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Conduent Executive Interview

Christine Landry, Group Chief Executive - Consumer & Industrials Sector, Conduent

Helping Businesses Find the Best Path to Personalization

Over the past year, Conduent has been in the process of establishing a new identity as it transitions from being a company with universal recognition in one industry sector to becoming one that will be widely acknowledged for what it has already been doing successfully. When most people hear “Xerox,” the first things that come to mind are copiers and document processing, but for many years, Xerox had also been one of the world’s most successful business process service companies, working with its thousands of clients to co-develop business process services and solutions that produce consistently reliable and satisfying interactions.

The decision was made in 2016 to spin off the BPS portion of the business previously called Xerox Services to create an all-new publicly traded Conduent, while the document management/printer business remained with the original company. “It was always something of a challenge to gain widespread industry recognition for our expertise in delivering customer care when so many people thought of Xerox for other reasons,” said Christine Landry, Group Chief Executive Consumer and Industrial Sector for Conduent.  “One of our goals now is to expand awareness of Conduent’s innovative leadership as a valued business partner that delivers on its promises.” 

Conduent conducts business in 40 nations and 18 industry sectors, with strengths in government, healthcare, insurance, technology and others. “We take a consultative approach in talking to our customers about the kind of service offering they would like to deliver to their customers. Our impetus is to eliminate confusion and provide clarity,” she said. “We have a keen focus on key deliverables, and customer experience is one of our areas of primary concern.”

In making the transition to next-generation CX, Conduent leverages automation: digital, social, mobile and analytics to help drive desired business outcomes. The Conduent Automation Suite, developed while it was still Xerox Services, uses proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Tools, improves speech, accuracy, quality and regulatory compliance by using software bots to perform routine manual tasks. “Our solutions help to transform traditional care into an automated multi-channel customer experience,” said Landry. “Conduent’s sophisticated machine learning-based virtual agents can support human front-line personnel as well as provide self-service options.”

Conduent’s Automated Intelligence can control business process workflow and what users see on their computer screens, creating a fully integrated single agent desktop that can be deployed in a variety of industries. This software application can be used to train agents as well as to help respond to callers’ inquiries. The application reduces the need for extensive agent training on where to find the answers to common customer inquiries – when handling a call, the application knows where to retrieve the correct information, and records information from the call for future use. The tool organizes information by topic and delivers it to the agent’s touchscreen as an icon to enable easy access, making it possible for agents to focus on callers instead of having to search through multiple software and legacy applications.

However, Conduent is cognizant of the fact that many of their clients have made extensive technology investments that they do not wish to abandon. “The applications sit on top of the customers’ solution so there is no need to make extensive rip-and-replace changes,” noted Landry.

In addition to its commitment to delivering a superior customer experience through all potential points of contact, Conduent also prioritizes providing consumers with the right answer the first time with personalization. “We look at personalization holistically,” said Landry. “It’s a combination of processes, people and technology.”  Conduent believes one of the most important tenets of offering personalized service is the ability to anticipate the needs of those contacting its clients.  This involves leveraging data that the company already has, applying analytics to develop insights and identify reasons the consumer is coming to it.

“Our analytics leverage data on the front end to help businesses understand customer behavior,” said Landry. “We can enable clients to determine buying patterns, detect sentiment patterns and then show them how to use the available tools to be prepared to reach out to their customers even before they make their next contact.” Conduent analytics also incorporate churn prediction to allow companies to see why people are leaving and take action to prevent it.

 “We work with our clients to determine what they consider to be their overarching goals,” said Landry. “In some cases, it’s as simple as trying to deflect millions of repeat calls, decrease average handle time (AHT) or raise NPS ratings. But for many others, the impetus is to improve revenue, control costs, and support organizational transformation, as well as to strengthen engagement, measurably improve customer satisfaction, and foster loyalty.”

Does every client that comes to Conduent know exactly what it wants? “It’s improving,” said Landry. “While we still need to guide some companies on exactly what they wish to achieve, more potential clients have a clearer vision of their objectives than we saw a year ago.” In some instances, a client outsources all customer-facing operations to Conduent, while in others there are either multiple providers or a hybrid situation with the company both maintaining its own contact center and working with Conduent as well. A number of these clients have implemented best practices from Conduent into their own operations.

“We help businesses measure against their own ideas of what they’re accomplishing versus what results they’re actually achieving,” said Landry. “By deploying customer care analytics to help them understand what is really going on, we provide insight into customer behavior, customer care processes and platforms. We then can offer up specific improvement opportunities for customer care operations. To augment these insights, we provide advanced agent productivity tools that enable front-line personnel to resolve customer issues more quickly. We also work with our clients to find ways to automate, giving their customer direct access to the same information through the web and other self-service tools.”

“Companies need to determine whether their knowledge management systems are still tied to serving internal processes or policies as opposed to actual problem solving,” said Landry.  “To provide automated and personalized customer interactions that operate seamlessly across channels, they need to use data to build in best-of-breed solutions to take the human agent out of the process. Our tools and analytics enable companies to find the best path to personalization.”

Conduent has recently been named as a leader in Gartner’s Customer Management Contact Center BPO report and in the 2017 Nelson Hall Vendor Evaluation and Assessment NEAT report in Customer Management Services and Telecommunications.