My Transcom Experience

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Author: Agata Zysk

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Take the challenge with Transcom Poland

This year, we made a decision to implement the “Take the challenge” program in Transcom Poland. The aim of the program was to raise the need of sharing knowledge and ideas within the company.

The program included Team Leaders and employees in the following departments: human resources, traning and quality, and the business support team. Every eager person who prepared a project could take part in the program. Projects had to present a solution which could improve key indicators or activities within the company.

14 participants were chosen, who qualified for the program according to the specified criteria. We received 19 applications with different improvement ideas. Among others, there were ideas on how to improve the recruitment system, labor documentation, creation and actualization of new applications facilitating exchange of information, schedule management, new mentor programs, learning foreign languages and ideas connected with customer experience management. The commission chose 10 projects, to be implemented in 2016.

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As an award, the creators of these projects received the possibility to take part in four trainings: employee motivation, creativity and innovation at work, solving difficult and conflict situations, and analysis and presentation of data.  What’s more, we showed how attractive Transcom is as a workplace. Everyday, the company creates possibilities for employees to share ideas, knowledge and experience. Moreover, employees can develop their skills through attractive training opportunities and other activities. Next year, we are planning the next edition of this program. Our employees’ opinions are very important to us and we respond to them. We are very proud of our team. It’s priceless to work with people like this.

Author: Tanja Lohrmann

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A cross-country coaching project raises the level of customer satisfaction reported in multilingual contact centers

Transcom is a multinational company with a major global presence and offices in 21 countries on five continents. We offer customer care, sales and technical assistance services in 33 languages.  In Europe, we have several specialist multilingual hubs, including in Budapest, Gdansk, Olsztyn, Belgrade and Riga. Each and every day, our highly qualified customer experience professionals make every effort to create the best possible contact experience for users of every nationality. But to put customers at ease and make them feel that they are fully understood, language fluency is not enough on its own.

It is equally essential to be empathetic and able to interact using the most appropriate idioms and the most effective interpersonal approach, which depends exclusively on the cultural background in each individual country. To develop this knowledge and these skills, we can draw on Transcom’s extensive global presence. We have therefore organized cross-country coaching sessions, inviting expert native speakers to teach multilingual hub teams about the cultural peculiarities of the countries in which users live, in such a way that their contact experience is an even more enjoyable one.

Last summer, for example, we organized a collaboration project between the Rostock (Germany) and Riga (Latvia) sites to help the Riga team improve the level of customer satisfaction. The contact center in Riga provides customer care services in many languages, including German, for an important European bank. The German team in Riga has excellent language skills, but despite this, the customer satisfaction levels measured did not fully meet the standards set by the client. Transcom implemented a fast and effective solution: it was decided to send an expert team leader who is a native German speaker from Rostock to Riga to work alongside the German language team.

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Sascha is the German team leader who flew to Riga to coach the Latvian team

An in-depth quality analysis was performed by listening to calls, revealing some areas for improvement in terms of the language conventions used by various operators during conversations with German customers.

The German team leader worked in close contact with his Latvian colleagues to fill these gaps. He trained the agents involved during special classroom workshops and worked alongside them one by one during calls. At the end of the coaching sessions, a list of “dos and don’ts” when dealing with German customers was prepared and shared with the entire team. As a result of the coaching activities, the Latvian team gained greater sensitivity and awareness about certain cultural peculiarities typical of customers with a German background, e.g. finding the right balance between expressions of courtesy and active listening signals. The reasons for the call are now clearly summarized at the outset to avoid misunderstandings. In addition, effective phrases and formulations have been developed to manage more complex interactions that might evolve into an escalation.

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The team leaders (on the left) and some of the operators who took part in the Riga coaching project

The collaboration between the Rostock and Riga sites will continue in the future. This brief cross-country coaching project has already brought huge benefits to all the subjects involved, and first and foremost to our customers. We work incessantly to improve our services and the customer experience we offer. Our huge global network of contact centers allows us to share knowledge and experiences that help our clients improve their business results.

Author: Anna Meijere

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Transcom certifies seven new Lean Six Sigma Champions

Hundreds of companies around the world use Lean or Six Sigma methodology for product and process improvement to achieve financial performance breakthrough and increase customer satisfaction.

Transcom is on this journey as well. Seven account managers for one of Transcom’s global clients recently attended a Lean Six Sigma Champion Training and Best Practice Workshop in Stockholm, Sweden.

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Our people truly are Transcom’s greatest asset and after completing the Champion session, these seven business professionals will use the acquired knowledge in Lean Six Sigma to identify projects and assist in project management and project goal completion.

Using their newly acquired skills provides almost limitless potential for projects that will transform Transcom. But in order to be successful, you need to prioritize the projects that can:

  1. Eliminate unnecessary variation
  2. Sustain greater productivity and profitability
  3. Increase customer experience.

The ambitions for the newly trained seven Champions are set high and they will work together with the country management to use and guide the Green Belt resources the most optimal way. First the projects will focus on process improvements in Transcom, however in a period of time there is potential to involve clients in order to eliminate defects even further.

Each of the participants evaluated the time as well spent to gain understanding of Lean Six Sigma principles, share practices and get rid of common myths, and left the workshop with a list of potential projects to start working on.

The best customer experience for Italian business travelers starts in Tunis

Early this year, Transcom Tunis officially launched a new customer care service for one of Italy’s biggest travel companies.  As partner and founding member of a worldwide network that unites the best travel management companies in 80 countries, this new client decided to form a strategic partnership with Transcom in order to ensure the best possible customer experience for its customers.

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To prepare for this important start up, the dedicated Transcom project team focused in maximizing service quality in a structural and coordinated way. A group of specialized resources was recruited and coordinated by a team of managers who constantly monitor service quality and take action at various levels to increase customer satisfaction, improve service provision and efficiency, and fine tune the management of corporate processes.

Work got underway with an initial group of 15 agents. The talents selected for the project are passionate about their work and have demonstrated great professionalism and excellent performance throughout their training, right from the very first day. A carefully designed three-month training program contributed to creating a relationship based on the maximum possible collaboration and interaction among team members, trainers and project managers, making it easier to learn during training and to overcome all the difficulties and critical issues every start-up encounters.

The dedicated project team during training.

The dedicated project team during training.

We are extremely satisfied with the trustworthy relationship and collaboration we have established with our client at this initial stage. We have laid the best possible foundations for a long-term partnership that will turn out to be highly profitable for everyone involved, not least all the Italian business travelers who will receive the best possible customer care, provided by Transcom Tunis.

Author: Manuel Alcaide

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Building leadership in Transcom Atica

In the contact center industry, middle managers’ leadership can make the difference between success and failure of services and projects. In Transcom we deliver services that engage large teams, sometime about 300-400 people.

In each case, in front of these large teams we count on a few brave men and women leading the services. At some point in their careers they decided to step forward. They chose not to remain in the background and found the motivation to help a group of people to achieve a set of objectives and results that would ensure the whole projects continuity.

During the latest months, we at Transcom Atica have tried a new set-up of leadership training. By using group dynamics and role-plays activities, we try to reinforce the leadership of the managers with one superior aim: we want our leaders to transmit credibility, respect and good management to their teams.

 

Leadership Training session

How to display this leadership? I always picture a scene from the film Gladiator (2000), a movie where you find a good overview of the qualities a good leader should have. In the scene of the first battle that occurs at the Colosseum in Rome, a group of men are thrown out into the arena. They know what they face, but they do not know each other. At that time, one of them takes a step forward, raises the situation realistically and proposes to fight together in order to survive. He manages to organize the team, set the goals, and encourages his teammates. Finally, at a critical moment, he takes over to solve the situation. This scene is quite similar in being a leader in our sector: without the help of your team, is impossible to reach the expected results.

Teamwork is the only option to ensure the real and ultimate success in a professional project. The talent of the leader will be determinant to solve a delicate meeting, he or she will notice the “moments of truth” and will take difficult decisions, but to achieve any sustainable success in time, the work done by “your” team will be critical to ensure your success as a leader.

If you lead a team and at some point has doubts if it’s worth all the effort… let me solve the mystery for you: yes, it is!  Try to remember the day you accepted that responsibility and were promoted, the thrill when you shared the news with your friends and family, your eagerness to face the challenge… and how you found in that experience the energy to take that step forward that makes the difference in being a leader.

Over time, you will be able to look back and tell yourself, “I stepped forward, I did not stay in the background and I dared to lead a group of people” It is one of the best professional experiences you will have throughout your career.

 “Talent wins games, teamwork wins championships”

Removing the fear of closing a sale

The moment of truth of any sales services is when the agent has to make the final question and ask for confirmation to close the deal. But it is also a loaded moment for most of the agents that may experience what we call: fear of closing.

Experience tells us that we can only influence around a 50 to 55% of the persons we contact during our workday. Although we would like that all these individuals accepted our offer or product, we know that this is not at realistic target. Furthermore, we have to be aware that our customer’s refusal in most cases is due to a set of variables as the price, their economic situation, bad previous experience etc. All these factors have nothing to do with our agents’ performance.

When facing a challenging customer, the agent tends to conclude that person is not interested. This negative mindset generates itself a negative response. Therefore, to minimize the risk of a negative answer we must be mentally positive and not let our attitude impact the outcome of the call.

At Transcom, we continuously invest  in our agents’ training and spend many hours on product training, telemarketing techniques, techniques for dealing with conflict situations, teaching agents how to handle objections, etc…But do we invest enough time to teach agents how to introduce the “closing question”, are we investing enough effort to prepare them for a refusal, and eliminating their psychological barrier to the customer’s negative answer?

In order to prepare our agents to overcome the apprehension they may have to face in a call we must work through training and role play, practicing different situations that we will find in our daily work life.

We are convinced that the success of a good education and training depends on several factors:

  • Adequate knowledge of our products so that every agent properly can explain the benefits in case the person decides to close the deal during the call.
  • Empathize with our customers to create a trusting environment that results in an acceptance of the call as a valid sales channel.
  • Eliminate fears to solve any query or objection posted by our customers, learning to turn those weaknesses into strengths that customers can appreciate.
  • Overcoming fear of rejection, which causes insecurity, and therefore a call lengthening when making the final closing question.

By training our agents in all the mentioned points above we will be able to perform a graceful closing call and to achieve a positive resolution in a higher success rate for our clients.

If we want to improve our customer experience, we must be able to empathize with customers and make them feel comfortable during the call. In each interaction we must ensure that our customer feels that the decision is theirs.  Only working with these principles we will be able to consolidate new customers, improve our customer’s satisfaction index and, possibly, increase the rate of persistence by achieving a greater sense of affiliation between the customer and our partner.