A rapidly evolving global technology company, CSS Corp is a new age IT services and technology support company that harnesses the power of AI, automation, analytics, cloud and digital to address customer needs. A 5000+ headstrong company, it is spread across 16 global centers, serving over 140 clients, including Fortune 1000 companies. Acting as a catalyst for growth by enabling enterprises to transform from traditional models to new age service models, it is helping them identify new revenue streams.
Serving as EVP and Chief Delivery Officer at CSS Corp is Nishikant Nigam, who has over 20 years of rich IT experience in building & leading large IT services business across all service lines. He is well known for his unwavering client focus and understanding of enterprises and has built and coached many winning teams over the years. As a part of his role at CSS Corp, he is focused on strengthening its culture of client centricity. Prior to joining CSS Corp, Nishikant headed the Cloud and Infrastructure Management Services as the Vice President & Global Delivery Head at Infosys. In a candid chat with Analytics India Magazine, he speaks about how the company is focusing on AI, analytics, how they are leveraging it to improve customer experience, and more.
Would you like to tell us about CSS Corp and how is it focusing on automation, artificial intelligence, analytics and digital technologies to reimagine customer engagements?
Digital is increasingly changing the way products and services are delivered and consumed. Customers of tomorrow are exploring newer channels and expect personalized, proactive and even pre-emptive services. Companies across various industries are changing their sales and services strategies to attract and retain customers. In this context, businesses need to embrace adaptive and agile technologies to manage millennial expectations and growth.
CSS Corp is a new age services company that harnesses the power of AI, Automation, and Analytics to address specific customer engagement needs. Reimagining customer engagements through contextualization are the core of CSS Corp’s services vision. We strongly believe contextualization is the new personalization. And that’s the way forward.
Automation and analytics are an integral part of our service delivery organization that supports global customers in various strategic and modernization initiatives. We differentiate ourselves by contextual adoption of new age technologies to identify customer challenges, ambitions, and objectives. Our digital platforms like Active Insights (Smart Analytics) and Cognitive Customer Experience Platform (AI in Customer Support) with a strong focus on improving customer lifecycle management, transforms the way companies make decisions.
As an organization, we work closely with business decision makers who are responsible for the customer experience and revenue generation mandate. Increasingly, we see businesses are looking for new age models and solutions that generate superior experience and guaranteed business outcomes.
CSS Corp has invested significantly in technologies like AI, analytics and conversational commerce platform solutions. Would you like to highlight some of the major benefits that the company has reaped in with these investments?
As AI technology matures, forward-thinking enterprises are plugging in conversational artificial intelligence in their strategic investment roadmaps to leverage it for customer service function. In fact, it’s predicted that “Conversational AI-first” will supersede “cloud-first, mobile-first” as the most important, high-level imperative for the next 10 years. [Source: Gartner]
To fuel the growing needs and expectations of customers, CSS Corp has built Cognitive Customer Experience Platform, an AI platform with an omnichannel interface that promotes convergence of human intelligence with machine intelligence to deliver simple and personalized customer experiences.
Cognitive Customer Experience Platform aims at bringing together various technologies like AI, Automation and Analytics with pre-built vertical assets, 360-degree customer context, intelligent process guidance and actionable insights that enhance customer interactions. It integrates with all customer channels like voice, email, chat, and website, and provides a seamless and consistent omnichannel experience. It offers predictive intelligence, automated queuing, routing and channel allocation. Cognitive Customer Experience Platform can offer personalized recommendations based on customer analytics. It can indicate customer emotions, intentions, and relevant signals during real-time conversations, thus improving customer satisfaction levels.
Cognitive Customer Experience Platform can constantly learn from customer interactions and build on its ever-growing knowledge base. It remembers facts, learns from previous conversations and can access online information by integrating with enterprise systems. Its ability to troubleshoot, answer complex questions and engage in interactive dialog makes it a third-generation virtual assistant.
Cognitive Customer Experience Platform as a conversational AI solution helps an auto retailer in streamlining their customer engagement processes. It enables users to schedule appointments for auto maintenance and integrates with backend systems to check slot availability and book appointments. We are seeing other traction about Cognitive Customer Experience Platform applicability in various client discussions.
Today, Cognitive Customer Experience Platform is the nerve center of all CSS Corp’s Customer Experience (CX) engagements driving customer-centricity. Cognitive Customer Experience Platform recently won the 2017 Silver Stevie International Awards and has been chosen as the Best New Product or Service of the Year – Platform as a Service. Our platform has garnered rave reviews from reputed industry analysts for its novel usage of AI in simplifying customer engagements.
All of us at CSS Corp is excited to explore new frontiers with Cognitive Customer Experience Platform that harnesses the power of customer centricity and builds an ecosystem that fuels unprecedented growth and innovation for our customers.
How are the company’s analytics solutions helping to deliver personalized experiences at every customer’s touch point?
At CSS Corp, we focus on delivering sustainable growth and value to our customers through advanced analytical models. Our advanced analytics models are based on the experience gained from supporting over 1 billion transactions for customers in the Telecom, Media and Technology (TMT) industry. These models are built on our Active Insights platform that promotes predictability, service and resource optimization and delivers value to our customers.
Active Insights, CSS Corp’s smart analytics solution provides insights into customer propensities, topics, issues and drives new revenue streams. Based on these insights, we enable businesses to dramatically improve customer experience by offering targeted and personalized solutions to their potential customers.
For instance, a large telecom company with millions of customers across the globe was losing customers due to lack of customer insights. To sustain the competitive edge, the customer decided to gain deeper insights about customer behavior, sentiments, and feedback from various channels. The customer also wanted to streamline their customer support function through analytics. CSS Corp helped them transform their customer support by analyzing customer experience within/across channels using survey analytics and logistic regression. We analyzed customer insights and behavior pattern leading to additional revenue through cross-sell/up-sell initiatives.
CSS Corp’s Analytics consulting framework assess organizations maturity level in decision science and continuously evaluates the effectiveness of operations against the business outcome. Our framework identifies key areas of improvements and provides recommendations to move from a reactive customer engagement model to a pre-emptive model. We understand the challenges customers face across different phases of customer life cycle management and identify underlying risks. We assess their maturity with the adoption of analytics and their ability to drive insights to help customers with crucial business decisions. Based on the assessment, a customized analytics strategy and a roadmap are created for organizations. We enable them to evolve from a transaction-oriented mind-set to relationship oriented thought process.
Digital, Analytics and Automation Services is one fastest growing business units at CSS Corp that is experiencing unprecedented growth and acceptance from our customers. Our analytics practice has attained a staggering growth of more than 100% in the last 12 months. Analytics is at the heart of our business strategy and having said that, we have also been recognized as a ‘Strong Performer’ in Customer Analytics services by Forrester.
How do you make use of analytical information and predictive/prescriptive models for better decision making?
Companies that deliver seamless experiences tend to retain their customers, get more incremental purchases from their customers, and generate additional revenues. To achieve this, companies need to invest in AI and advanced analytics solutions to surface new patterns and predict new contexts to influence customer purchasing decisions.
CSS Corp’s Active Insights platform applies advanced predictive models to each stage of the customer lifecycle, understands customer’s intent and proactively hits the target with the right recommendations and remediation.
The platform connects to multiple data sources including structured, unstructured, semi-structured, social media and sensor data. It analyses and predicts data in real-time, high velocity, low latency, and batch processing modes. Active Insights unleashes intelligent insights about customer sentiments, buying behaviors and satisfaction scores that drive business success. The solution aggregates customer interaction data from various touchpoints, converts that into recognizable patterns and recommends actionable insights resulting in faster issue resolution.
For e.g., one of our customers in the digital streaming industry experienced a sudden spike in customer complaints regarding channel unavailability. The complaints started compounding as the existing customer feedback mechanism did not allow them to identify issues in real-time. CSS Corp, using Active Insights, analyzed the last 12 months’ historical data and correlated it with real-time data to source patterns. We also did extensive social media analytics to capture the Voice of the Customer (VoC) and identified that the complaints were from customers watching a specific sports channel in a specific locality in CA. We proactively reached out to rest of the customers regarding service outage of the channel and sent a proactive info push once the channel was up. This reduced the incoming calls to their customer support by 50% and resulted in CSAT increase by 13%-15%.
What are the trends you see evolving in the space?
We are moving towards a conversational economy where the voice is the new frontier. A few spoken words to a smart virtual assistant can help accomplish a seemingly complex business transaction. As AI technology is maturing, forward-thinking businesses are plugging in conversational AI in their strategic investment roadmaps to leverage it for their customer service function.
At CSS Corp, we have embarked on a new journey in AI to disrupt the customer experience ecosystem with a new model called “Conversational X”. Conversational X aims at simplifying and personalizing customer engagements through AI based Voice platforms. We offer AI-based solutions that enable customers to have powerful, impactful conversations with brands and helps them with insights and a new radical vision to solve a challenge.
Our focus and investments in AI are helping enterprises adopt the right customer engagement and support strategy and move from traditional models to new age service models that help them identify new revenue streams.
Let’s better understand the key tenets of Conversational [X] that can help enterprises and even SMBs to personalize customer interactions.
Conversational Customer Experience- A new era of customer experience has dawned upon us. Voice assistants and social messaging have given birth to the intelligent experience economy and made the customer experience more conversational than transactional. You can ask Apple’s voice assistant – Siri – to get you weather updates, find out and help you buy specific movies, play your favorite songs and a gamut of other specific activities.
Amazon’s Alexa can help you perform several tasks like booking a doctor’s appointment; sports scores and game times; important event dates, hear the latest news; tracking traffic; manage calendars, to-do lists and shopping lists, set alarms and timers; read Kindle books and play audio books; make purchases; control smart home devices, etc.
Conversational Support- Many B2C businesses are using conversational intelligence with bots as a platform for offering customer support. We offer tech support services with this new conversational model that would field customers’ questions and get more real-time access to resolutions. This boosts overall business efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
Conversational Commerce- Conversational commerce refers to real-time customer communication through different messaging applications and Chatbots. It fits into each of the distinct steps in the customer purchase journey. These platforms empower businesses to generate a sense of need for their products to potential customers. The chatbots also act as personal shopping assistants to customers.
CSS Corp is now Movate