How Tech Service Providers Can Rediscover Themselves Through Rebranding

It’s been over two years since the pandemic. Two years of disruption. Two years of brands having to pivot and realign their strategies, and two years of near-constant change.

The pandemic forced brands, especially tech businesses, to deliver their services with a digital-first approach. If previously, they had relied on in-person experiences to drive impact, they now had to digitalize all those experiences. The result was that tech service providers did not just have to rediscover themselves; they had to rapidly reimagine themselves.

Simplify, Declutter, Demystify and Rebrand: Brand Trends for 2022

In this shifting landscape, some brands have armed themselves with four tools:

  • Simplification
  • Decluttering
  • Demystification
  • Rebranding

This year, brands have shown a marked shift toward simplification. Some brands have even gone as far as to ‘debrand’ themselves. The most famous example may be Facebook changing to Meta last year. A shorter brand name? Yes, why not? It’s simpler, and brands are thriving on simplicity these days. Autodesk, in September last year, said that it was ‘reimagining’ its brand with a ‘strong, simple logo.’ And the same year, TransferWise shortened its name to Wise, signifying through the simpler name that it now offered a more complex suite of services than just money transfers.

Decluttering is another trend that brands are utilizing to reinvent themselves. What does decluttering have to do with branding? Ask Pringles, which changed its logo by removing the hair on its mascot! In the brand’s words, that change was done keeping simplicity in mind.

And in keeping with the ‘simplify’ trend, brands are also seeking clearer messaging, moving away from obfuscating jargon to more subtle messaging. Aggressive campaigns are passe. Empathetic campaigns are in.

All of this means that many of the pre-pandemic ways of branding have now ceased to hold relevance. So, what better way for brands to become relevant again than through rebranding? Brands that have been nimble and agile, and adapted to changing customer expectations faster, are well-positioned to be the brands of the future.

Finding your whys

Brands may want to rebrand themselves for many reasons, as with NIIT Technologies, which rebranded itself as Coforge after its acquisition by Barings. Sometimes, it could be as simple as a merger. Other times, because they needed to connect with customers better. But usually, brands that choose to overhaul their entire personality do so for strategic reasons.

In CSS Corp’s case, we found that after 26 years, the brand had evolved from its initial beginnings as a service provider to a strategic value partner. The brand is known in the industry for its disruptive digital solutions and insights-driven services approach. Our services portfolio has expanded and shifted over the last two decades. But our brand identity and perception hadn’t kept pace with its transformation to a digital-first brand.

Going deeper, we found that our existing brand identity did not reflect who we were and the pillars that had driven this transformation. We wanted our brand to be known as a catalyst for cultural transformation. Was our brand ready to evolve? We found that the answer was an overwhelming “Yes!”

No matter the reasons behind the rebranding, knowing the answers to the ‘why’ will establish the future direction of the brand at a more fundamental level.

Rebranding as a process and continuing journey

Rebranding isn’t for everyone, though. It’s more than a new logo. It’s more than a brand refresh. It’s giving a brand the chance to start afresh. Utilized well, it’s a tool for positive change. It should be leveraged as an opportunity to infuse fresh thinking into the mindsets of all employees. It is an avenue to realize that while your problems may not disappear overnight, we will at least employ new means and energy to deal with them. Realigning the organizational aspirations with a new rallying cry can go a long way to expedite the transformation.

When we made rebranding a process of rediscovering ourselves as a brand, our new identity became clearer. It led to CSS Corp becoming Movate, a combination of ‘Momentum’ and ‘Innovate’. There are two key themes behind the company’s new positioning – Accelerate and Innovate. ‘Accelerate’ represents the company’s philosophy of helping clients achieve great outcomes with speed and stay ahead of the time curve. ‘Innovate’ represents its passion for solving complex challenges through the simplest and most creative solutions. And together, they form our new tagline, which is ‘Accelerate. Innovate. Movate.’

We also unveiled our new vibrant logo that represents our organization’s vision and what we stand for. The logo has three key elements: an inverted hourglass representing agility and speed, a hidden infinity symbol that signifies infinite potential and opportunity that the company brings to the table and the X Factor underlining the multiplier effect of the company.

From our experience, we found that, for rebranding to be a seamless process, we needed to quickly bring everybody on board with our brand’s new aspirations. This included being clear about our new messaging and ensuring that our employees understood the new positioning well.

Rejuvenating a much-loved brand is not easy. But as in the case of Evernote’s or Dunkin Donuts’ rebranding, you can always look at the past as inspiration for the future. You don’t want to lose all that valuable heritage – so make that the essence of what your brand has always been while adding or subtracting new elements. This ensures that the brand continues to resonate with customers. That’s something that we also felt was critical: CSS Corp has a long, proud history, and we wanted to showcase that history of excellence with our new vision of being agile and innovative. You don’t want your new identity to confuse existing customers: it should only make your value proposition clearer.

The pandemic may be receding from our horizon, but its disruptive impact is here to stay. And whether a brand is a tech startup or a legacy brand, the reality surrounding us now is more demanding than it was a couple of years ago. Adapting to this new reality could help a brand rediscover its mojo…or bury it.

 

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CSS Corp Bolsters Costa Rican Operations With 300 More Staff

Outsourced CX vendor CSS Corp will add 300 more employees to its operations in Costa Rica, where it runs two delivery centers.

The Dallas-based company hosted a job fair in the Costa Rican city of Heredia in the second week of September. All the new hires would report to duty in October.

The recruitment program will take CSS Corp’s total headcount in the Central American country to more than 2,000, as the BPO already employs over 1,600 people there.

“The new workers will join the company’s 1,650 employees who provide multilingual consumer and business support in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, and Italian to global customers,” stated the BPO provider.

CSS expanded to Costa Rica in August 2013 with a contact center in Heredia. Four years later, it launched another delivery center in Cartago, a small town about 12 kilometers east of the capital, San Jose.

While multilingual tech support is the major service it provides from Costa Rica, its recent hunt for gamers indicates that the company is also using the Costa Rican facilities to support gaming consumers in the United States.

CSS was founded in 1996 in India’s southern city of Chennai. Today it employs over 11,500 people across 20 global locations, including Colombia and China.

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NGO launches drive to sponsor lab tests for transgender people

CHENNAI: Every six months,  Siddharth Bharati has to get blood and hormone tests, an abdomen scan, chest X-ray and done to monitor the effects of the hormones he is taking. The 28-year-old man of trans experience, who began taking hormone therapy seven years ago, says the regular lab visits take a toll on his emotional health as well as wallet.

“I have undergone a breast removal surgery, look like a cis man and have beard. But I have not had a hysterectomy so the abdomen scan will show that I have a uterus. Often, the lab staff ask me uncomfortable questions and treat me differently. I was scared to walk into labs,” says Siddharth. “And the tests are also expensive.”

Many transgender people go through similar experiences. That’s why SAATHII , an NGO, in collaboration with CSS Corp, is sponsoring lab tests for transmasculine, transfeminine, and intersex people. The package includes CBC, lipid and hormone profiles, liver and kidney function tests as well as ECG, abdomen scan and chest x-ray for people who need them. The initiative aims to cover at least 100 community members.

“Trans and intersex people who are on or want to take hormone therapy have to get these lab tests done regularly. But many of them cannot afford it so they skip it and often continue with the initial prescription given by the endocrinologist, which can have an adverse impact on their health,” says Fred Rogers, project consultant with SAATHII.

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Disrupting the CX contact center experience with AI-powered smart routing

How many times have you called customer support and received a satisfactory resolution in less than a minute? 

Calling customer support can be a frustrating experience for most of us. True, things have evolved from those days when you were put on hold for prolonged periods while listening to piped Mozart or Beethoven. And IVR menus are more intelligently driven these days. Yet, calling a contact center is just not something we look forward to. And that’s because you know you must spend a lot of time explaining your problem or struggle with finding the right agent. And this is after you have navigated past the chatbot loop and IVR menus in the first place!

In today’s digital era, the contact center remains the pillar of human connection between a customer and a brand. And these connections matter now more than ever. In an increasingly competitive landscape, loyalty to a brand is often driven by great CX. Yes, product matters. Price matters. But trust me, service is equally important. Experience is everything. As a user, we crave highly integrated contact center experiences.

Yet, brands find it challenging to deliver seamless, integrated CX experiences. 

And often, that’s because customers aren’t connected to the right agent. When every customer interaction is personalized and routed to the best agent, you create better experiences and optimize your contact center KPIs. Contact centers try hard, but they don’t always succeed in this. 

But we are closer now to realizing that because that sort of personalized experience is possible through predictive routing. Highly customer-obsessed companies are increasingly putting personalization at the center of their CX strategies—hyper-personalization matters. When you assess the personality type of a customer right at the beginning of a call, you are laying the foundation for a great CX journey. 

Think about it. A typical customer contact center has agents with different personalities. Customers come with their own unique traits and businesses. No two agents are the same. And no two customers are the same either. The question is: How can you capitalize on these different personalities to drive consistent, measurable improvements? – With AI-powered smart routing. 

Personalize customer experience with AI-powered smart routing

AI can be a valuable tool for customer service management and personalization challenges” – McKinsey, Driving Impact at Scale from Automation and AI, Feb 2019

These days, I see many companies investing in AI not for immediate return but for long-term digital transformation. 

These are companies that recognize AI’s ability to improve their contact center performance. We have already seen many applications of AI in the CX space, whether through AI-enabled conversational assistants or AI-powered human agents. But what I see as being of immense promise is AI-driven smart routing or predictive call routing. 

Predictive behavioral call routing isn’t new, of course. It has been around since 2014. And contact centers have, for decades, been using skills-based routing – pairing an agent with the right skills for the type of assistance the customer requires. But AI improves on this considerably, using behavioral algorithms gathered from thousands of data points to match callers with specific personality traits to those agents with those traits. Call it sophisticated customer-agent matchmaking in finding your contact center soulmate!

When contact centers use the data capabilities of AI to match customers with the agents that match their personalities, values, and behaviors, they are immediately creating deeper connections. Such intelligent pairing creates better relationships. 

And better relationships mean a happier customer. We know what a happy customer means to a business! AI-powered smart routing also does more – it provides agents with context. With this context, a customer does not have to re-explain their problem because historical data shows the customer’s previous interactions. Predictive analytics determines, based on patterns and usage, what the problem may be. With this context, you also understand customer intent and emotion. The result?

  • Improvements in sales rates
  • Reduced costs through time optimization
  • Improved operational efficiency 
  • Greater customer retention
  • More conversions
  • Reduced call times

AI-driven routing also ensures that the model learns from each interaction, improving and optimizing customer experience each time. This is something that we at CSS Corp have also been using through the AI-powered CSS EDISON® Routing Manager and we’ve found significant improvements in first contact resolution (FCR) rates and higher customer satisfaction scores. 

The CX space has been ripe for disruption for a while now. AI-driven predictive routing is that disruption. This decade is the decade of the customer. Seamless, hyper-personalized experiences across all channels will make all the difference to the customer’s experience in a post-pandemic landscape. We are only just getting started on this journey. 

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The areas where HR tech can’t be much helpful

HR tech is revolutionising the human resource management. But it’s not a panacea that will solve every problem. We ask HR professionals which functions have to remain human-centric.

HR tech has emerged as a category in itself in the technology sector. New HR technologies, especially automation, are revolutionising the HR sector. However, not every HR function can be automated for the same or better performance. There are several areas in HR where technology will not be much useful.

According to a KPMG report, five functions in the HR service value chain can’t be automated at all. These are: employee relations, change management, organisational effectiveness, people performance and whole system architecture. ETHRWorld interacted with HR leaders to understand the role of tech in HR.

There aren’t any second thoughts for Anish Philip, Chief People Officer, CSS Corp, on how technology is an enabler in providing HR leaders and professionals with a better, faster way to amplify HR functions.

But Philip says that it is important to understand that technology is just an enabler. What is needed for transformation is a mindset shift. Technology is incidental and will keep complementing human efforts. Ever since the pandemic forced many organisations to automate and digitise their processes, the ‘human’ element has been overshadowed by the increased adoption of new-age tools and accelerated digitization process, he says.

Philip points out that organisations must invest in employees’ holistic wellbeing to create a healthier workforce, a stronger culture, and better employee engagement. Employees are likely to stick around when they are provided with a safe and empathetic environment where they can voice their opinions freely.

CSS Corp follows the Hi-Tech and Hi-Touch approach to strike the balance between technology and people. The company organises frequent virtual leadership townhalls, assistance programmes, and counselling sessions to keep the employees engaged.

“Also, to ensure that all the employee voices are heard and acknowledged, we have regular face-to-face HR sessions and an option to write directly to the CPO. We also conduct frequent time-outs for different teams and business units to ensure that they are rejuvenated and don’t lose that human connection,” Philip adds.

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Dismissing the dismisser: A new trend might turn the tables in the world of work

How the companies that went about downsizing during the pandemic can impact their current attrition rates massively. There are several reports that show how employees are looking to quit their jobs and sail into other ships. Can we call it a revenge resignation then? Maybe!

Layoffs during the pandemic were a part of the big prime-time stories. It is still there! Startups and established Unicorns are sacking their employees like there’s no tomorrow. The whole of India Inc already was a part of a big layoff season during the pandemic. Even legacy firms were a part of it! However, soon the tables might turn.

There are several reports that show how employees are looking to quit their jobs and sail into other ships. Can we call it a revenge resignation then? Maybe! Take an example: Better.com fired more than 1,000 of its employees abruptly one day. Post this incident, the company’s CEO, Vishal Garg got trolled hugely by the netizens. Hence, Garg took a long leave from his company. It looked like he disappeared. But one fine day, he returned, and his return wasn’t accepted wholeheartedly by the employees. Result: There was a spiral effect in the company, causing plenty of resignations.

This can be termed Revenge Resignation! Prasanth Nair, Chief HR Advisor, TVS Capital Funds, tweeted, and we quote, “Came across a term today “Revenge resignation”. Got the mention from someone who said his resignation is his response to the way his organisation sacked his colleagues during the pandemic.”

However, Anish Philip, Chief People Officer, CSS Corp, believes that trends like this are short-lived, and an empathetic HR approach can help organizations thrive in circumstances such as these. He adds, “The business reasons and economic considerations backing up this trend are beyond HR leaders’ control. Revenge resignation seems to have emerged as a ripple effect of the mass layoffs that we witnessed in the last couple of years.”

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Talent leaders must invest in future-proofing their workplaces: CSS Corp’s TA head

Technology companies must invest in having a rock-solid talent hiring, upskilling, and retaining strategy in place in the hybrid era of work, says Thendral Rajendran, vice president and regional head – TA, CSS Corp.

The competitive labour market, high rate of resignation, and the shortage of skilled talent are some of the challenges facing businesses globally. Companies are working hard to make the new remote and on-site mix function well in the post-pandemic environment. Thendral Rajendran, vice president and regional head – TA, CSS Corp., asserts that to succeed through times of transition and uncertainty, leaders must establish a solid culture that values diversity, equity, and inclusion and is receptive to employee feedback. Programmes and initiatives that guarantee employee career advancement, as well as their physical and mental health, are essential. Thendral discusses the hybrid work paradigm, recruiting trends, and skills-based hiring in an interview with us.

Thendral Rajendran is vice president and regional head – TA, CSS Corp. Thendral has over 19 years of experience across talent acquisition, HR business partner, talent management, HR operations, engagement and retention. Her talent acquisition expertise extends over a decade with Accenture and Sutherland.

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World Environment Day 2022: Technology companies on prioritizing sustainability and driving transformative environmental change

A recent study by NASSCOM and BCG highlights that increased efforts towards ESG initiatives will drive growth for technology organisations in India. The emphasis on sustainability not only has a positive impact on the planet but also presents a huge economic opportunity. That’s why recent years have seen sustainability emerge at the top of the corporate agenda, with both clients and employees choosing to partner with companies that have prioritized it.

Today, as the world celebrates Environment Day, we hear from some of the experts from the technology industry on why sustainability should be made a priority for technology companies.

Environment protection isn’t a job of a single individual, company, or organization, it’s a collective responsibility of all of us. Paying attention to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) concerns is becoming increasingly critical for all organizations across all industries. And the technology sector is no different. Undoubtedly by going green, tech companies can play a significant role in correcting the effects of climate change using their resources and platform. This will help businesses contribute to two things: making the world greener and sustainable and secondly, it helps companies create an innovative culture, improve efficiency, competitive agility, employee engagement, and thus drive growth.

Besides, it’s not just the tech companies that aggressively implement sustainable and environmentally friendly business practices; it’s also consumers who demand it. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, there has been a 71% rise in global online searches for sustainable goods over the past 5 years. Also, research by New York University’s Stern Center for Sustainable Business has found that sustainable brands have increased their share of the U.S. market during the pandemic, demonstrating this trend. This trend isn’t just in first-world countries or the FMCG industry; it’s everywhere! Customers are engaging with sustainable businesses in ways that they previously ignored. While many consumers actively seek out brands and companies that align with their values, they’re also willing to switch products/companies when something violates their ethics. These proof points are testament to the fact that sustainability is more important than ever today. Technology companies have a strong global reach and impact on people, hence they have a great opportunity to lead the way by incorporating sustainability into their core philosophy.

Over the past 10 years, environmental issues have encroached on businesses’ capacity to create value for customers, partners, and stakeholders. Managing climate-related risks and creating opportunities for business growth are intertwined, and tech companies understand that. Managing the green line is an imperative business approach in creating long-term value. As the expectations on corporate responsibility increase, and as transparency becomes more prevalent, having sustainable strategies in place is a ‘must-have,’ not a ‘nice to have.’ For the IT sector, the two major concerns are managing e-waste and reducing carbon footprint. At CSS Corp, we have implemented an effective carbon management strategy and sustainable business practices that help enrich our environment and not suffocate it.

As part of the digital initiative, CSS Corp has started to expand its capabilities to include website carbon neutral strategies and cater to the growing demand for sustainable services for existing and new clients. We have conducted extensive research work on assessing carbon scores of over 500 websites and analyzed the factors that impact the scores, and devised optimization approaches for greener websites. Besides, our efficient and sustainable practices helped us reduce GHG emissions by about 91%, prevented the axing of approximately 72 fully grown trees, reduced electricity consumption by 50,08,880 KWhr, and disposed of 442kgs E-waste through authorized recyclers.

Our work culture promotes global environmental sustainability — the consistent emphasis on reducing energy levels, including monitoring energy consumption trends, identifying reduction opportunities, and technology up-gradation, continues to be on our priority list. Since 2014, we have been committed to UNGC principles and support its efforts by ensuring our business practices are built on equality, sustainability, and human rights.

The core value of ESG is being a responsible and trustworthy business. At CSS Corp, there has been a strong encouragement to adopt agile working practices such as minimizing commute, which in a way influences reduction of carbon footprint. The awareness of mental health importance across different global centers have helped employees in fostering good work-life balance. ESG is a complex topic that has evolved rapidly in the last decade, and many concepts and themes have matured into standard practices. In the coming years, there are likely to be more mandatory demands from both consumers and end-users, and many organizations are actively working on adopting, acting more responsible and leverage technology to create sustainable outcomes. – Kiran Marri, Chief Scientist, CSS Corp

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Taking care of workplace bonding, in a post-pandemic world

Moving from traditional methods, employee engagement and bonding at work are going new ways. In an exclusive interaction with ETHRWorld, HR leaders share how they are implementing new ways to create engagement and boost morale.

Key Takeaways

  • If employees don’t feel happy, or appreciated enough, it can affect the overall growth.
  • Recognition programmes, meetings, fostering creativity can help people link, share ideas and think towards a greater goal.

Navigating between the inside and outside, organisations are now set to change, adapt and adopt policies that will help employees get close to the new normal.

While productivity and performance have been the constant concerns, with the return of employees to the office, workplace engagement, and bonding between the employees need attention too. With the pandemic curbs, social distancing and health practices in place, balancing the right equation is a code to crack.

Workplace happiness

Before the pandemic disrupted lives and workplaces, people used to engage in different ways, but the shutting down of offices, and subsequent long periods of isolation have affected us socially and emotionally. As we look forward to getting back to office, would the same ways still help cultivate happiness at work?

Would the employees feel the same about lunches and corporate engagements, with six feet of distance between them and masks on, without shaking hands and hugging friends? Would there still be office trips, get-togethers like they used to?

Exploring the developments, Anish Philip, Chief People Officer, CSS Corp, says, “The pandemic has forced organisations to reimagine their employee engagement practices, aligning themselves with the new reality. No matter how efficient your business is, if employees aren’t happy or won’t feel appreciated enough, it can adversely impact the overall growth.”

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Why should tech companies make sustainability a priority for their business?

Technology companies have both a strong global reach and impact on people, hence they have a great opportunity to lead the way by incorporating sustainability into their core philosophy to fulfil both their environmental duties as well as gain advantage.

Technology companies have both a strong global reach and impact on people, hence they have a great opportunity to lead the way by incorporating sustainability into their core philosophy to fulfil both their environmental duties as well as gain advantage.

People Matters spoke to industry leaders on why sustainability should be made a priority for technology companies, why managing the green line has become an imperative and part of the strategy, what are organisations really doing when it comes to their ESG efforts, and if these are yielding desired results.

Tech business and sustainability : Why is it a win-win?

Technology has helped businesses move towards a better tomorrow – to innovate, to compete, and to win customers. However, now it’s time for technology companies to look beyond purely financial growth to achieve long-term, sustainable success and reimagine their responsibility towards the environment.

By going green, tech companies can play a significant role in correcting the effects of climate change using their resources and platform.

“This will help businesses contribute to two things: making the world greener and sustainable and secondly, it helps companies create an innovative culture, improve efficiency, competitive agility, employee engagement, and thus, drive growth,” says Kiran Marri, chief scientist at  IT services and premium tech support solutions company CSS Corp.

Besides, it’s not just the tech companies that aggressively implement sustainable and environmentally friendly business practices; it’s also consumers who demand it.

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, there has been a 71% rise in global online searches for sustainable goods over the past 5 years. Also, research by New York University’s Stern Center for Sustainable Business has found that sustainable brands have increased their share of the US market during the pandemic.

“This trend isn’t just in first-world countries or the FMCG industry; it’s everywhere! Customers are engaging with sustainable businesses in ways that they previously ignored. While many consumers actively seek out brands and companies that align with their values, they’re also willing to switch products/companies when something violates their ethics.

“These proof points are testament to the fact that sustainability is more important than ever today. Technology companies have a strong global reach and impact on people, hence they have a great opportunity to lead the way by incorporating sustainability into their core philosophy,” Marri adds.

Anjali Byce, chief human resource officer at STL-Sterlite Technologies says that the pledge to attain net-zero by 2050 has increased from barely 16% of the global economy in 2019 to over 70% currently.

“Technology companies are well-positioned to address this problem because of their extensive reach, social cohesion, and quick access to innovation and talent,” she adds.

According to Bloomberg, leading US digital companies are taking unprecedented steps to combat climate change. Many IT firms throughout the world have followed suit. Telecom and technology businesses play a critical part in this process.

Byce says: “By improving the efficiency of their company’s operations and links with suppliers, they can lead the transition and demonstrate the way for emission reductions across the value chain.”

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