CX Speak

Driving Business Growth with Repeat Customers: #BusinessSecrets by Mr. Vivek Sridhar, Sr. Director – Global Learning Operations & Customer Success, Simplilearn

At Customer Guru, we believe that Customer Experience (CX) should be the number one priority for all the Indian businesses so that they become more sustainable and successful globally. Thus, we are on a mission to spread this awareness, inspiring and guiding professionals to adopt and inculcate a customer-centric approach. We are certain that this is a first step to help organizations WOW their customers and create raving fans for themselves.

Continuing with our initiative of sharing experiences of top-notch CX experts, we have another gem of an interview with Mr. Vivek Sridhar, Sr. Director – Global Learning Operations & Customer Success at Simplilearn, where he spearheads the training delivery and customer experience for millions of learners across the globe.

Prior to Simplilearn, Mr. Sridhar has been associated with the IT and Business Process Outsourcing industry at various management positions, where he has led large teams, engaged with clients across geographies and held other top-line and bottom-line responsibilities. Additionally, he also has an experience of setting up of 2 BPO centers and more than 12 projects for 2 of the leading BPO companies in South India and Srilanka with an employee span of over 1200.

Mr. Sridhar is a result-oriented professional who has 18 years of progressive experience in business, project and site management.

In this exclusive interview with Customer Guru, Mr. Vivek Sridhar has discussed how a customer-centric mindset and culture helps organizations in adding great value to the lives of customers, which results in business growth with repeat customers.

We invite our readers to comment and ask questions on challenges they might be facing in their organizations when setting up a customer-centric culture. We would be more than happy to help. This article is framed in a question-answer format; please feel free to share your feedback on the article too.

You have had an amazing professional journey spanning across operations, sales, and customer experience. What has the journey been like and what was that moment of epiphany when you realized that customer experience is your calling?

I have always wanted to be on the CX side of the business – whether it is sales or customer experience management. Facing a customer gives you the real picture and because of which your thought process is challenged constantly. The dynamism of delivering customer experience is probably why I chose to be in this arena. In addition to that, when you accomplish a goal, it gives you that moment of euphoria because you have touched the customer’s emotional quotient. At this stage of my career of 18 years, I am mainly focused on building teams that can think organically about customer experience and are not just driven by any processes or policies.

In your professional journey, which is the one initiative that you are particularly proud of?

I am immensely proud of my journey at Simplilearn. I remember a discussion with our CEO Krishna Kumar around instilling customer experience as a culture in the organization. The thought became a reality in 2015 when we achieved an NPS rating of 70. When we started, our NPS rating was less than 10, and now it has reached 70 in just two years. So, this has been a memorable journey for all of us. We are at the highest level of customer engagement with an industry high course-completion rate at 72%. Every product that we launch at Simplilearn is centered on delivering high engagement through an outcome-centric learning approach.

At Simplilearn, the journey must have been amazing and a challenging one. From being a blog to being one of the world’s leading certification training providers, how have you been able to manage a consistent experience through this rapid phase of growth?

Delivering customer experience has always been a top-down approach at Simplilearn. From the CXOs (Chief Experience Officers) to the frontline learning consultants, all employees are focused on achieving a high NPS and connecting every business decision and problem to CX. The journey for the customer excellence team has been nothing less than a learning every day. We have adopted a goal to deliver high-touch learning that is outcome-centric. We launch a course only when we have all the elements of high engagement such as live labs, projects, 24×7 global teaching assistance and more. These features have enabled our repeat business to grow and we have been able to achieve an industry high course completion rate at 72 %. All of this has been possible because of our unified efforts towards our goal.

Our value creators are the instructors and the content that we build. We ensure our content is aligned to industry requirements. We began collaborating with world-class SMEs (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises), who are industry experts and not academic experts, to build content for us. Along with that, we wanted to connect our learners with domain experts and instructors from across the globe. A student from the U.S gets trained by a big-data expert from India or U.K, or someone sitting in Hyderabad can learn from a trainer based in San Francisco. We exploded towards the global instructor tool through our live-virtual-class model. Another aspect that we have worked on is to avoid being sorry to our customers when we drop the ball. Instead, we believe that making a mistake is human and we have the courage to set it right.

In a plethora of initiatives that businesses need to drive across business functions, how do you think they can prioritize initiatives to improve customer experience?

At first, we decided on what CX means for Simplilearn. It’s about delivering high engagement and outcome-centric training. The outcomes that we expect are typically completion of the course, hands-on experience, certifications, and most importantly, what happens to the student because of the certification. It could be a new job, salary increment, or a big shift in their career.

When high engagement training converts into an outcome, repeat business happens, so it’s all a chain reaction. Repeat is revenue for the organization, and it avoids the cost of acquisition of a new customer. Customer experience is no more about delighting the customer on call, email, or chat. The industry has matured and today it is all about the experience that we bring in a customer’s life every day. This is the kind of culture we have spread across at Simplilearn and to prioritize CX in every business function.

What is your vision around the experience being delivered to customers at Simplilearn?

As a rapidly growing organization, our vision towards customer experience keeps changing. Two years ago, our focus was to enhance the customer experience at a global level and implement NPS. Today, our vision is not only to deliver a great customer experience but most importantly, to deliver high-engagement training that is outcome-driven. We ensure that the core objectives of anyone who comes to Simplilearn are met, whether it is to upskill themselves for self-transformation, a new job, promotion, salary increment, or a career shift. Our mission is not just to train individuals on big-data, but to create experts.

Connect with Vivek Sridhar on LinkedIn

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