Making customer service digital-first, with Samsung’s head of digital care
Digital transformation is no longer just a ‘nice to have’ for a company, or a box ticked – customers now expect a digital-first, convenient experience, however and whenever they are communicating with a brand.
Indeed, the most successful retailers know that the sale isn’t the be all and end all of a customer’s value. Long-term, loyal and returning customers can be won or lost to customer service, and being available and responsive where your customers are online – whether that’s social media, email, online chat, or otherwise – is evermore crucial to this experience.
Sandya Magge is senior director of Samsung’s digital customer service arm, and has been spearheading the global consumer electronics brand’s after-sales care strategy online for the last few years. Set to join #DMWF’s digital transformation panel in New York, we caught up with Magge to find out more about meeting the demands of today’s digital-first consumer.
Hi Sandya, first off, can you give us a quick introduction to your role at Samsung?
Sandya Magge: My role is head of digital customer care at Samsung. My team manages the customer experience across all of our digital channels including Samsung.com/support, S+ (mobile app), messaging, chat, social media, community, and email.
We drive the strategy and end-to-end experience – and partner closely with internal partners including operations, development, design and product to build these experiences. I was hired 2.5 years ago to build this organisation and lead our focus on digital within the customer care part of the organisation.
At #DMWF North America, you’ll be joining a panel tackling the role of digital transformation to optimise the customer journey. What sort of discussion points do you expect to come up here?
SM: The company I work at has been a very digitally minded company on the sales side. We all associate Samsung with world class products. So a large focus of my role has been to evolve that mindset on the customer service side as this is a key factor of loyalty to any company. It’s been everything from building the team, developing the strategy, laying out initial roadmaps and product vision and building the working relationships with other groups throughout the company to build amazing support experiences. Probably similar to other companies, while people agree that digital transformation is necessary, it continues to be a journey. We continue to remind people that digital is critically important and where the majority of customers want to reach us. It’s also the channel that costs the least and drives the highest satisfaction.
One of the talking points in the session is how customer-centricity should play a frontal role in digital transformation efforts. Why is that, more so than ever, the case?
SM: In my world – the vast majority of customers are already contacting us through our digital channels. So they are looking for support in digital. In order to keep pace with this demand, we need to be available and responsive in the channels where customers already are living and breathing.
With that in mind, what are some the key considerations for marketers involved in a digital transformation strategy?
SM: Customer need, appetite within the company for change, level of budgeting/investment, organisational set up, infrastructure, platforms, processes.
Are these principles that you follow at Samsung? If so, how do you implement them?
SM: Yes – these are the considerations that I deal with on a daily basis. They are not easy but the realities to making any digital strategy work. I am happy that through slow evolution we have been able to make quite a bit of progress over a relatively short amount of time. Usually by focusing on small pilots that demonstrate results and then scaling them is the way to demonstrate big returns and gain broader acceptance throughout the company.
You’ll be alongside some amazing brands at #DMWF. Are there any brands (attending or otherwise) that you really admire in terms of their approach to optimizing the customer journey?
SM: The way that Amazon and Zappos make the experience effortless and seamless to the customer. They are always thinking customer-first.
Finally, are there any other topics you’re looking forward to hearing about at #DMWF North America?
SM: I would like to hear more about the way companies have been able to shape change in difficult cultures that are not as digitally-minded. I would also like to hear more about promoting diversity and inclusion in technology.