that companies offer. Rather, they have become fundamental prerequisites.
One major focus area to enable new as well as to retain existing businesses and also accelerate revenue is institutionalizing the quality of empathy that many companies successfully deployed as a crisis management measure; that is, making an effort to understand the customer’s changed circumstances and working toward seeing how the company’s solutions could fit into their new reality. The building or deepening of such a customer service mindset can go a long way in helping companies emerge from the current downturn.
In simple terms, empathy is the ability to understand emotional experiences by putting yourself in another person’s shoes. It allows customer service reps to understand the buyer’s thoughts, feelings and motivations. It helps understand their changed circumstances and see how the company's solutions could fit into the buyer’s new reality.
Customer service teams must operate from a place of empathy. Showing empathy, however, cannot just be a tactical effort to gain a competitive edge, but must come from a desire to show support, find common ground with customers and help them achieve their goals. One significant way empathy can be demonstrated is through flexibility and innovatively redesigning payment terms and product offering bundles in response to immediate customer needs. This shouldn’t just mean discounted prices; it should demonstrate care while reaffirming the value of the product or service.
Speaking to Regalix about the importance of empathy in customer service operations, Liliana Montijo, Head of Customer Service and Direct Marketing at Uline, says, “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,” she adds.
José Pérez, a customer service leader from Latin America, also echoes Liliana’s views on empathy, saying, “The COVID-19 situation has led to companies dealing with their customers with more empathy. The customer service aspect of our operations is even more relevant nowadays and the value we provide through our customer service reps is a major focus area for us.”
He further observes, “We can find the solutions to multiple problems, the keys to success, the potential for new opportunities and a whole lot more when we listen to our customers. They have the answers that we are looking for and can help solve multiple issues on both sides.”
In conclusion, customer service expectations in terms of both experience and outcomes have risen. Customers are not satisfied with just buying a good product; they further demand comprehensive services and sustained engagement across the entire customer lifecycle. When companies fail to provide this, customers can switch to an alternative solution provider with ease.
A robust customer service function is, therefore, a key revenue engine, and must be treated as such. Organizations must work to build granular knowledge of customers and ensure the right mix of people, technology and processes to be able to provide the optimum customer service experience. The need for such data-driven and structured service engagement is only growing with the rapid digitization of business processes. And they must do all of this and more with empathy. Companies that do not make the strategic shifts and put the necessary processes in place are at risk of being left behind in the new normal.