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Today’s interview is with Prashanth “PVK” Krishnaswami is the head of market strategy and thought leadership for the CX product group at Zoho. Prashanth joins me today to talk about Zoho’s vision for CX, transnational localism, the link between customer success, employee happiness and business results, a new whitepaper and what service and experience leaders should be thinking about and doing.
This interview follows on from my recent interview – Product Led Growth (PLG) is missing a pillar – Interview with Joe Andrews and Martin Schneider of SupportLogic – and is number 444 in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, providing valuable insights, helping businesses innovate and delivering great service and experience to both their customers and their employees.
NOTE: A big thank you goes out to the folks at Zoho for sponsoring my podcast this month and particularly the team at Zoho Desk.
Zoho Desk is trusted by over 50,000 businesses around the world to elevate their customer service and the team over there recently asked me to write a whitepaper for them that explores How focusing on employee happiness and customer success can drive business results.
The whitepaper is called: The Killer Combination: Customer success, happiness and the right technology.
Do check it out by following this link or by clicking on the whitepaper image.
Here’s the highlights of my chat with Prashanth:
- Our focus
- 1. Simplify the experience economy.
- 2. Empower every stakeholder in the customer journey to do the best that they can for the customer through the use of data, context, knowledge and actions.
- 3. Bring the company together to facilitate cross-functional collaboration.
- 4. Build a platform that reduces the complexity involved and helps organisations achieve this at scale.
- The proper end point doesn’t start with technology but starts with the outcome and works to help people collaborate and work together in service of that.
- Transnational localism is essentially how we go to market.
- We can think of it as a framework to build at scale by prioritising what we believe is locally relevant context.
- In today’s world a lot of companies are building for growth at all costs. But, as a company, we always had a keen eye on on all our input costs. For example, we don’t rely on other cloud infrastructure vendors, so we are not subject to their own input costs.
- The company also is focused on small towns and it stays away from the big city.
- We have never asked for a college degree in 25 years of hiring.
- Not requiring college degrees also reduces the input costs to people wanting to join Zoho.
- As a company, we don’t try to be cool. We would rather be reliable and rooted.
- We nurture local communities, particularly to do with talent pools and ecosystems. We believe that this is extremely logical for us. We hire candidates from all over the country, and when we do hire them from all over the country it doesn’t make sense for us to rip them out of their own hometowns and then move them to big cities which are already overcrowded.
- We put happiness above profits.
- If there was a decision where the company had to choose between inconvenience or costs or things like that and employees happiness, we would ensure that employees happiness is the change that is made.
- Transnational localism is essentially a product of rationality and the long term thinking that we always side with in the company.
- There is certainly a direct correlation between the quality of personal experience and the quality of life.
- This is the whitepaper called The Killer Combination: Customer success, happiness and the right technology that Zoho asked me to write for them exploring the link between customer success, employee happiness and business results.
- Some employees are using, on average, between 8 and 12 different apps to solve customer enquiries with some having to deal up to 40 different apps.
- Can you imagine having 40 different tabs open on a browser?
- The whitepaper finds that a focus on customer success and employee happiness are foundational stones to help you navigate and succeed in an environment like this.
- But, the first thing that we have to do and you have to get right is you have to have a clear, experience vision and strategy that is tied to business outcomes and results.
- Pick the right technology to enable your strategy.
- Most of our customers are at various levels of maturity with respect to these three things but they’re all committed to the approach.
- Successful companies are essentially filled with employees who are all focused on customer success, and in some cases, that is also because they consumed the company’s offerings. But in the vast majority of cases that focus itself stems from the clarity that they have on what they are doing and why.
- This triad of strategy, success and happiness is extremely forceful and stands the test of time.
- Delivering on the basics is so underrated.
- Cool may be famous but reliable is legendary.
- Prashanth’s Punk CX word: Unapologetically curious.
- Prashanth’s Punk XL brand: REI, Ikea, WholeFoods.
Prashanth “PVK” Krishnaswami is the head of market strategy and thought leadership for the CX product group at Zoho. He has been with Zoho for 11 years and previously led worldwide marketing for the customer service and contact center categories. He’s passionate about CX, technology, design, history, trivia and travel. When he’s not at the office, he’s probably working from home, like everyone else!
Finally, do grab a copy of the whitepaper here: The Killer Combination: Customer success, happiness and the right technology.
Thanks to Pexel and Pixabay for the image.