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Motif: Emerging Player in the BPO Sector

Vimali Swamy
Monday, October 3, 2011
Vimali Swamy
Almost one fourth of the back end operations for financial transactions and customer support across the world happen from India. The billion dollar BPO industry has in many ways strongly shaped the Indian IT industry, and provided several entrepreneurs with an opportunity to build world class companies. Kaushal and Parul Mehta graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Electronics & Communications Engineering from Ahmedabad, India and went to the U.S. in 1988 to pursue a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering. They were very clear about their objective for going abroad; they would gain experience in world class organizations and eventually return to India to become entrepreneurs. After living in the U.S. for ten years and having worked with Silicon Valley companies such as Sun Microsystems, Intel and LSI Logic, they decided to return to their home town, and set up a software consultancy company. They had managed this profitable company for two and a half years when India opened up internet services for the private sector. Recognizing India’s potential to evolve into a high quality service provider to the world, Kaushal and Parul started Motif in August 2000.

Motif is one of the few ITeS companies that found success operating from a tier 2 city a decade ago. At a time when most prominent BPO companies set up base in tier 1 cities like Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai, the Mehtas set up Motif’s operations in Ahmedabad, Gujarat with a 20 member team. Today, the company has grown to about 1500 people, and provides multilingual support through delivery centers in India, Philippines and Costa Rica. Motif’s core business is customer support, BPO (Business or Back-office Process Outsourcing) and KPO (Knowledge Process Outsourcing) services. It focuses on internet based businesses/e-commerce companies in the retail and travel industries, so as to provide a comprehensive range of services to help them operate their businesses in an effective manner. “Several things can go wrong during online transactions, and customers expect companies to provide prompt and accurate support when they face problems,” explains Kaushal Mehta. This is where Motif helps its clients. From online travel deals, to online retail purchases, Motif provides relevant customer support for the entire period of customer engagement. From pre purchase issues such as login, account management, shopping carts, payment options, to post purchase issues such as delivery, shipment, refunds, exchanges, etc. Motif offers its clients multi channel support via email, chat and support, and helps them choose the channels that improve customer experience and provide better ROI.
Focus on Customer Experience

For example, one of Motif’s clients, a leading Fortune 500 ecommerce company provides a portal for individuals and small businesses to buy and sell an assortment of goods and services online. The company had grown exponentially over the past 10 years and had a customer base of over 10 million members. To retain competitiveness in the market, the company introduced several new features and market-driven offerings. The growing complexity of the company’s processes and constant changes in policies resulted in multiple customer re-contacts that impacted customer experience. Introduction of multiple tools for customer support led to technical issues, directly impacting First Time Resolution and customer satisfaction. The company engaged Motif to overcome these challenges since Motif had a proven track record of providing multi channel support to millions of customers. Motif's process re-engineering team took a structured approach toward performance improvement and process enhancement to address the company’s business challenges. The team implemented three independent projects to improve customer experience using the Six Sigma DMAIC approach (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control). They focused on three key customer metrics — Net Promoter Score, Contact Reduction and First Time Resolution.

Project leaders with domain expertise were assigned ownership for each of these three projects. Frontline Customer Support Representatives (CSRs) were actively engaged to identify and capture customer pain points and policies that needed to be reviewed. They conducted a systematic study of Voice of Customers (VOC). This gave the team insights into the problems customers faced. Within six months of implementing this project, the Motif team shared over 200 suggestions with the client to reduce re-contacts and improve resolutions. The team also identified issues with the maximum impact on Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) and Resolution. Simultaneously, Motif CSRs educated customers about changes in policies, the new features and their benefits. With such an in-depth engagement, the client saw a savings of $1.2 million annually.
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