"You can easily win customer trust by honoring your promises!"
The advancements in the field of technologies and IT-led solutions have brought about a radical revolution across verticals in India. Moreover, the continuous evolution of the corporate and SME sectors across the country has further made the IT industry highly competitive in nature. In this scenario, companies like Ingram Micro are differentiating themselves by focusing on delivering superlative customer experience.
Ingram Micro has made customer experience the core of all its strategies, and it has successfully been able to win customer trust by holding on to its commitment and promise! Ingram Micro continuously strives to offer its customers a comprehensive portfolio of technology-led solutions and services, and that’s why it works in close collaboration with a wide range of OEMs, vendors, and technology enablers.
In a chat with VARINDIA, Navneet Singh Bindra, SVP and Chief Country Executive, Ingram Micro India, discusses the positioning of the brand to drive preference, customer experience, the future of the IT industry, winning customer trust, etc.
With rapidly evolving Indian corporate and SME sectors, the IT industry is shaping the future of India. On this backdrop, what are the key priorities you have taken to position your brand to drive preference for FY 2023-24?
The rapid evolution of the Indian corporate and SME sectors, in conjunction with continuous advancement in the field of technologies, has brought about a radical revolution in the IT distribution ecosystem. To drive preference and gain a competitive edge in the age of stiff competition, we have carved out an all-encompassing, dynamic brand positioning strategy for FY 2023-24.
Our vision, strategies, and initiatives are unequivocally focused on delivering a superlative customer experience – across all touchpoints throughout the customer lifecycle. We have continuously been aspiring to become a one-stop destination for a comprehensive array of technology-led solutions, Managed & Professional Services, responsible IT Asset Disposal Services, as well as seamless support and training services. That’s why, we work in close collaboration with OEMs, vendors, and technology enablers to establish a compelling value proposition. This helps us bring forth a collaborative, joint value position that addresses the emerging needs and pain points of our partners, vendors, and end customers alike.
We are also taking every necessary and appropriate action that helps us foster stronger bonds with customers through an insightful exchange of thoughts – be it related to the aggregation and acquisition of technologies, services & support (presales and post-sales), IT-enabled differentiation or outcome-based engagement models, and other similar aspects. Based on the intelligence gathered through such conversations, research, and analytics, we identify emerging trends and technologies, which enables us to come up with an innovative portfolio of products and services.
Additionally, we have also been continuously accelerating our digital transformation journey with the core vision of transforming and empowering every stakeholder of the IT distribution ecosystem. Our new digital platform – Xvantage – provides an excellent platform for all our associates, partners, and customers to interact and transact seamlessly. Considering the pace at which digitalization has gained massive acceptance across industries, we really hope our ‘Digital Twin’ – Xvantage – will be a force to reckon with in the coming years!
It's so rare to see an IT distribution company talk about delivering a "superlative experience to end customers". Just out of curiosity, how can an IT distribution company of your stature inculcate and practice this culture on such a large scale in the age of rapid technological advancements?
Every organization aims to create a culture that values and prioritizes customer experience to win long-term loyalty and achieve success, and the IT distribution company is not an exception in this regard. We have made ‘customer experience’ a strategic priority, and all our strategies are positioned around customer centricity. In the age of rapid technological advancements and the evolution of digital technologies, it becomes even more critical to demonstrate invincible passion and commitment towards the customer experience.
Talking about customer experience, we must comprehend the fact that new-age customers first analyze your approach towards engaging them and the values you bring to the table. So, it’s important to talk more about experience and values during every interlock and interchange with customers. These discussions create moments of truth for the customers and play a significant role in defining the end-to-end customer experience.
Broadly speaking, these touchpoints can be classified into four major categories: Aggregation, Acquisition, Differentiation, and Services & Support. In regards to the aggregation of supplies and procurement, we talk to customers about how we can help them by leveraging the overall aggregation, which leads to reduced complexities in the supply chain and improved efficiency, management, and cost advantage. Then, comes the acquisition of technologies, wherein the discussion revolves around future proofing investments in digital technologies and making them affordable for customers. Once the customer acquires the technology, they are more interested in knowing how you are different from the rest of the players in the market. Herein, our IT-enabled solutions and outcome-based approach enable us to deliver great experiences to customers.
In the end, the discussion halts on the range of technology-led services and support that customers need or consume. It becomes important to talk about your Managed Services, Professional Services, Financial Services, IT Asset Disposition Services, and everything else that ensures enhanced IT capability to the customers. Paying due attention to these areas enables us to deliver a superlative end-to-end customer experience while keeping pace with rapid technological advancements.
How are you reimagining the future of the IT Industry to forecast the growth in India?
It’s a universally recognized fact that the IT industry would continue growing with rapid momentum in the years to come. Talking about India specifically, we have witnessed how organizations across verticals are evincing interest in leveraging the power of technologies to stay afloat in the digital age. Some of the relevant initiatives undertaken by the competent government, such as Digital India and Startup India, have also been playing a pivotal role in the growth and expansion of the IT industry in the Indian subcontinent. Overall, India is poised to become a hotbed of technological advancements and evolutions. However, one thing that we must not overlook is how to commoditize cutting-edge technologies for organizations across geographic realms and verticals.
The technology stalwarts and advocates must come forward to figure out a way in which the emerging technologies, such as AI, ML, RPA, IoT, Cloud Computing, Analytics, Cybersecurity, and many more, can be clubbed with the existing proposition for the end customers. It’s high time to pay attention to offering innovative, market-ready IT solutions to organizations that are somewhat reliant on legacy systems and conventional approaches. In my humble opinion, there’s a wide range of scope and opportunities in the untapped markets of Tier II and III cities. It makes absolute business sense (if not social responsibility!) to reach the right audience, educate them, and empower them further, which can help them join the digital bandwagon.
Customer is king. And that’s absolutely right. Winning a customer’s trust is one of the most important challenges that businesses in general face today. In this backdrop, how are you winning the trust of customers?
As it relates to customer trust, I abide by the philosophy that it’s a reciprocal behavior to what a customer is promised and offered. It doesn’t take much of your efforts and energy to win the trust of customers if you are sticking to your promise! At Ingram Micro, we are committed towards creating, capturing, and delivering value to customers through a wide range of technology-led solutions and services. So, we win customer trust by honoring our commitment and promise!
We work closely with a wide range of partners and vendors to ensure an impeccable experience for customers. Though there are several critical aspects that need special attention and brainstorming, this starts with paying unequivocal attention to outcome-based engagement approaches. We have moved beyond technology-oriented discussions; we talk more about how our market-ready solutions can ensure a specific set of outcomes to customers. Next in line comes a complete range of IT and Managed services around cloud, security, and digital solutions. We have also launched Xvantage which is an experiential platform that allows customers to build, learn, partner, manage, and buy services/solutions seamlessly. The experiential platform not only ensures ease of technology acquisition but also plays a major role in simplifying and streamlining the overall operating activities.
To ensure ease of technology acquisition and make it affordable, we have also started offering Financial Services with multi-year financing on OpEx or consumption models. The financial offerings help our customers enhance their buying capabilities and maximize cash flows, without being much bothered about budgetary outlines. Besides all these, we also offer IT Asset Disposition Services that help our customers reuse, recycle, repurpose, repair, and/or dispose of end-of-life IT equipment in a responsible and compliant manner. Today, all forward-looking organizations prefer sustainable IT solutions, and that’s where our ITAD Services help us differentiate our brand and win customer trust in a value-centric way.
How are you making your brand distinctive and making them central in the respective categories?
The age of stiff competition compels every organization to envision, execute, and optimize strategies that can help you become a distinctive and central brand in the respective categories. To accomplish this goal, we consider all the possible aspects, including customer experience, value proposition, product and service portfolio, training and support, partner relationship, and things of similar nature.
I have already elaborated on how we provide an exceptional customer experience. Now, I want to shift focus to how we have transformed our business to become more relevant to our partners as well as end customers. We have started thinking beyond conventional IT distribution and added a whole array of value-added services for our partners, which paves the way for delivering a one-stop solution for end customers. Our installation, configuration, maintenance, and logistics services help us differentiate our brand. More importantly, we partner with leading vendors to become a trusted supplier of high-quality IT products and services. The joint value proposition allows us to position ourselves as a leader in the IT distribution category.
In parallel, we have consistently been optimizing our operations and leveraging digital technologies to make the overall process of distribution more seamless, transparent, and efficient. All these success-driven strategies – and close cooperation with leading partners and vendors – have enabled us to make our brand distinctive and central quite efficiently.
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