26 Apr 2017 13:13 IST

Bullish Indian CFOs ready to bet big money on keeping customers happy

See virtue of investing to establishlong-term relationships: Amex report

Large enterprises in India and around the world are facing increased pressure to compete on the basis of customer service.

In order to do that, Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) are now willing to invest substantially in building long-term relationships.

This is an interesting finding of the American Express Global Business and Spending Outlook 2017, a global study that secured responses from 650 CFOs from 19 countries with annual revenue of $500 million or more.

As many as 67 per cent of the 30 Indian CFOs surveyed acknowledged that pressure on companies to compete on the quality of their customer service has increased substantially over the past two years.

“That customer service is emerging as a key differentiator and CFOs want increased investments to ensure standardised customer service to establish long-lasting relationship is a key takeaway from this survey,” said Saru Kaushal, Vice-President & General Manager, Global Corporate Payments, American Express.

A lot of Indian CFOs want to help the Chief Information Officers (CIOs) in overhauling technology and partnering with them in enriching end-to-end customer experience, she said. “This is coming out as a key differentiator this year as against process efficiency, which was the big mantra of last year’s survey,” Kaushal told BusinessLine while sharing the findings of the survey.

CFOs now see customer service as an important tool to maintain customer loyalty, which is needed to sustain the goals of the enterprise.

At least 47 per cent of the Indian CFOs also see exports as an important growth driver for companies in 2017, the Amex report revealed.

Looking ahead

Indian CFOs are also far more bullish than their global counterparts as regards increasing their spends and investments.

Driven by positive economic sentiment, more than half (77 per cent) of CFOs surveyed expect moderate to substantial economic expansion in 2017.

Indian companies are expected to increase their spending and investment in the marketplace, with a significant 67 per cent of CFOs looking at focussing on moderate spending and investment to support top-line growth while improving profitability this year.