Executive Espresso with Assistant Vice President, Customer Delight at Swiggy, Arun Cyril

‘Consumer Comes First’ is a core value that Swiggy has always been obsessed with from day-1 of our journey. While Swiggsters strongly live and practice this value — one of the core eight — one team stands tall modeling quality service, while constantly breathing this Core Value, everyday. Be it voice, chat or on social media, the Customer Support team at Swiggy are the guardians who deliver exceptional experiences for our consumers through prompt and reliable support. Read on as the Assistant Vice President of Customer Delight at Swiggy, Arun Cyril, spills the beans on the incredible journey the team has been through as we expand our footprint to over 200 cities across the nation.


Being one of the veterans at Swiggy, how would you describe your experience over the past four years, as against your earlier rendezvous?

I’m not sure if there is a fair comparison here. I’ve been blessed to work with a few great institutions and a tonne of fabulous people throughout my career. So honestly, it’s an apple to orange comparison. Having said that, after going through 20+ years of exhaustive learning, I would say without an iota of doubt that Swiggy has reinforced the power of amalgamation.

This is one place where you will see concepts and technology, coupled with great minds, come together to solve a quintessential need. In my context, that’s food laced with an incredible ingredient — Customer Centricity! This enriched learning and winning formula propels us to keep setting audacious goals all the time, thus making this learning experience very real and not just empty words.

We know that the CS team at Swiggy works around the clock to provide the best possible experience for our consumers, while ensuring positive customer relationships. Can you shed some light on what keeps the team going and a few innovations we can look forward to in this space?

I believe that great customer service can only be taught to a certain extent. However, the Customer Champions at Swiggy — as we like to call ourselves — need to have a natural inclination towards problem-solving. We further reinforce, encourage and reward this behaviour through our rigorous new hire training program which revolves around our core value of ‘Consumer Comes First’ followed by rewards and recognition, driving the culture of keeping the customer at the centre of everything.

We at the Swiggy Contact Centre have had a phenomenal journey of building this team from just six executives four years ago, to a strong team of over 1,000 folks today; and customer centricity has been the guiding light through all these years. Even our outsourced partners have been carefully chosen, after a thorough review of their cultural alignment with that of Swiggy.

We envision Swiggy to be a force to reckon with when it comes to delivering best-in-class customer delight. Our core focus is on creating an effortless experience for both our customers and Champions alike, while constantly reinventing ourselves by integrating technology like AI and ML, into the way we work. The Swiggy Contact Centre of 2020 would be a place where we are able to understand the customer persona based on their immediate situation and past experiences with us. This enables us to offer unprecedented quality of customized experiences. The Champions will be equipped and empowered with interfaces smart enough to identify the next best action. These interfaces will be fueled by technologies for speech and text analytics, voice BOTs, voice to text etc., ensuring that we are ruthlessly focused on delighting consumers.

Arun at Swiggy vs Arun outside. How different are they, and tell us a bit more about the latter?

I’m pretty much the same person while I’m at work or outside. I’ve always been a people’s person and have been keen on doing things systematically — be it at work, planning and strategizing or outside fulfilling my other roles. I constantly simulate the sequences of events in my mind before getting my hands dirty.

On the rarest of rare occasions, I like to switch to hibernate mode and try to rejuvenate as much as I can. Reading, binge watching any sport, taking power naps, trying different kinds of biryani with that glass of drink in my hand is a perfect definition of time outside of work, for me.

If you were given an option to choose your superpower, what would that be and why?

I am humbled at the thought of being able to play a part in shaping the careers of budding Customer Champions at the Contact Centre. With this realization comes the added concern of constantly feeling responsible for those around me. One superpower which would help me greatly in this respect would be the ability to peek around the corner to pre-assess the unforeseen challenges and ensure my people are better equipped, thereby multiplying their success rate. Should we then call this super power as precognition?

Any message that you would like to share with the world about what it takes to be a Swiggster?

I am going to try and keep this very contextual to the Contact Centre. Quoting a snippet I read that keeps resonating within me, “To make something special, you first HAVE TO believe it’s special.”  It is essential to develop that passion for your role and act truly like an owner with clear knowledge that our consumers come first. Being human, responsive and responsible while showing great bias for action under these dynamic situations to convert every single moment of misery into a moment of magic is what it takes to be a ‘True Swiggster.’

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