TATA BSS: Simplifying CX and BPM

By CIOReview Team

2010 witnessed an explosion within cable networks in common urban Indian households. For one of the leading providers of DTH in India, the rapid percolation of DTH technology across the digital domain had fuelled huge market growth in addition to newer competition and never before seen issues in process complexities. 

When the service provider approached Hyderabad headquartered TATA Business Support Services limited, the team was put forth against two major operational hurdles, i.e.- To minimize equipment malfunction response & resolution cycle-times; while simultaneously reducing cost of responses and resolutions.

Through a four tier solution approach ranging from customer care and administration to activation and campaign management, The Tata BSS team was able to increase the sales conversion rate from a paltry 27% to 67%, while sales from the call center contributed to 12-13% of the overall sales of the DTH provider. Moreover record 120 k worth sales were achieved through credit card swipes and 35% of the inbound calls were converted for up selling during FY 2012-2013 for the Client. 
Such has been one of the many positive stories to emerge out of one of India’s largest rural employment provider. Having initially started operations in 2004 as the first to launch an automated language based routing at all India level with a hub and spoke model to the BPM industry, TATA BSS today caters to 60+clients across the globe, with more than 85% of its workforce into sales and customer service and a growing global presence in the US, Middle East and Europe with a total of 25 development centers all around the world. 

The company initially started as an internal shared services unit, which mutually related to the larger TATA companies across the board. But Tata BSS always looked at itself as an independent entity and eventually, to cater to its own growth targets, stepped upto move to non-TATA clients. Non-TATA customers today from 48 percent of the TATA BSS workforce today, which is a testimony to the organizations stellar growth and fine balance between in house and outbound expertise. 

“If you talk about who is the single largest customer service provider specializing in 24 vernacular Indian languages, or who is the vendor that has got an all India routing with a single unified technology infrastructure , we proudly stand at the top 3 list at all times,” says a proud Srinivas Koppolu, MD & CEO at TATA BSS India. 

Tackling a Landscape Ridden with Technological Changes- The Social CLM
Perhaps the secret to the growth of TATA BSS has to be how they have understood that customer services has moved away from traditional phone calls to email and chat quotients. Above email and chat rooms, the final big wave is that of Social BBM where in customers are communicating through WhatsApp or Facebook, this is an area where Srinivas brings in his expertise. 

“In the traditional model (voice based), if the complaint acceleration was to be done to the CEO, the customer used to write a formal letter or try to contact me on phone or send me email. And my response could be anywhere from within an hour after acknowledgment to solving the issue in 24 hrs. Whereas today a customer posts a complaint on Facebook and within 2 hours it goes viral. So my entire support infrastructure has to be geared to those customers in a completely different manner,” points out Srinivas. Hence TATA BSS has ensured that its employees are not only suitable for voice based support, but are also competent of handling social media situations where quick thinking and adaptation to technology are vital. This translates to situations wherein 24 hour reaction times are replaced with 2 hour turnaround periods. 

To counter the social media phenomenon, the team ensures that a deep discussion on social media strategy takes place and a solution is amalgamated to deploy the most apt strategy encompassing branding, selling or customer services, according to the specifications provided by the organization. The company is also on track to explore the benefits of transactions over social media to engage the client’s customers better and hence deliver more value to its customers.

Driving India’s Rural Employment 
Although on one hand TATA BSS moves towards technological advancements, the company is well known in the industry circles today as a role model when it comes to empowerment of rural skill and Affirmative Action procedures. Drives such as Sambhavana(the company’s Employability Training Program which has made close to 7,570 people employable) is just one of the many examples. (Additionally, 30 % of employees within TATA BSS are women) The company believes in delivering the same type of high quality, technologically advanced services irrespective of whether the services originate from Urban cities, or tier cities. This ultimately leads to better gradual infrastructural connectivity and ultimately, less rural skilled forces moving to urban centers in search of jobs. “The reverse movement of talented individuals from urban to mid-tier and lower tier cities is a possibility now as we see Rural BPOs evolving in the same direction,” points out Srinivas.
"So Rural deployment has not started as a charity for us, it is a deeply integrated complex business strategy that has led to us being the largest rural employment provider in the country,” adds Srinivas. 
The facts also point towards how the new age employment strategies of the Tata group create employability as the youth of today want to move away from plants, factories towards Software and computer ecosystems. The management team has set its sight to drive at least 50 % of processes from tier 2 and 3 cities from India, which is a commendable move. 

Dividing tasks & Multiplying Successes through Team Work 
Apart from the admirable rural strategies, internally, TATA BSS deploys a Robust Employee Engagement plan to clearly communicate and align the company’s vision, mission and core values to its employees under the eyes of COO, Naozer Dalal. The methods to drive employee engagement range from personal written communications to posters on the wall. In 2014 the company completed ten years of operations and since its inception, the management has stressed on a constant engagement level between the managers, team leaders and the employees. Naozer also stresses on a mixture of both financial and non-financial parameters which are provided to the employees. “Individuals who have been with us for ten years in junior roles are now in AVPs and VPs, so that is a good indication of positive professional relationships we live by,” Points out Naozer. 
But when asked about the management of assets Naozer shows us that the only asset on top of the agenda is that of managing and upholding the customer’s reputation and brand value whilst ensuring employee friendly policies. “We are one of the first BPO’s which provided insurance benefits, medical benefits, and accidental insurance for the employees and there are regular communication sessions, where the MD communicates openly to the employees,” adds Naozer. Fundoo Fridays, stress busting rooms, health and safety counseling are just a few of the other fun additions to the health work atmosphere within the organization. All of these additions mixed with rewards, acquisition schemes and incentives make the organization succeed in both financial and non-financial parameters, a testimony of which is possessing one of the lowest attrition levels in the Industry. 

Complementing TCS 
Apart from the many factors that drive TATA BSS to differentiate itself from competitors, within the inner circle of TATA group of companies, TATA BSS sees itself as a strategic complementary partner to its bigger cousin in the domain of Customer Experience management & BPM.
“There is a great opportunity for TATA BSS to be a Tier to TCS. TCS services all across the world to Large and medium enterprises, but they do not consider much of the tier cities across the globe and this is where TATA BSS can complement TCS in the near future,” adds Thompson, Chief Sales Officer at TATA BSS. For a short term perspective, the management aims towards taking the company from 90:10 to a 75:25 revenue model for domestic and international markets respectively, while simultaneously becoming a 60%:40% company in terms of Volume and value. “Value can be defined as value for customers through premium solutions and volume means more end to end outcome based profitable businesses,” Points out Thompson. Per contra, to counter the rapid acceleration in technologies and to garner a more global outlook, the team looks forward to move from a pure placed, Human resource based BPM to a transformational technology enabled BPM provider.

Moving forward, Srinvas plans to shift towards a more digitalized and a globally focused approach. Having already opened a US branch the team is focused on a subsidiary within UK and the Middle Eastern markets. For the immediate future, the sales organization within the international market is an area where TATA BSS will showcase visible expansion. All of these come together as different parts of the puzzle in the company’s Digital Transformational Journey to digitize every business so as to focus on more technological, and eventually, happier customer services. 
However the fact remains that TATA BSS is a force to be reckoned with in the BPM space, backed up with the TATA brand value and with its own independent growth strategies, TATA BSS looks set to evolve rapidly in the next few years. Judging by the unorthodox tier expansion plans (Both locally and globally) coupled with an aggressive technological adaptation curve, it would be a safe bet to say TATA BSS is going to place India in a much more significant position on the global map with regards to premium differentiating BPM and PLM solutions .  

Panels MERGER WITH E_NXT.

To expand their reach beyond BPO services, TBSS acquired e-Nxt Financials (e-Nxt), a company currently held equally by Tata Sons & Tata Capital. The amalgamation created a furore in the industry circles as it meant a larger, stronger diversified services company with a broad array of products, services and capabilities. The merge paved the way for TATA BSS to complement each other’s products and market fit to enable global growth and provide value to the stakeholders. 
With close to 21,000+ people, 24 delivery centers, a diverse span of locations in 380 locations across India, TATA BSS today possess a proposition to enable better efficiencies and ultimately enhance customer satisfaction.

Thompson, Head of Business Development at TATA BSS, puts across the benefits of the merger clearly. “Strategically we are positioning ourselves as a premium end to end, business process service provider and now we are building upon our core capabilities and competencies within Customer Life Cycle Management. With the merger of E-next we also have feet on street capability. When we put these two assets together we have a strong back office, a last mile fulfillment. And we throw in the technology which is available on demand, which is a powerful process for our customer. We could be one of the single largest, end to end, service provider who could offer customer acquisition to customer life cycle management and customer life value management to our prospects."

ON CSR Policies within TATA BSS
TBSS aims towards increasing computer literacy which according to Anamika Sarma Iyer, AVP, is the first mandate for the company. “The second mandate is the caller release mandate where we contributed to Kashmir, to Wudur Andhra, and now we are in the process of contributing to Nepal,” she adds. 
Additionally TBSS also engages in a scalability program for BPOs, wherein employability programs are initiated through partnerships. “Through such initiatives many heartening stories also emerge one of which is better employability and better prospects to lead a better life,” says Anamika. The company is also the largest employer generator for Tata , case in point being over 20 thousand people having being employed through TBSS.

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