In an interview with ETCIO.COM, Subramanya C, Global CTO, Hinduja Global Solutions explains how HGS is redefining customer experience through its seamless integration and digital transformation services for its clients.
With service being a two-way conversation, traditional call center models have transformed its way to automated and integrated human assistance centers. BPM-based companies today are constantly looking to employ the latest technologies and tools to deliver a seamless service experience, where they can move between channels or pivot to agent support. With customers being the key channel of focus for every BPM lifecycle, it becomes important to combine the right technology-powered services and provide customers with the most convenient channel for a quick resolution—text, chat, web, social, and voice.
Part of the multi-billion dollar conglomerate Hinduja Group, Hinduja Global Solutions(HGS) operates a global network of 66 customer experience centers across the globe. A leading player in the BPM space, HGS has clocked revenues of revenues of Rs. 3,711 crore. HGS combines technology-powered services in automation, analytics and digital with domain expertise focusing on back-office processing, contact centers and HRO solutions to deliver transformational impact to clients.
The company is on its way to revolutionizing customer experience through its various ‘DigiCX’ services and capabilities to provide a unified experience of full suit services. Using design thinking, HGS’ DigiCX services is revolutionizing traditional customer experiences with asset-light services at a fraction of the cost. With an elaborate suite of services like Digital Natural Assistant (DNA), DigiChat, DigitWEB, DigitTEXT, and DigiSOCIAL, HGS believes in leveraging the company’s knowledge and its ability to bridge channels of interaction, while seamlessly creating business value through innovative outsourcing solutions.
Can you give us an overall perspective on HGS’ DigiCX services?
Let me give you the entire background. HGS Interactive (HGSi), the digital business arm of HGS, is an innovative digital solutions company, providing global brands an array of services in the areas of Strategy & Consulting, Digital Marketing, DigitalCx and Social CRM.
Operating in the Unified Customer Experience space, HGSi works on the three tenets of Technology, Innovation and Creativity, and provides clients real-time customized solutions. By optimizing the customer experience lifecycle, HGS is helping make its clients more competitive every day.
DigiCX is a suite of Customer Experience (CX) services for our clients. It leads with self-service intelligently integrating people to help consumers ‘Get the Right Answer Fast’ by using analytics, automation and artificial intelligence. DigiCX helps companies by incubating innovative ideas to improve customer experiences and implement new ways to connect through a single touch point when it comes to services. It can help companies to measure how and where their customers want to interact and employ the right mix of engagement solutions across voice, digital, and mobile channels.
HGS has designed DigiCX as a current and constantly evolving answer for companies looking to keep up with customer needs. Increasingly, customers will manage their relationships with enterprises without interacting with a human. It is our role to help companies remain competitive in this reality, and DigiCX allows us to transform traditional approaches to customer engagement and deliver on preferences for empowerment driving tomorrow’s customer.
Talk to us about the capabilities of DigiCX. How is the company driving innovation to better service clients?
When we started off in the year 2000, we were typically doing voice services and non – voice BPO services. Along the way, we also realized the need to understand the dynamics in the market, and at the same time, we had to move at a good pace to catch up with our customers. So, we built the capability within the organization, and collaborated with a lot of IT partners in the ecosystem. So, we started collaborating with a lot of IT tools, applications, and AI companies etc. And that’s where we really projected to a lot of our customers on what we could really do. As a result, we launched a lot our digital offerings.
We are completely a customer relationship management company, and as I said, we were offering voice based solutions, and then we started a lot more offerings in the digital channels.
We started off the DigiCX service for the telecom vertical because the volume of the emails which used to come in were pretty huge. We continue to service a lot of the telecom customers even today in India, Canada and US.
We then started giving chat as an offering again to the telecom vertical in a big way. And then because we had the skillsets, we started talking to our healthcare clients also.
Again, moving forward in the value chain, when I say chat, it started off with passive chat, then moved towards active chats, and then we put up automated chat responses to our customers. We started building specialization in all those areas and then continued to offer this as a service. In the same journey, we started doing a lot of social media responses also. That was one of the next activities if you really look at. Again, as I said, it’s an evolution that involved moving step by step in choosing the right verticals and domain.
If you look at social media for consumer products, goods, and electronics – that’s a pretty huge area. Then we started saying, let’s start responding to our clients on Facebook, Twitter, and on their website. Then we started collaborating with our clients and responding to a lot of them. We also started offering a social media command center to our clients.
This is again in the CRM area. Social media itself is a huge area, so then we started thinking how much we could really do in terms of self service. We started building case studies of our clients, in the sense we started working a lot more in terms of building a lot more solutions proactively to these clients and stating the type of businesses there were in, the call deflections encountered, and basis which we could do to reduce the volume. While we started going back to our potential clients, we started conversing with the clients on working on a model such that we were able to reduce call volumes, and look at some self-service offerings if they were willing to collaborate with us. A lot of clients were in agreement and were very happy on working with us.
One large consumer technology client who works in the print medium space is a client we’ve worked with. We have reduced the call volumes for them by large numbers. When I say we have reduced the AHT: one, we can either deflect the call completely to the website or ensure that the call goes away. But at some particular stage, if he still wants to talk to an agent, he can do so by pressing a button and the call gets connected to an agent. So, by doing that we were able to really get lower the AHT because a lot of the data was already captured basis what the agent would try to say. That’s the way you really look at it. So, a lot of basic hygiene improvement of AHT, the first call resolution, decrease in call volume, and reduction in talk time was achieved.
What is the go-to market strategy HGS has adopted for this line of business?
The strategy what we adopted was to first to go back to our existing clients – that’s a goldmine. Like I said for our telecom customers, we started off from voice to email, and then to chat. Similarly, we went back to our existing clients and tried to tell them the best practices. Because at the back end, we would do the reengineering, understand the business process, understand the incoming call volume coming in, analyze the verticals that we could start specializing in, and then go ahead and start off. The first strategy what we would look at is, go meet out with the existing clients and tell them what are the best practices – not only voice, but also non-voice.
We do a lot of BPO/BPM services. If you look at the healthcare vertical, we do a lot touching of claims for our members, and resolution. While we do this, we go back and try to tell our clients that either we give a reduction on the volume of what you they’re doing, or we will definitely give you reduction in terms of overall spends, because we work on a lot of AI and RPA tools and then go back to the client and tell them of all the repetitive or mundane process that they do, and how we can automate this provided we collaborate with them. So, we collaborate with the customer’s IT team, customer’s business excellence team, and we use our operational excellence to go back to them and tell them the steps they can employ to automate processes by introducing some new solutions.
We work with various vendor partners in the ecosystem, pickup these particular tools, build in-house expertise in terms of analytics, apply the required domain knowledge and business skills, and then go back to the customer and show him what we typically call as a ‘proof of concept’. So, once we go back to the customer, we showcase the sort of reduction we will be able to do, either in terms of volume, or year-on-year expenditure. The strategy typically is to work on existing customers, try to showcase our solutions to them, leverage the ecosystem, go to the market and then start selling.
What is the kind of traction you see for the DigiCX services in the market?
I can easily say that from the existing base of customers, we have gone back to over 30% of the customers and given value to them in terms of any of these offerings that what we have done. When I say digital, it includes everything and I don’t want to really classify it as email, chat, social media, analytics or robotics. I can say certainly more than 30% customers have really benefited because of our services.
Can you give us some examples of your customers who have benefitted from DigiCX?
Let me give you one or two customer examples without naming them. In the US market, we are servicing one customer which is typically a Window and Door manufacturing and selling company. So, if you really look at this, our customers used to have challenges for them to really explain right from the model number to the type of window to the type of fitting they’ve done at home. So, by using solutions like video chat, we were able to identify parameters like the model number, and show them on a screen on how it could really work, we were able to give them clear benefits of the call AHT going down for that windows company, and being able to get their customer satisfaction and call volume NPS score going really high basis the activities we had done for them.
Let me give you another example of a customer who deals with consumer products and electronics basically. The company works mostly with washing machines. So, this client’s intention was clearly to reduce call volume. When we studied the entire case, we understood that the calls that was coming in was either related to machine numbers, or whether the machine was under warranty, or the nearest service store available. What we did was develop something called a ‘dip into the customer’s database’, where we were able devise a mechanism that when the call is received by the telephonic system, the customer would need to punch in a number as per his issue, and continue to choose options basis the voice recognition system. So the voice was converted to text and when the customer would go on to provide details on the serial number of the machine, whether it was under warranty, or needs to be serviced. Once the customer says ‘Yes’, then the nearest service centers are code is shared, basis the customer’s area code. So that means, if you really look at it, the call was never answered by an agent, and it was picked up by the system who dipped into the database, understood his area code location hypothetically, and then provided the area code of the nearest service center, and gets the call routed back. This is one of the other offerings which we are into.
I could tell you about another good case study in a different sector. This dealt with the expecting mothers’ segment, and where the customer was in the UK and is basically a nutrition assistance company. This dealt with giving advice to expecting mothers on nutrition. So, we were able to go back, showcase a DigiChat type of platform, collaborate with them and tell them how they can talk to other parents who have really delivered a child. Basically giving them advice, keeping them engaged, and allowing them to speak to their families and friends on advice. This has really created a lot of impact and has impacted our CSAT score with them and increased the NPS score for our customers. So those are some of the things which we have really done in different areas.
Source: ET CIO