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Our objective is to ‘scale and differentiate’. – Mr. K. Balakrishnan, Managing Director and CEO, Servion Global Solutions

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In an exclusive interview with ITVoice, Mr. K. Balakrishnan, Managing Director and CEO, Servion Global Solutions. reveals his strategies forbusiness in India..

ITVoice :- Please brief us about Servion Global Solutions.

Mr. K. Balakrishnan:- Servion is a global leader in Customer Interaction Management (CIM) domain. With more than 600 customers and over 1000 installations spread across 60+ countries,

Servion’s products and solutions handle more than 7 billion voice/fax/ACD/Web/e-mail interactions every year. 

Servion takes a consulting – led approach to optimize customer interaction for its clients, drawing from a proven combination of deep contact optimization experience and broad Contact Center technology knowledge.

This structured approach allows Servion to understand and map customer interaction strategies of all stakeholders across client organizations. Servion identifies people, process, and, or technology gaps, diagnoses the cause, and designs / executes solutions accordingly.Servion offers solutions across eight segments of the CIM industry (self-service, computer telephony integration, email / web / chat, outbound interaction management, workforce management, quality monitoring, customer behavior analytics, cloud and social media). These solutions are offered to a wide range of verticals such as banking and finance, telecommunications, business process outsourcing, transportation, retail, and hospitality; and are delivered through its consulting, engineering (professional services), product engineering, support services and managed services divisions.

ITVoice:- How the company positioned currently and what is your strategic roadmap for the year ahead?

Mr. K. Balakrishnan:- The customer service industry is largely driven with ‘Cost Optimization’ as the major criteria. 

We look at Customer Interactions (CI) from an experience perspective with Cost Optimization being a by-product rather than the main objective. We look at positively impacting customer interactions by providing an experience that is in line with the brand promise organizations make to their customers. Consequently, our engagement with customers has changed and has become more consultative in nature.

Today our focus is largely in transforming Customer Experience domain through investments in cloud and analytics. We are making significant investments in these new areas, and in our home grown platforms like ServCloud, ServIntuit, ServInsights, and several IP driven projects. There will be continued focus on developing and offering Cloud solutions for customers globally – both private and public.

ITVoice :- How do you differentiate your products & services in a competitive market?

Mr. K. Balakrishnan:- Servion is the only organization that looks at Customer Interaction in a holistic manner, starting right at the top with the brand promise – with the main focus being on Experience and Satisfaction rather than just Cost Optimization. This we believe is what differentiates us and our engagement from other players in the industry, worldwide.

Servion believes that the starting point of customer service failure is the failure to align service strategy with brand promise. Businesses invest millions of dollars in creating a brand. Unfortunately, oftentimes, similar attention is not paid to the service / interaction strategy that translates the brand promise into action. This results in customer dissatisfaction and churn. In turn leading to a negative tailspin of escalating customer retention costs, pressure to acquire new customers faster than they are being lost and shrinking bottom lines. Our consulting led approach works towards optimizing contact to enable businesses to align their customer experience and service strategy with their brand promise. This is what we call ‘Customer Experience. By Design’.

ITVoice:- Do you think that modern technologies make our world a better place to live in, or do you think the opposite in this case?

Mr. K. Balakrishnan:- Technology has evolved a lot and has resulted in the introduction of several innovative solutions. Mobile phones, smartphones and internet have virtually changed the way we interact. We no longer physically go to a bank/service provider to conduct a transaction. We just connect through the ATM, internet or make a call to complete a transaction. So is the case on customer service.  We no longer have to physically go to a service center to get service.  Hence I certainly believe that modern technologies have made the world a better place.

Having said that I am not implying that the frustration levels have come down.  With the advent of new technologies the expectations of consumers have gone up as well.  Most of these services / solutions do not provide a positive customer experience for most consumers. That is why we would like to see more and more organizations move towards adopting strategies / technology to align their customer interaction with their brand promise to deliver the ‘right (relevant) experience’.

ITVoice:- How do you keep your business focused? Any suggestions for entrepreneurs who are experiencing in challenging times?

Mr. K. Balakrishnan :-  Our objective is to ‘scale and differentiate’.  We believe we have an opportunity to vastly improve the levels of customer service around the globe and all our investments are to achieve this purpose.  Everything we do is focused in this direction.  Especially our focus on customer experience (instead of just costs), our investments in cloud, analytics, and outcome based pricing models. 

My advice to any entrepreneur is – please put yourself in your customer’s shoes and ask if you will buy your own solution.  What “problem” are you solving for your customers, and is that “problem” big enough for you to build a business around it?  Every customer buys a product/solution to solve a problem they have, not to keep you in business.  Please align yourself to that problem, and you will see things in a new perspective.

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