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Do Your Customers Know What You Know?

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Admin Coda

Last week, Susie West and I had an interesting and refreshing conversation with one of our colleagues at EXL. We spoke to them at an interesting time. They had recently undergone a branding exercise and just launched a new version of their website. I walked away with three interesting thoughts.

1. Having a clear message of what your organization does is important. This is something that shared services organizations can easily benefit from.

2. Both shared services and BPOs are working to become more like value adding partners, rather than just third parties.

3. BPOs are dropping the “O word.”

What do your customers think of you?

As I’ve written about before, having a brand and a clear message can help your organization and projects succeed.

You would be surprised at the number of phone calls we get at from people asking us if we are their shared service center. Often it is an employee looking to fix a payroll issue who are told that they should contact the shared service center. Not knowing what the shared service center is, or who to contact, they Google “shared services”. After calling us and realizing we are not their SSO, they probably try again and when they do contact the right people, they are likely to be in a bad mood. Your customers, your clients, need to know you.

A Branding Exercise

How is your shared services perceived? Do people outside of your shared service center know what you do? Are your senior executives aligned on the vision and purpose of your organization? Do your employees understand the value of the services you provide?

Ask yourself:

Where are we now? How do your clients perceive you now?
What do we offer? What services do you provide that you want to be known for.
How do we act? At your best, what are your key traits – how do you treat clients?
Where do we want to be? What do you want people saying about you?

“You’re an outsourcing company, right?”

After undergoing these exercises, EXL recognized that they needed to articulate their value proposition clearly both internally and externally.

Their goal: To simplify their message, be more client centric and engage employees.

To understand how their brand was perceived they underwent numerous projects, such as:

  • Conducting a comprehensive competitive analysis
  • Interviewing a cross-section of senior executives about the company and what it stands for
  • Asking a basic question: “Does EXL’s current brand fulfill its value proposition?” and realizing that the majority of employees and clients didn’t understand the brand promise
  • Surveying all stakeholders (clients, financial analysts, influencers and employees) in a 360-degree method to gather hundreds of data points to better understand their market perception
  • Rationalizing sub-brands within the business that weakened the overall image of the company

With this vision and feedback, they started to build their “brand promise.”

EXL’s new messaging is that “We look deeper to drive business impact through integrated solutions and industry knowledge.” This emphasizes the company’s ability to improve business with a variety of business process management best practices, tools and technology, and embedded analytics leveraging their deep knowledge of their clients’ industries.

EXL have named their service offering “Business Process Solutions,” as opposed to Business Process Outsourcing or Business Process Management.  In the trend to become more of a value adding partner, they are not the first BPO to drop the word “Outsourcing” from their messaging.

On May 28th, EXL re-launched its website to build a new identity and be a leader in truly being about the buyer experience: 

Have you thought about the brand of your organization and have you done anything to change how you are percieved?

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