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Role of Analytics in CX: A conversation with Atrideb Basu, Senior Director, Analytics and software, CRIF

04 Dec 2023 | Reading Time: 04:00 min

In a world that thrives on data and technological advancements, customer experience is evolving at an unprecedented rate. Businesses, particularly in the financial and service sectors, are leveraging analytics to revolutionize the way customers interact with their products and services. In this exclusive interview with Atrideb Basu, Senior Director of Analytics and Software at CRIF, and Nidhi arora, Executive Editor, CX-Net, delve into the intricacies of analytics and its profound impact on enhancing customer experiences.

Nidhi Arora: Atrideb, could you start by sharing a bit about your background in computer science and how you became interested in the intersection of analytics and customer experience?

Atrideb Basu: Certainly, Nidhi. My career has been rooted in analytics, having worked with renowned companies like American Express, Visa, AIG, and now CRIF. My fascination with analytics and its connection to customer experience stems from the profound potential it offers. Analytics empowers us to decipher data, identify patterns, and extract valuable insights. These insights can then be translated into concrete actions, whether it's optimizing processes or even refining the products themselves. Customer experience, in essence, is not just about the operational aspects of delivering a product or service; it's also about tailoring the offering to meet customer preferences and needs.

Nidhi Arora: For our audience who might not be familiar with the technical aspects, could you explain the role of analytics in processing data and ensuring data quality before extracting insights?

Atrideb Basu: Absolutely, Nidhi. Analytics begins with data, and data quality is paramount. The initial step involves assessing the data's reliability, accuracy, and completeness. Once we have confidence in the data's quality, we can shape it to address specific challenges. For example, in the context of loans, analytics helps determine the optimal loan amount for a customer, ensuring it aligns with their financial capacity to avoid overburdening them with debt. It's like sculpting the data to reveal actionable insights.

Nidhi Arora: Could you provide some compelling examples where analytics has significantly improved customer experience?

Atrideb Basu: Certainly, Nidhi. One of the most notable examples is the transformation of the loan application process. Through analytics, we've streamlined this journey, making it possible for customers to secure loans with just a few clicks. This involves a seamless integration of data from credit bureaus and banking transactions. By analyzing this data in real-time, we can provide customers with quick decisions on their loan applications. This not only enhances the customer experience by reducing waiting times but also ensures that loans are offered responsibly, avoiding excessive debt.

Nidhi Arora: What are some of the major challenges or limitations businesses face when integrating analytics into their customer experience strategies?

Atrideb Basu: Integrating analytics into customer experience strategies can be a significant undertaking. It often necessitates reengineering IT infrastructure to enable smooth data flow and processing, ultimately aiming for a straight-through processing system. This ensures that customer engagement outcomes are delivered promptly. However, such transformations are not without challenges. They require substantial capital investments, a change in organizational culture, and the development of analytical capabilities within the workforce. Moreover, as with any new technology, there's a leap of faith involved, especially for larger organizations.

Nidhi Arora: Could you elaborate on the ethical considerations surrounding analytics, particularly concerning customer data privacy?

Atrideb Basu: Protecting customer data and respecting their privacy is paramount. Analytics should never compromise data security or invade customer privacy. The key is striking a balance between using data to better serve customers while respecting their boundaries. It's crucial to ensure that customer information, especially personally identifiable data, remains secure and confidential. Any intrusion into privacy can result in a negative customer experience, which is something we want to avoid.

Nidhi Arora: Do you observe any significant differences in how analytics are applied in customer experience across different regions or cultures?

Atrideb Basu: Absolutely, Nidhi. The application of analytics in customer experience varies across regions due to differences in regulations, customer profiles, and cultural nuances. Banking, for instance, faces distinct regulatory landscapes in different countries, necessitating tailored approaches. Moreover, customer profiles differ significantly, with migratory populations in some regions and a rural-urban mix in others. Language and cultural factors also play a vital role in tailoring processes and communications. Adapting analytics to these regional variations is essential for ensuring a positive customer experience.

Nidhi Arora: In the fast-evolving landscape of analytics, how have advancements in AI and machine learning influenced the way businesses enhance customer experiences?

Atrideb Basu: The advancements in AI and machine learning have revolutionized how businesses approach customer experiences. With the ability to collect vast amounts of data, we can now decipher intricate patterns and behaviors. For instance, AI-driven recommendation engines personalize product offerings in real-time based on customer preferences. Machine learning enables faster and more accurate decision-making. However, it's crucial to acknowledge that AI and machine learning can introduce biases and raise ethical concerns. Ensuring fair and responsible use of these technologies is vital.

Nidhi Arora: What advice would you give to businesses, especially small and medium-sized companies, looking to embark on this analytics journey to enhance customer experiences?

Atrideb Basu: Embracing analytics for enhancing customer experiences is a significant undertaking, particularly for smaller companies. It's essential to view it as a transformational change that impacts processes, culture, and infrastructure. It involves substantial investments, both in terms of capital and human resources. Additionally, businesses should prioritize data security and privacy, aiming for a balance between leveraging data and respecting customer boundaries. The journey may seem daunting, but it's a leap of faith that can lead to significant improvements in customer experiences.

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