Q: Trends in customer care?
Ans: In terms of trends in the market place today. Over the past several years obviously
there has been a big trend for globalization, to find the right market, to handle the transaction. I think
the right market 5 years ago is not the right market today. So markets move around based on the availability
of labor in the market, the price of the labor, the exchange rates, there are lots of factors that go into
I think when you pick a market in the globe to put the work in; you got to take all those factors into
account. So you got to look at not only what things are like today, but what they are going to be in 5
years, because when you ramp up operations it is going to stay there for a while.
The second biggest trend which kind of overshadows everything is the technology support. There is
continuously more ways to support the agent and what they are doing in their job, so that they are able to
handle the call better. There are also technologies that are actually interfaced with the customers in
different ways. These examples would be like the movement from voice, to email to chat. You move down that
path and in those paths you offer more channels to work with your customers on, and you will be able to
service them in the channel that they want to be contacted in.
So if they want to do voice calls you got that available, if they want email you can do that, if they want
chat you can do that. I think that some of the areas in chat offers the most returns, both in customer
satisfaction improvement and in cost affordability because you will be able to more efficiently handle the
chat session with the customer and get the information out of them faster, they don’t have to wait in a
line, in a queue typically to do that. On the outsourcer side, we can build the knowledge base for answers;
we can much better manage the interchange with the customer in a written format like that.
Beyond the chat, there is accessing people on the mobile device and being proactive. So if you know there are
some problem coming, it could be a problem in the network or problem in servicing your customers, things you
want to get notification out, we can actually do email blast, we can do blast to the wireless phones, we can
do blast to the Blackberries to tell them here is what the news is, here is where the information is and we
can be proactive in getting that out. That way you will eliminate the call, you will eliminate the email,
the chat sections and you take in a proactive response.
Q: Challenges faced by companies in customer care?
Ans: There are several competing objectives when you are running a customer care operation.
You got to kind of balance between probably the 3 biggest ones. Number one would be to increase the revenue
per customer or just to make the contact center a revenue driver for the company. You got to come up with
the ways, the techniques, the training, the methodologies and the technologies to allow you to be able to do
The second thing is while you are trying to increase the revenue you got to balance that with your quality
metrics, make sure you are achieving the service levels in doing all the things necessary to hit the quality
metrics on your call.
The third thing you got to do in balancing those two is you got to somehow decrease the overall cost of the
contact. It is a balancing act to try to get more revenue without sacrificing your service levels and to try
to balance your service levels with maintaining the cost competitiveness in he market.
So, we find a lot of companies struggle with these three and there will be some swing back and forth
depending on where the company is at, their progress down the path on those three. But I think those are the
three biggest drivers.
How can outsourcing help in customer care?
Outsourcers have a great advantage of being at multiple places in the market place at the same time. So they
are working across different verticals, they are working with clients who have multiple challenges, where
they may have challenges with service levels, they may have challenges with cost problems, they may have
challenges with revenue.
We gain a lot of experience by being able to address those problems and taking kind of best practices as we
gain our knowledge base across to other clients. I think in terms of achieving the basic service levels and
the basics of what the center should be able to deliver, we can do that very well.
I think the biggest thing an outsourcer can do is layer on top of that the advantages we bring in terms of
the latest technologies, the latest in the locations you should be in. So, in terms of the global footprints
you have to choose from, which areas would offer you the optimum return and the best long term viability for
the languages that you are interested in.
I think when you layer the technology and the geographic diversity across the top of that equation along with
hitting the basics you pretty much got captured in what you expect from a good outsourcer.
How has WNS helped improve customer care for clients?
I will use a recent example from Manila. I was just there and there was a client who came to us and wanted
us to create as a special request a dedicated center just for them. And they wanted the center to be branded
as the client’s center, primarily branded as theirs and secondary branded as WNS. We did all that for them.
We created a center, supported by our operational team in Manila. The center is branded as the client’s
I think the client wanted this because they wanted the agents to feel a great loyalty to their brand name and
even though the agents were outsourced, they wanted to see that the agents had a loyalty and affinity to
their brand, over and above our brand alone, which was fine with us. So the center was brought up in record
time, it was built from the ground up in little over 90 days from the time of the contract signing, the time
of the first call, it is hitting all of its metrics in terms of service level. We just recently achieved
number one in customer satisfaction among the other centers that it competes with. So I think they are doing
a great job down there. This proves the efficiency of our model and what we can bring to the table when we
Another example of where we have got some great successes is where couple of clients that we had operations
with in India and they were running successfully for several months and years, but we needed to implement a
little bit of business disaster planning just in case there was a problem. So we moved part of the
operations to Manila. Some pleasant surprises were that the operations moved to Manila not only achieved the
service levels and we were on par with the operations that have been running for quite a while in India, but
we beat the customer service and customer satisfaction levels that we had experienced out of India. So I
think for an operation to come up like that in a new market, with being able to beat customer satisfaction
score from an established operation is a testament again in the operational skills we got there.
Factors to consider when outsourcing customer care?
I think the first thing companies got to make sure they have is senior management commitment because they
are fundamentally adding direction to the company that may be a little bit different than what they have
done in the past. They want to make sure that the senior management is behind the move and is supportive of
the move, and gets the word out of their organization that this is the way the ship is going.
I think the second thing behind that is to make sure that there is a good cultural fit with the outsourcer
that you pick. Most companies go through an RFP process and they figure out who is the best fit, everybody
answers the questions right and got the pricing right. All those things are quantitative things you can look
at, but then you got to look at the qualitative items as to how well do we mesh up with our outsourcing
partner. Do we have similar cultures, do we have similar values or people work together well because this is
something that over the long term that we are going to be able to sustain and be a successful act together.
That’s a very important part of the equation. After you run through the RFP you find out that you got your
choice of 4-5 different choices out there that are all very good. One of the differentiating factors is we
better look for the fit in the culture between the two companies and is the right move for you.
After that you want to take a look and see, one thing you want to look for in your outsourcing partner is the
ability to not just do the work you are tasked with today that statement of work, you are supposed to do
this exact boundary of services. But you want to have that outsourcing partner lead you into the future. So
you want them to tell you where is the future or the direction that I need to go and work as a partner with
the client company to lead them and to say here is what we need to go in the future, here is what you need
to do to keep abreast of changes in the market place, to keep abreast of new technology developments and to
really work with the client to implement those things.
Managing through a change process is always stressful on an organization, so people are going to have to may
be do different jobs, some people may have expanded jobs, some people’s jobs may not exist after it is done.
So I think both teams need to be aware of the fact to try to move through the process quickly. Not only does
it saves money to move faster, transition plans take a long time, cost more, the more duplicate work you
have involved there is a the cost for the company, lot of times it can be eliminated.
Plus, the biggest thing is the string on the organization. So anytime you implement change, you got to kind
of move through it quickly, get people to let go of what they had before, get them to focus on the
to-be-process and get them to move over there. That’s some of the most successful ones I have seen that move
through that process pretty quickly.