Article : Optimus on Customer Service Awards
We asked Maria Alves of Portugal based Optimus about their 2013 Awards submission and experience. Here is what she told us
What made you enter the 2013 awards in the first place?
We have been participating in Contact Center World since 2011. It has been the best international industry conference we have attended so we keep coming back every year.
What were you hoping to achieve in the process? Was it recognition? Benchmarking? Something else or a combination of things?
Participating in Contact Center World has been a very rewarding experience in terms of keeping up with best practises from our industry and benchmarking with companies from all over the world on how to overcome our common challenges. Moreover, the conference is a great platform to meet high profile professionals with whom we can discuss industry specific topics. Finally, the opportunity to have industry recognition is very appealing because it helps to provide visibility (and not only within our organization) to the efforts we are developing to ensure that our customers have the best service experience. It has also had a very important motivational impact to our team that daily works very hard to provide the best quality of service to our customers.
When you were invited to be a finalist, what was your reaction and how did you share this with your co-workers?
This year we entered directly into the finalists group because we were awarded Best Customer Service in the World in 2013. Nevertheless, for us it is a great honour to be a finalist for the Best Customer Service category in Contact Center World.
You were asked to prepare a presentation, how did you decide what to include and what to share?
We prepared our presentation following the guidelines shared to all presenters by Contact Center World, which helped narrow the scope of the topics covered in preparing for the conference. We tried to bring the most innovative projects we are working on, that have either brought very good results for our customer service organization or that we believe will bring in the future. These are the experiences that generate most value to all the companies participating in the conference.
Can you share with our readers a couple of ideas you presented at the conference and how you apply those in your center
Two of the projects that you shared last year were (1) the end to end process review we were developing with our agents and (2) the our behavioral training program START.
To improve first contact resolution, we have put in place an end-to-end process review by developing step by step guide that aims to ease contact resolution for our agents, educate on communication standards, standardize enquiries classification and promote next best action. This project was developed through a close relationship with some of our top performing reps, which helped us structure the internal best practices in the most suited way for the assistant during the contact.
Our customer service school centrally manages the training courses & coaching sessions of all our operations. The school has put in place a behavioral training program – START – that maps the skills our representatives must acquire through their tenure with Optimus Customer Service. START includes dimensions such as positive language positioning, alternative positioning and personality based resolution. This program has given an important contribution to the reduction of our customer effort score, because it has allows us work on experience engineering with our agents.
How did you feel about sharing with your peers – including those competing against you?
Throughout the conference there is a great atmosphere of experiences' sharing amongst all participants. There is a sense of healthy competition between the participants in each category during the presentations that quickly ends after the Q & A. I believe the competition is quite positive because it ensures that all participants share their most interesting projects and this is what, in the end, fosters high quality standards making the conference valuable to all the participants.
How would you describe the value of the conference to someone who has never been before – especially someone coming just to hear best practices?
Attending the Top Performers Conference is an excellent opportunity to learn best practises and to internationally benchmark your operations in a relaxed and informal environment. The conference is very fast paced and covers a broad range of core contact centre challenges, making it very interesting for customer service and outsourcing managers. During the conference you are able to establish a network of contacts with high profile professionals with whom you keep on communicating after the conference has ended, which extends the value of participating in the conference. Finally, through Contact Center World website, you can continue to access interesting articles on industry news and tips.
How did you feel before and after presenting?
I believe that, as for most people, it is always a bit stressful to present at a conference. Before presenting I was a bit nervous, even though I had prepared in advance to make sure I would be able to meet the time limit of 15 minutes for our presentation. The conference is quite well organized so there is a great effort in making sure that the daily schedule is met and that all participants have a steady pace throughout their presentations.
After presenting there is a sense of relief, but most importantly, there are always interesting discussions around the topics covered during the presentations which provide great opportunities for networking and experiences sharing among the conference participants.
What do you think makes this award process valuable?
I believe the process is valuable because of the people you meet in the conference. All the participants have relevant experience in the industry so you learn a lot not only by attending the conference but also from the discussions in the breaks and during the network events. These are excellent opportunities to learn from what companies in other regions are doing and most importantly identify innovative solutions to overcome some of the challenges that we are facing in our operations.
How would you describe the gala dinner?
The gala dinner is the perfect ending to a week of experience exchange and networking, and not least importantly it is great fun!
As a GOLD winner, how did you feel being called on stage to receive your award?
We were very excited about winning Best Customer Service – Large Operations in EMEA. There is a strong feeling of achievement considering all the effort that we had put throughout the application process to make sure that we had the best presentation possible for the conference. We were thrilled to have properly represented our team that works hard every day to deliver the best customer service to our customers.
How did you celebrate your win at your company?
We had a dinner party celebration with the team from customer service in which we shared some of the movies we had done doing the conference and the gala dinner so that everyone feel the atmosphere of the conference and feel part of winning the award. It was a great moment for everyone.
How has entering and winning this award changed your company and motivation?
This award was particularly important because we are currently leading a transformational project that aims to create the basis for a customer driven culture. Having international recognition reinforces the relevance of this initiative within Optimus, because it demonstrates that we are at the forefront of what organizations are doing worldwide. Finally, the award fosters a sense of pride of belonging to Optimus Customer Service which has a positive motivational impact on our team.
Now you are eligible to compete against the Best in the World in Las Vegas – how do you feel about that and how are you planning for this?
It is a great honour to have the opportunity to be considered Best Customer Service in the World. We are fine-tuning our presentation to make sure we are at our best, so that we can be considered once more the best in the world. Fingers crossed!
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NOS is a telecommunications and entertainment group which offers fixed and mobile next generation solutions for Pay TV, internet, voice and data to all market segments - Residential, Personal, Corporate and Wholesale. It is the leader in Pay TV, Next Generation Broadband services and in Cinema Exhibition and Distribution in Portugal. NOS has approximately 1.6 million Pay TV customers, 900 thousand Fixed Broadband customers, 1.4 million Fixed Voice Customers and 3.6 million Mobile subscribers in Portugal.
Published: Friday, October 11, 2013