Transcom thinks its CX centres are gold mines for brands

At any given point if you log into social media platforms, you will see people ranting about the customer service of some brand or the other.

It is the biggest pain point for organisations and one that they spend a lot on. Consider this: the global customer experience business process outsourcing (BPO) market size was an estimated $92.4 billion in 2023.

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Swedish firm Transcom — which provides digitally enhanced customer experience (CX) services to some of the world’s fastest scaling brands — recently entered India through an acquisition. Aptly enough, it was on Valentine’s Day this year that it sealed the deal to buy VCosmos, a young CX start-up based in Gurgaon and Jaipur, set up by Amandeep Singh Arora, a veteran in BPO services.

Both Travis Coates, CEO of Transcom — which was born out of Sweden’s disruptive telco Tele2 in 1995 — and Arora, who is now leading the charge for Transcom India, are gungho about the CX opportunity out of India. Transcom, which closed 2023 with revenues of €738 million believes in smart shoring, with a large part of its talent based in the Philippines. But Coates feels India’s talent and skill pool over time will make it another important hub for them.

Ask Arora, if India has climbed the value chain from plain vanilla customer service to more value-added customer experience which can even help close the sales funnel and he says: “From our perspective, it’s still very much a BPO industry. But we’re helping brands and clients solve different friction points within their customer journey and helping them to get through not only the simple transactions, but also more difficult transactions and help them iterate their products and experiences.”

He adds, “It’s much more CX, and more social because the transactions are on digital. There’s always going to be voice and text and chat. But the channels are also becoming more and more omni-channel.”

When asked about the advent of Gen AI and its potential to automate experiences, Coates says, “Gen AI is just one more channel, one more way that we can help clients solve customer challenges. Gen-AI is helping to solve those simpler transactions in a more contextual way than perhaps it was able to be done in the past. But that only provides more opportunity for us to leverage that data and leverage the more complex work within the actual contact centre.”

Data Rich

The CX centres we operate are gold mines for brands, says Coates. Elaborating on this, he says that solving many friction points as they do, they are sitting on such rich data that can now solve issues proactively instead of reactively. They can predict where a typical customer will face an issue, anticipate it and avert it.

To illustrate, Arora gives an example of a cell phone purchase and the subsequent calls that a call centre receives. “Pretty much the first thing the buyer calls up the helpline is to find out how to set up their email on the device. Since I have got hundreds of such calls, I can proactively put a paper in the box with instructions on how to do that. So, I solved that problem before it even became a problem.”

Another example he says where they can be proactive is when someone buys a product and it is out for delivery, and the customer is viewing the tracking status. At this point the company gets to know that there was a strike in the area or there’s rain and the product will not be delivered at the time shown. “Can we build that plug-in where the agent knows that the product will not be delivered today. Can we make that proactive call to the customer and tell them, ‘hey, sorry, because of the outage in your area or because of the strike in your area, the product will not be delivered today’. Or you get an SMS or email saying your packet is delayed today. It is bound to delight the customer.

“We feel we are experts on that,” says Coates. For a brand, the duo say, the value that CX centres like theirs bring to the table from a consulting standpoint, from a data understanding standpoint, is how you can solve problems in a larger way.

Compared to the Philippines, Arora says that India is a market which has the capability to provide more service versus just providing service only on the English side. “Early on we were able to support a client when they were moving their business into several European markets. We could provide support out of India, because 2,00,000 people do a German certification, about 2,00,000 people do a French certification from India each year. So, this additional language helped us win a client. Today Transcom handles German, French, Spanish, Italian, Turkish, Polish, Dutch and of course English.”

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