Talisma bets big on CRM growth in India

Raj Mruthyunjayappa, Managing Director, APAC and EMEA, Talisma

Dataquest had a chance to interact with Raj Mruthyunjayappa, Managing Director, APAC and EMEA, Talisma. Talisma is betting big on the BFSI sector which has been its mainstay.

What are the emerging trends in CRM space in India? What is the size of the market?

The customer engagement landscape for various businesses is continually evolving. Organisations are increasing focus on bringing in a higher degree of predictability in customer engagement. With the emergence of startups in India, businesses can no longer afford to wait for years before their customer service and retention strategies are in-line with customer and market expectations. In fact, verticals such as e-commerce have taken a huge lead over others in defining customer experience across product and customer segments. Other verticals are therefore under pressure to up their game.

If you look at customer experience enablers like gamification, mobile engagement and degree of convenience the landscape has not just changed but transformed. So, businesses are expecting more from their CRMs. It not just about data but about predictive engagement where businesses want to decipher customer behaviour patterns and pitch a product before the prospect consciously makes an effort to buy. They want to enter the customer journey early so that the chances of a favourable purchase decision are high. CRM solutions have evolved to meet such requirements.

Has cloud influenced the CRM space? 

When it is about viewing customers holistically, huge volumes of data is generated over a period of time. Also, satisfying customers with relationship-based pricing requires flexibility, innovation and storage space, which could entail a cost component for organisations. This is where CRM on cloud offers a degree of flexibility. And because cloud solutions are hosted they will be much cheaper and easier to use for SMB institutions that want to grow and corner a significant market share fast.

Elaborate on your solutions available for the Banking and Financial Services vertical.

Talisma has extensive experience in partnering BFSI institutions. We have customers across the banking and financial services spectrum in the country. We have been helping banks adopt CEM for over a decade now. Our CEM approach is based on strong domain expertise in banking, strategic business consulting services, and sought after solutions designed to optimise and deliver greater functionality. For financial institutions (FIs) that wish to intervene at various stages of the customer we have solutions that cover the entire spectrum of sales, marketing and service functions.

Customer service is one of our strengths. Our solution helps FIs develop a complete picture of their customers across the customer lifecycle and decipher behaviour of interest and sentiment. One of our customers, a leading bank, witnessed a 30 percent increase in back-office productivity. This translated into the availability of more service bandwidth which led to increased customer satisfaction. This is the reason why banks of all sizes have signed us on – we help them climb the service excellence maturity ladder faster and retain customers irrespective of market conditions.

What are the verticals Talisma is present significantly? Are you exploring other verticals than BFSI? Can you share a few customer names from India?

We are dedicated to success and have widespread experience in implementation, support, and IT management across higher education, government, and industry. Talisma supports some of the leading brands in their service excellence through their portfolio of channel offerings embedded into their business process. Today leading brands across verticals trust the expertise that Talisma brings across the entire customers experience journey lifecycle. We offer comprehensive solutions cognisant towards acquisition, servicing, retention of customers to help brand script customer success stories. Some of the leading brands that use Talisma service module capabilities include HDFC Bank, NSE, Teamlease and Metlife, IndusInd, Maruti, Canara Bank, LIC Housing finance, HCL, Mahindra Holidays, Jet privilege, Yatra, Vodafone, Sony, Reliance communications, Tesco, among others.

How has the understanding of CRM in BFSI changed today as compared to a few years back? What according to you are the best practices for BFSI for successful customer engagement?

As the organisations pursue high growth strategies and are cognisant of the appeal of multi-channel and multi-price approach, CRM is key and critical. As banks attempt to create and manage customer relationships, many emerging trends affect the approach and tools banks deploy to achieve sustainable growth.

We need to understand that customers in the financial services domain are being exposed to more choices than ever before. FIs are facing competition from non-traditional players and customer service is becoming a differentiator. The focus has hence shifted from branches, products and reach to convenience across channels. It will be difficult to list out best practices here but we have done significant research in understanding customer service and the new age FI customers. We will be releasing a couple of whitepapers that outline strategies that FIs can pursue to deliver an engaging customer experience. These papers will be available on our website by the end of August this year.

What’s your market strategy to tap the market in India?

Our marketing strategy hinges on the competitive advantage our customers have gained from their engagement with us. As one of the early movers in the customer experience management space, we have come a long distance in having successfully demonstrated the benefits that businesses and their customers can gain through experiential engagement.

When it comes to meeting the service expectations of a whole new segment of customers who are mobile, spoilt for choices and want service on their terms, businesses can rely on Talisma’s solution footprint. We are offering vertical specific mature solutions that offer deployment flexibility, Omni-channel engagement and are aligned to deliver service standards that are constantly evolving with changing internal and external benchmarks and the service landscape.

We have been in the Indian market for more than a decade-and-a-half now and understand the customer service landscape here better.

What is the value you bring to table which your competitors such as Oracle, SAP or Microsoft do not?

As I have mentioned before we have a mature solution stack that is vertical specific and well-aligned to the kind of customer experience landscape that businesses encounter in India. We are among the few vendors that have invested heavily in product R&D and our customers are already reaping the benefits.

How do you plan to expand your customer base in India?

The Talisma story is a story of a made in India product making it big on a global platform. We are riding on strong customer goodwill and brand recall. We continue investing in keeping our products current in line with the changing customer experience landscape. You will be hearing more about our product in the months to come with a new release due in December 2015. Our strategy for the Indian market revolves around helping customers derive competitive advantage through customer service excellence.

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