Sreetama Datta | 28 July 2009Customer centric activities have to be a part of a company’s long term strategy, experts emphasize at the international conference on ‘Service Strategies for Global Leadership’ at SDM-IMD
Customer centric activities have to be a part of a company’s long term strategy, experts emphasize at the international conference on ‘Service Strategies for Global Leadership’ at SDM-IMD
Mysore-based SDM Institute for Management Development (SDM-IMD) organized a two-day international conference on ‘Service Strategies for Global Leadership’ on July 23 and July 24 at Mysore, which was attended by eminent speakers from the industry and academia from leading business schools in India including IIM Bangalore, ICFAI Business School, and MATS Institute of Management & Entrepreneurship.
On the first day of the conference, Andrew Hendrian, GM, Leela Palace Kempinski emphasized on how corporate houses can value their existing customers for long term profits. “You have to feel what your customers feel and give them an experience they will cherish. Customers do not see any merit in remaining loyal to a brand and switch to their competitors if the other offers better services,” Hendrian said. He asked the industries not to compromise with their existing customers for a quick buck or gaining new ones.
Welcoming the gathering, Prof. Ramesh Venkateswaran, Director of SDM-IMD and Chairman of Custommerce said, “In India, customer service has never been approached as a subject of research. But we at Custommerce Center for Customer Service Excellence (CCCSE) will act as a hub for research on customer service practices and strategy.” Taking the point further, Professor Rishikesha T. Krishnan from IIM Bangalore said, “You have to treat the customer right; research shows organizations that improve customer loyalty by 5% improve profits by 85%.” The IIM Bangalore professor further said that the corporates need to evaluate their loyalty programs regularly to check its effectiveness. “Often, it might not serve the right customer or has lost its impact over time,” Krishnan said.
Other speakers who addressed the conference on the first day were Surajit Bose, General Manager, First Source Solutions Ltd., V. Ravichandar, Chairman & MD, Feedback Consulting Services Pvt. Ltd. and Arjun Vasudev, Manager-HR, SKS Microfinance.
On the second day of the conference, Dr. Seth, Charles H. Kellstadt Chair of Marketing, Goizuetta Business School, Emory University, Atlanta, said emphasized that India will emerge as a global leader in industries like Healthcare, Education, Banking, Knowledge Processing and Research & Development. “A lot of old practices will reverse. Indian business schools and institutes will begin to be a preferred destination for foreign students, unlike today when Indian students deem overseas management education better than what is imparted in Indian business schools,” Dr. Seth said.
Renowned marketing guru Dr. Seth expressed that India has great potential for becoming a global player in services industry and said, “In ten years, Bangalore will not be the IT hub, but a global center for aviation industry with every major aviation entity running their operations.” Other speakers of the day include Prof. G. Sainesh, IIM Bangalore, Sid Mookerji, MD & CEO, Software Paradigms Infotech Pvt. Ltd. and Anirudh Kamani, Joint General Manager, ICICI Bank Ltd.
“Companies have begun to realize the value of customer service and should be encouraged to accept customer experience as a part of product conceptualization and development stage, rather than at sales stage,” said Anirudh Kamani, Joint General Manager, ICICI Bank Ltd. Sid Mookerji from Software Paradigms Infotech asked the corporate India to empower the customer by sharing information and becoming more accessible. The two-day conference was organized by Custommerce Center for Service Excellence (CCCSE), a joint initiative by SDM-IMD and Servion.