The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has forced BPO companies to rethink the way they deliver services. Businesses that thrived during the period quickly understood the need to evaluate and rethink the tools and methods they use to engage their talent pool to guarantee service delivery amid unprecedented levels of disruption.
In one fell swoop, BPO companies had to adapt to the acceleration of new trends to serve their clients, including generalized remote work, and cultivate among their workers the new skills and resources required to maintain productivity.
In this context of industry transformation, Nearshore Americas (NSAM) talked to Dominic Leide, president of The Office Gurus. Leide discussed various topics such as employee satisfaction during this challenging period, new technologies to facilitate call center solutions, corporate culture, among others.
NSAM: In a recent op-ed you spoke about methods to improve the experience and satisfaction of employees. Why is this so important?
Leide: We have been an employee centric organization since our inception, and the experience that we deliver to our employees has always been our top priority. I remember talking about that Gartner survey outlining how only one in three customer service reps (34%) is actually engaged at work. Often people don’t understand the incredibly negative impact and significance of this. It goes to the core of productivity and business success.
But it is not only about the bottom line or how we can better deliver for our customers. For us, it is also about understanding how to better support our people, their expectations and their needs.
It’s obvious that the pandemic has made people rethink many aspects of their lives. Now we’re seeing all these reports stating that employees are looking for deeper value in their work. We want to stand by values that our employees can take pride in but also want to connect their daily tasks with the greater success of the company.
We want to stand by values that our employees can take pride in but also want to connect their daily tasks with the greater success of the company.
We believe strongly in social responsibility and providing our employees with the opportunity to engage with organizations and causes that they believe in. There needs to be added value and meaning in everything we do. There is no shortage of worthy causes and together with our passionate labor pool we have an ideal situation to deliver that value and include employees as a fundamental piece. This not only improves employee engagement and retention, but also serves as an attractive recruiting tool. One of the ways we make sure we attract top talent is by ensuring our current employees’ success and satisfaction.
NSAM: Any discussion about support for employees amid a global pandemic must include on-site safety protocols. How is The Office Gurus approaching this issue?
Leide: We decided at the outset of the pandemic that the health and safety of our employees were going to be the driving forces behind every decision we made during these unprecedented times, and that we would do our best to maintain engagement and employee retention in doing so. We operate in various locations, and each country has its own standards and regulations. For employees who choose to work from our buildings, we incorporated the highest standards in terms of preventative measures, which included hands free temperature screening, providing several masks throughout the day, social distancing and contact tracing, we developed a food ordering app for our cafeteria to avoid standing in line, paid time off to get vaccinated, among others.
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NSAM: But it is not just about health benefits and inclusivity, right? How are you empowering your employees to deliver despite the pandemic?
Leide: Right. Technology has played a major role in our ability to deliver a high performing solution, and is increasingly shaping the way we support employees in call center operations. Particularly when it comes to remote work. We leverage both proprietary and third-party technologies to ensure that our employees have everything they need in order to provide our customers with a great experience.
Our belief is that an empowered employee who feels appreciated will become a true ambassador of our clients’ brand
Our expectation as an organization is to exceed our customers’ expectations and we leverage technology to support, manage and incentivize our Gurus to do just that. I believe one of our strengths is our willingness to listen to the Gurus on the front lines and then provide them with what they need to delight our customers. Tech is a very important part of our corporate culture.
NSAM: Technology is only as good as the people who use it. What are your efforts in terms of training and upskilling?
Leide: At TOG, we are obsessed with providing our employees with an experience they cannot find elsewhere.
A major component of this value proposition is supporting a culture that is conducive to both personal and professional growth. Our belief is that an empowered employee who feels appreciated will become a true ambassador of our clients’ brand. Far too often, call center outsourcers view training and development as a one-time static event, the goal being to transfer just enough information to the agents to get them on the phones supporting customers as quickly as possible. This is very short sighted and transactional way of doing things.
At TOG, our process focuses on both short-term and long-term employee developments. Our agents understand that a successful career at TOG often begins with them doing an exceptional job for our customers. From there we work with them to identify what their long-term goals are and how we can work together to help them achieve them. A big piece of this equation is our TOG University, our own training and development curriculum designed to provide opportunities for growth to all our GURUS.