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Driving Sales with CMS Analytics at Firstsource Mumbai

The traditional inbound phone sales process is giving way to a multichannel environment, where the customer is in control – usually visiting the company website first and expecting to connect with a sales rep immediately, more commonly over webchat, and then deciding on a purchase. The challenges for customer service teams are two-fold:

  • Training agents to sell via chat, with all the restrictions of non-voice communication
  • Personalizing the customer experience and product offers to match more and more fluid customer behavior.

This was one of the subjects of discussion when NelsonHall recently visited Firstsource at their contact center in Mumbai.

Improving agent sales and CX via chat

The Mumbai contact center is one of 20 Firstsource centers employing a total of over 14k employees in India. The Malad West center is divided into voice and non-voice halls, supporting several international brands, including a triple play U.K. telecom, with over 1.5k agents providing customer care, technical support and sales over voice, email and chat. At peak times, the chat sales floor is a high-energy place with team leaders shouting out individual achievements, white boards to track sales, and a sales bell to mark surpassed thresholds.

The inbound chat sales team has been supporting the account since 2012 and currently runs two concurrent sessions using canned and free text responses. Customers can press a chat button on the company website, and after a series of qualifiers, begin a chat session with an agent. The agent then identifies the optimal offer among over 6k bundles. Once the agent closes the sale, the customer completes the final steps on the website. The process has achieved a conversion rate of 32%.

To deliver improvements in sales skills, Firstsource has developed an agent training framework called Virtual Sales Coach. It consists of an automated sales guide with scripts optimized for the particular sale, profiling based on customer-defined choices, and a ‘unique selling points’ tool comparing performance against the competitive landscape, updated weekly. The Virtual Sales Coach is fed by a product intelligence module which enables the agent to personalize the customer offer with a few buttons. The company has piloted the Virtual Sales Coach over recent months with 33 agents supporting the U.K. telecom. In six weeks, it achieved a 24% increase in the conversion rate. Firstsource is now rolling it out across more sales and up-sell processes, and to non-voice channels.

Enhancing the sales process through analytics

Firstsource has also developed an agent monitoring and assessment tool called Associate Performance Index. Using voice analytics, it measures the different parts of the call, the KPIs, the percentage of complaints, negative emotions, script adherence, silence duration, information security breaches, and call disconnects to create daily individualized report cards which team leaders use to coach and train the agents. The team leaders can also drill down to the specific interactions making up the index score.

Depending on the specific process in question, Firstsource can assign different weightings to the various metrics and then correlate them with successful sales. Using the Associate Performance Index on the telecom account, in March 2016 Firstsource was able to increase the conversion rate in the sales and upgrades team by almost 15% month-on-month and decrease the super detractors by 2%, while increasing the NPS by 4 points. The company is now expanding the tool to text analytics on the chat channel.

The Associate Performance Index is part of a larger Firstsource offering called First Customer Intelligence (FCI), which performs the customer interaction analysis. In turn, FCI is part of the transformational capabilities of Firstsource, helping in the design of customer service and channel strategies for clients. For example, for the telecom client, it involved running speech, text and sentiment analytics on existing transactions to identify call drivers, evaluate agent performance, and segment customer behavior, as well as benchmarking against competitors, in order to propose and implement chat as a multi-function channel.

On the back of its success with the telecom client, Firstsource has now begun its first support chat program from Mumbai for a high-street U.K. bank, with plans for gradual expansion across product and service lines.

NelsonHall is currently undertaking a major global research project entitled ‘Transforming Customer Management Services Through Analytics’, which includes a comprehensive Market Analysis report, vendor profiles, and a NEAT vendor evaluation.

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