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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

June - 2007 - issue > Cover Feature

A Method to EX(ce)L!

Priya Pradeep
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Priya Pradeep
Your customers won’t love you if you give bad service, but your competitors will. EXL Service has this thinking ingrained in its psyche. Imagine the percentage improvement of the satisfaction among EXL’s customers analyzed by rigorous audits hovering around a certain swinging sixty. How did the pure play business process outsourcing (BPO) company ranked among the top ten by India’s National Association of Software and Services Companies–Nasscom–based on revenues for 2005-06 achieve it? Six Sigma practices seem to be the answer.

Not many BPO companies in India tout that methodology which reduces defect levels to below 3.4 defects per one million opportunities as part of their services. For example, through application of six sigma processes a transformation was brought in at the agent level in EXL’s insurance offerings. Earlier, any random agent would answer a call and ownership was not created. However implementation of six sigma metrics ensured that calls from a particular customer to any agent would continue to be handled only by the concerned agent in the future. The customer was spared from repeating the history of his or her problem to different agents at different points in time.

Down the months this resulted in customer satisfaction going up by 60 percent because the agent always knew the history of that claim and the particular process. The number of calls made by customers to resolve the claims reduced and hence the volume of work to handle the same amount of business went down sharply. This resulted in a nosedive in the cost of processing customers’ claims and led to a seven percent saving in the total cost. Surely the first method for excelling as an organization is to change the working habits of personnel positively.

Positive Changes and Growth
After the Park Avenue, New York headquartered firm, went public (NASDAQ: EXLS) in October 2006 there was more emphasis on sales, business development and customer relationship management. CRM is a new function and personnel are based in the U.S. and U.K. to be closer to the customers and address their inadequacies.

The three areas of change witnessed after hitting the bourses were immediate. Credibility soared to the top followed by smooth leveraging of deals and the unburdening of the baggage of being tagged a small company. At present there is $122 million in revenues on the balance sheet as of December 2006 and no debt. The market capitalization is around $539.03 million. “Hence there is a certain amount of differentiation between us and our competing service providers,” points out Rohit Kapoor, President, EXL. Revenues for the quarter ended March 31, 2007 increased by 85 percent to $39.9 million from $21.6 million posted for the same quarter last year.

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