My Transcom Experience

Posts published March

Author: Stefan Pettersson

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Investor roadshow in London

Last week, Transcom’s President & CEO, Johan Eriksson, CFO Pär Christiansen and myself visited London for an investor roadshow. We met with five large fund managers, two of whom have already invested in Transcom shares.

Some were quite familiar with the company, while others were taking a first look. For those that were not as knowledgeable about the industry, we had prepared some material to support a discussion about Transcom’s business model (section 2 in the presentation below). In Transcom’s 2013 annual report, due to be published later in April, you will find more detailed information about the industry and how Transcom adds value.

Five key elements of a successful sales campaign

At Transcom Sevilla we are sales specialists and we have a vast experience in generating business for our customers. Spanning a wide array of sectors, we have developed campaigns of different sizes for various products, continuously perfecting our performance. We know that our greatest contribution to the success of any campaign is to build strong and prepared teams, for as the old saying goes: A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

Transcom Sevilla Platform

Outbound services, sales, operations

 

Therefore, we consider the human factor to be the key lever in outbound campaigns, helping to differentiate us from our competitors. As a way to perfecting our productivity and deepening our partnership with our customers, we are continuously working on improving our employees’ performance.

Taking this into account let me explain the five key elements we focus on:

 

Key factors in ales campaigns

1.    Team building

The best project is nothing if it lacks of a good foundation. We must work very close with HR department -as they are responsible for all recruitment-, and that plays a decisive role in a campaign’s success. Information is power, and we need to be able to convey the essence of the campaign and the operation, as well as our customer’s requirements, if we want to take the first step towards success.

Also, to create good teams you need to know your employees. Knowing your team’s strengths and weaknesses will help you to assign each agent to the best location. We should not be afraid of change or of adapting the profiles we have, to the services we have to deliver.

2.    Follow-up

Once we have built a strong team, it’s time to do the training. We have an excellent trainers’ team, whom are not only very good at communicating, but also possess a deep knowledge of sales challenges. This will permit them to empathize with the agents and provide them with a greater degree of experience in the whole sales process.

When possible, we must also reinforce the campaign launch with the cooperation of veteran agents that will work side-by-side with new agents. They’ll then play a double role: On one hand, their support will help to accelerate the learning curve; on the other, they’ll act as a reference for the new hired staff.

3.    Setting goals

To be able to measure the success of any campaign, it is essential to set specific goals -achievable yet ambitious-, and to count on the whole team’s commitment to achieve them. That is why it is important to establish ongoing communication channels that allow bi-directional flow of information: from the team leader to the agents and vice verse.

Thus, it is important to have individuals and team performance reports, in order to give each team member a clear outlook on their contribution to the overall objective.

It is also important to involve the whole team in the campaign strategies. We must not forget that the qualitative feedback they can facilitate us will reinforce the quantitative information we gather from the analysis conducted in a service.

4.    Results’ analysis

In order to lead his or her team successfully, the analysis from the previous day’s results is one of the most powerful tool the team leaders have. Learning from what worked (and what didn’t) during the previous day in a campaign, can be instrumental to reacting effectively in real time, keeping track if the results have been positive or setting some new strategies to minimize negative gaps.

Therefore, the contribution of team leaders to the team is essential to achieve success. Thanks to their proximity to the agents, the team leaders are the first to detect possible deviations from the campaign’s goals, and must be able to operate the different levers at their disposal to help their team to overcome obstacles.

5.    Motivation

Outbound sales campaigns can be very stressful. Each single day the agent faces the challenge to reach a goal that in certain situations is likely to cause stress. That is why it is very important to maintain a good working environment in sales platforms. This will increase the agents work satisfaction and therefore his/her empathy and productivity. To achieve this, we must be proactive in everything regarding the motivational field, creating activities that promote friendship and teamwork that have a social impact through the platform.

At Transcom we are convinced that all the efforts we put in to each of these mentioned areas will result in improved performance, and thus, increased productivity. This is a decisive factor against our current competitors.

Transcom Germany handles multichannel support for market leading GPS products

For more than three years now, Transcom Germany’s team in Halle has handled the customer support for one of our client’s GPS devices and smartphone apps. During this time, we have built a special relationship with our client, which is an important key success factor for this project.

So what does our team do and, more importantly, what distinguishes our work from other projects?

The main part of our work is the daily business of answering e-mails and calls from our GPS-client’s customers. Together with Transcom Tallinn, we provide customer support in 13 different languages; Polish, Czech, Hungarian, English, Spanish, Dutch, Finish, Swedish, Danish, French, Italian, Norwegian, and German.

We help customers with everything from product information to troubleshooting and repairs.

We also handle 2nd Level support (support for non-documented processes)  in close cooperation with our client and coordinate work with other service providers such as repair service centers via a 2nd level  repair department.

We are also responsible for the maintenance of the product’s Facebook and Twitter pages, where customers can provide feedback, ask questions or report problems.

Beyond that, we maintain and update Sabio, the knowledge management system that forms the basis for our agents’ work. Among other things, Sabio contains e-mail templates for customer communication. Creating and translating these templates into all languages we support is also an important part of our work.The latest product we support works together with our client’s smartphone apps to project navigation information directly on the wind shield of your car and offers a look into the future of car navigation.

To ensure the best possible service, a very close cooperation with our client is necessary. Therefore, our agents in the respective departments have direct contact with our client’s product experts via daily conference calls.

All of these factors make this client case a challenging, multifaceted and exciting project that shows just successful the relationship between two customer care specialists can be.

Author: Fidel Rodríguez

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How Master Class programs improve customer service and increase sales

Good teamwork implies that everybody can learn from his or her teammates, jointly creating and delivering an extraordinary service to our clients. That’s why Transcom San Fernando has developed training programs where the best agents in terms of performance can share their experiences with all colleagues so that they won’t just achieve their objectives, but also reach higher sales figures:

“We know that you are good, but we also know you can be better! That is why we have prepared the… Master class!!!”

One of our master classes at Transcom San Fernando

These training courses, named ‘Master Class’, are led by experienced and successful sales agents who share their knowledge about best practices with the participants. During these 60 sessions, we covered the hardest customer objection cases we have found in our daily work, with the ‘Master’ offering new approaches to addressing said objections based on his or her experience. In this way, participants learned new tools to overcome possible barriers and achieve better sales results.

Once we analyzed the pilot program and the obtained output, we decided to extend the program to all agents in the same situation, certain that with this little push they will be able to reach new objectives. In fact, since we launched the Master Class program, we have improved our sales ratio by fifty percent.

Author: Margit Fuentes

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Useful tips from Transcom’s home agents in Estonia

The opportunity to work at home is gaining popularity among employees around the world, and a growing number of companies are offering work-at-home solutions.

Transcom has had the technical readiness for work-at-home projects for many years. Transcom Estonia started to offer this solution 1,5 years ago. So far, the feedback from employees has been very positive.

Laura at home

We have asked what the home agents like or dislike about working at home.

“What I like the most by working at home is that I can spend much more time with my children. My children are very happy that I’m at home when they are coming back from school. Even if they are not allowed to disturb me during working hours, they like to know that I’m just in the next room. And after the working day, I have much more energy than before, we all are going out together frequently and my family enjoys it”

 

“I live in the countryside and the biggest benefit for me is that I save time and money by not having to commute. It makes me especially happy during the snowy winter. Now, I don’t have to go out in early mornings to shovel the piles of snow and be worried will I be on time to work or not. Instead of that, I have the luxury to wake up just 30 minutes before my shift starts, to have my morning coffee and admire from the window the beautiful snowfall.

However, working from home is not for everyone. To avoid any setbacks, our experienced home workers want to share some useful advice:

  1. Before starting to work from home, discuss the consequences with your family. They have to accept that even if you are at home, you are not available for them during working hours.
  2. When working alone, it can make you feel abandoned. You will need an active social network after work to compensate for it.”
  3. When it comes to product knowledge – you have to be skilled in what you do, as you don’t get the support as easily as in the office. So, in the beginning, it is a good solution to work in the call center and then move home. And then we have the coaching sessions, when we gather once per quarter at the call center to meet with our colleagues to discuss updates. These meetings are very useful and appreciated.

So, if you have considered all the aspects of home working and decided you’ll go for it, you might find that it’s probably the best job you ever had.

Key takeaways from Transcom’s mid-quarter and CSR update

We recently organized a mid-quarter and CSR update for investors, analysts and journalist in Stockholm. We gave an update on Transcom’s financial performance and important priorities for 2014. But the main focus was on describing our CSR program, Transcom Cares, and how our activities in this area form an integral part of our day-to-day business activities.

The audience was very engaged, which led to several interesting discussions. One topic which was discussed was whether CSR is truly an important factor for investors. Everyone seemed to agree that it is. Here are a couple of the comments made by investors and analysts:

“CSR has become a more important factor in making investment decisions.  It’s really a “need-to-have” in order for us to consider an investment. And studies have shown that companies that prioritize CSR and sustainability have a better financial performance in the long term.”

“Companies that take CSR seriously tend to have better governance in other areas, lowering risk.”

During the meeting, we highlighted some of the key messages that we presented in our Q4 and full-year 2013 report, e.g. that a very important priority for 2014 is to improve results in North America, both through new business development and increased efficiency. Overall, our focus currently is really on improving profitability, which will likely result in somewhat lower top line growth in 2014.

Malin Lindfors Speace, CSR consultant from Ethos International gave an update on our recent stakeholder dialogues and supply chain management process.

Malin Lindfors Speace, Ethos International

Malin Lindfors Speace, Ethos International

One of the questions Malin answered was how Transcom’s CSR activities compare with our international peers:

Thanks to the improvements they have made in the last few years, I would rank Transcom among the top three players. Three years ago, I would have given a lower rating.”

CSR has a profound impact on Transcom’s daily operations, not least because it is important for us to be recognized as a responsible employer, attracting people and strengthening our employer brand. We hire and train thousands of new people every year, and our long-term success depends on our ability to attract and develop the right people. Therefore, we believe it makes sense to focus our CSR efforts on people as well. Our recent stakeholder dialogues have confirmed our view. Three prioritized focus areas make up the core of the Transcom Cares program:

  • People development
  • Equality & diversity
  • Community engagement

People development is one of our most important priorities and we are very proud to say that over 85% of our managers are recruited internally. Our ability to attract and develop top talents is business critical. In order to ensure that we are successful in finding the right people, the company has a clear goal of becoming an employer of choice in our industry. Besides offering a stimulating working experience, competitive compensation and robust training, we believe that the opportunity for career development is one of the key factors that attracts new talents to Transcom.

We offer a multitude of opportunities for employees to develop in their roles. There is a clearly defined career progression, either as a line manager or specialist, and there are many examples of senior leaders at Transcom who started out as agents or in junior support roles.

In 2013, Transcom decided to launch a redesigned Talent Management Program, putting the necessary tools in place to manage the process on a global level, ensuring greater transparency and efficiency. We have also decided to design and implement a program with the objective of identifying top candidates in a more structured way.

Equality & diversity is very important to us. We strive for gender equality on all levels, and are dedicated to showing that equal opportunity employment is part of our DNA. Diversity of cultures and languages is fundamental to our service delivery capability, e.g. in our multilingual near shore centers.The gender distribution among managers is good overall, with women making up 39% of managerial employees. Our target is to improve this number even more.

A unique position that Transcom is proud to fill in many markets is that of a platform for career development for young people and new graduates. In many countries, we are a top employer of people aged 18-26. Our agents learn about direct client interaction in a dynamic environment, strengthening their communication and technology skills.

We also run successful programs in several countries with the objective of hiring disabled people, for example in the Netherlands Germany, Spain, and Chile.

Local community engagement is how Transcom Cares started. Getting involved in the communities in which we operate not only strengthens our employer brand, but also maintains our license to operate in the markets where we choose to compete. Many of our community engagement activities depend on our employees’ passion to contribute their time and energy. People want to work for a company that has a sustainable approach to business and that contributes to building communities. It is clear that our community engagement activities support recruitment and staff retention.

Transcom also runs programs to make life easier for our employees. On-site child care centers, pharmacies, and employee microloans are some examples.

The last question we received during the meeting was if we will be back next year with an update. The answer is yes and we take this comment as proof of a successful seminar. Feel free to have a look at the presentation below. I also invite you to visit this blog for regular updates.