A consulting engagement in India

A consulting engagement in India


  • Create an operational customer service model focused on delivering a world class customer experience
  • Develop a pioneering customer experience service model within the domestic Indian market
  • Enable customer service delivery through proactive care in an omni channel environment
  • Support social change through giving all Indian citizens the opportunity to access to digital services, everywhere
  • Design a transition plan for outsourcing to local BPO providers, with an ongoing governance and innovation framework


  • Customer experience strategy built on global best practice standards
  • Comprehensive design build operate and transfer (DBOT™)
  • Provision of ongoing governance and advice to retain the integrity of the model
  • Establish Centre of Excellence model to maintain the focus on continual improvement


  • Establishment of customer experience management framework
  • Creation of phased omni channel management strategy
  • Mapped end-to-end customer experience journeys founded on guiding principles and brand values
  • HR and employee engagement framework
  • Over 300 customer service processes reengineered in three months
  • Set up of management team and phased launch plan


Create a customer service model focused on a world class customer experience

With its headquarters in Mumbai, India, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (RJIL) is a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd – India’s largest private sector company. As the country’s first telecommunications firm to hold a pan-India 4G licence worth over $2 billion, RJIL will provide fourth generation high speed internet connectivity, rich communication and various digital services across the whole of India. Its goal is to provide anytime, anywhere access to innovative and empowering digital content, to propel India into global leadership through a pioneering digital economy.

To achieve its 4G network ambition, Reliance Jio needed to work with an experienced customer services expert that could design a service organisation to support the network, and help differentiate its market offering through an exceptional customer experience.

Support social change through modern communication services

In a highly underserviced market, the 4G licence will enable Reliance Jio to supply services that empower social change, by supplying modern day communications services to 1.2 billion people across India. Part of this commitment includes providing 2000 schools with free access to 4G internet learning facilities – a powerful move in a nation where 400 million people still live in extreme poverty.

India’s poor existing telecommunications infrastructure has added to the complex challenge of enabling the 4G network. With 800 cities in the nation, RJIL has already invested $10 billion into a colossal project to lay cables and build masts in over 86,000 sites for dishes to radiate the 4G network – just to reach 400 major cities. The completion of this mammoth project will see high speed access to services across key sectors such as education, healthcare, security, financial services, entertainment and government -citizen interfaces.

Comprehensive design of operational and customer processes

In India, most people speak at least two languages including English, yet there are still hundreds of additional languages and regional dialects spoken across the sub-continent. To address regional language issues and encourage more proactive digital interaction, Reliance jio needed a detailed blueprint of all operational and customer processes that would focus on creating a consistent world class experience for all its customers and segmented user groups.

This would mean providing an innovative map of all processes to actively encourage self-service through devices or the internet, or through digital channels such as email and web chat.

Design a transition plan for operations with an ongoing governance role

To supply people and manage the centres in as many as 20 locations across India, RJIL took a strategic decision to engage with four large BPO providers. Where Reliance Jio would provide the premises and infrastructure, Merchants would assume responsibility for the design and build of operations, before transitioning the centres to the chosen outsource companies.

Working closely with the growing Reliance Jio management team, Merchants completed the design phase within three months to be ready to engage the BPO providers to build and operate in seven locations initially.

With an estimated 1 million customers a day expected to contact its service centres, RJIL has a clear requirement for ongoing governance of the customer service design. Following the transition, Merchants would act as trusted advisors to Reliance Jio, ensuring the design integrity of their customer experience and operational models.


Customer experience strategy built on global best practice standards

Following a presentation of global benchmarking survey results to RJIL’s executive team, Merchants was initially invited to conduct a four-day workshop to establish a blueprint for its 4G future in India. The intensive session used Merchants’ Contact Centre Development Model and global best practice benchmarking data to confirm Merchants alignment with Reliance jio‘s customer service goals. The Merchants team shared its methodology for developing a customer experience strategy, supported with a proposal to use Merchants’ Design Build Operate Transfer (DBOT™) model, which would enable the eventual transition of the service operations to four outsourcers.

Comprehensive design build operate and transfer (DBOT™) within twelve months

Merchants was commissioned to undertake a DBOT™ for seven contact centres to four outsource providers. RJIL engaged with Merchants to begin its DBOT™ methodology to scope functional requirements, processes and standards of the operation and to develop a transition plan. A team of 16 consultants were based in India to complete the first design phase in a tight timeline of three months.

Along with building a management structure and defining key roles and responsibilities, the Merchants team worked closely with RJIL to develop its customer experience strategy, a comprehensive organisational design with operational processes, critical roles and reporting standards. Tasked with the design of a management information and quality framework, the detailed implementation plan incorporated all operational strategies including human resources and workforce management.


Design blueprint within three months

The design phase followed the DBOT™ structure to cover customer experience, operations, facilities, processes, management information/ business information, human resources and information technology. Each work stream scoped requirements by working closely with subject matter experts and owners in Reliance Jio, to achieve a signed-off design in 3 months.

Over 200 customer service processes reengineered in three months

Taking into account the multiple technical and infrastructural challenges, the customer services model -which is based on the industry standard eTom model – was reengineered from a customer experience point of view. A team of Merchants experts laid out the top 10 customer journey maps and designed operational performance measures which would optimise customer experiences and processes and drive additional efficiencies.

The Merchants team designed a customer services structure, customer experience strategy, operating model, learning and development framework, and specification for fit out of the centres. The review of over 200 customer service processes was completed while redesigning the human resource strategy and model, workforce optimisation strategy, management information and quality framework. The result is some 219 different manuals, forms and templates which will be used in the customer services operations.

Set up of management team and phased launch plan

In order to service 1 million customers a day during the first 30 days, critical management roles would need to be filled to drive the customer experience across process, operations, information technology, workforce management and project management business areas.

With the contact centre advisor population projected to rise to over 25,000 within 18 months, the Merchants team has provided an human resource strategy which includes recruitment processes, job descriptions, competency requirements, performance management, training and career development.

Ongoing governance and social change

Merchants’ almost 35 years’ customer service experience has been an important factor in the delivery of ongoing governance and it will go on to support Reliance Jio until its first phase launch in November 2015. As a trusted advisor and guardian of the operating model, Merchants’ will continue in its role as design authority over all aspects of the phased build and operations of Reliance Jio’s service contact centres.

Throughout its relationship with Reliance Jio, the Merchants team remains focused on its collective purpose for social change through community involvement in India. Through these experiences, the team has gained a profound insight into Reliance Jio’s challenges and future goals to validate Merchants’ unique and world class approach to creating exceptional customer experiences.

In a highly underserviced market, the 4G licence will enable Reliance Jio to supply services that empower social change, by supplying modern day communications services to 1.2 billion people across India.

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