My Transcom Experience

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My Career Story – From customer service agent to teamleader in less than 18 months in a new country

My name is Morten Halkjaer and I am 25 years old. In February 2014, I moved from Denmark to Riga to work for Transcom Worldwide Latvia.

Last winter, I saw a job ad about working with customer service for  an international media company in Riga and I was at a point in my life where I had to choose if I wanted to pursue my career or experience the world. I chose the last option, but I didn’t expect that I would find both here in Latvia.

I had the phone interview on a Thursday and four days later, I was on a plane to Riga at 5.40 in the morning.  When I arrived, I was picked up at the airport by my teamleader-to-be, Anna. She was super sweet, and she had a taxi waiting for us outside the airport, which took us to the hotel where I would stay. Transcom had made sure that the hotel was paid for the first month I was in Latvia, which was awesome. Afterwards, Anna took me to see the actual office, where I would be working.

The following week was spent on trainings with our trainer Madlena. She made sure we were ready to take calls when the time came. I remember how eager I was to take my first call. I just couldn’t wait. I had never worked with customer service on the phone before, but I had sales experience, which has proved to help me a lot. The first call I took, was a customer asking which devices that supported our clients services. It was super fun to talk to him! I could have a conversation with him, just as I would with a friend. Our client wants to have the best customer service in the world, therefore they don’t have scripts. You can talk to customers in a casual and natural way, which I still find really amazing. After my first call everyone at the office started clapping. It was a very inspiring experience. It really showed how great the connection between the employees is, and it has only become even stronger with time.

In April, my teamleader was leaving the company. I was still feeling green, but she encouraged me to apply for her position. I applied, mostly to see how the process worked, since I thought that agents that had more experience would get the position. That was not the case. Transcom saw potential in me and I became a teamleader.

Transcom is an outstanding company, who really cares about its employees’ personal development. During my time here, I have acquired many new skills such as; positive positioning and presentation skills while I was an agent. As a teamleader I have learned coaching, time management and Latvian labor law.

I have a lot of free space to do things my way, which allows me to grow and unfold. Transcom also challenges you to become better, and to develop your skills by assigning additional tasks to you.

Currently I am working on a new project for new employees from Scandinavia, like myself. It will help them with the transition when our new hires arrive here in Latvia. It is really interesting to have a project like this, where I have to keep in touch with many different people and follow up on the tasks I have assigned them. I love being able to contribute to Transcom’s way of working, and I see it as a large responsibility, where I learn how a business manager works, which hopefully would be the next step for me.

I came to Riga, fell in love with Riga and Transcom, and now I have been here for 1.5 years without any plans about leaving!

Author: Ginta Eisaka

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Transcom Riga – a multilingual site with an international touch

Being an international company, Transcom offers our employees the opportunity to work abroad. During the last few months Transcom Latvia have had several employees moving from Riga to another Transcom site in Europe, or vice versa, employees from other countries have moved to Latvia.

Transcom Riga is a multilingual site, representing ten languages (Baltic and Nordic languages, German, Polish, Russian and English).  Since 2014, we offer employees from Sweden, Norway and Poland  the possibility to move to Riga and work with customer service  for two well-known international brands:

  • A global financial services provider
  • An international media company

It doesn’t  matter if your reason for working in Latvia is to build an international network of new friends and get captivating time in Riga, or if you are driven by making a career in another country. Everything is possible!

I encouraged our employees to share their their experience and lessons learned about moving to a country they have never heard about before. Nikolaj Heiberg Lyhne, one of our Danish agents working for the international media company produced this video to illustrate his life in Riga:

This is how some of our other international employees describe their experience:

Quote Rolands Quote Joanna Quote Mikael

 

If you also are looking for an international work experience and want to feel the taste of adventure being far away from your home, contact your local HR-team and maybe we’ll meet in Riga very soon!

Author: Andris Ozols

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My Career Story – from student to senior multilingual customer experience specialist

I have been working at Transcom Latvia since 2011 and I never thought I would be able to achieve so much in this company. When I first joined, I was still a student and it was a part-time job for me. It was my first job as a Customer Service Representative agent so I had to learn a lot about providing the best customer experience.

During my first project at Transcom, I worked with one of the largest TV Broadcasters in Europe, providing customer care to their customers in Latvian and Russian. When I had learned all the programs, it did not take long time before my team leader wanted me to join another project that had to do with finance and loans. Being part of this project taught me to be precise in every aspect of my work.

Approximately a year later, I heard that Transcom had won a new client – a global on-demand internet streaming network and that we were going to provide support and customer service only in Scandinavian languages. I had been studying Swedish in high school, but I never seriously thought that I was going to use it in my work as my language skills were not at the highest level. I knew that the requirements were very high. But I still thought that this would be a great opportunity for me as it would give a boost to both my career and my income.

As I was going to speak with people who are either fluent in Swedish or for whom the language is their mother tongue, I started to study Swedish at the beginners level.  After a few months I served our client’s Swedish customers in flawless Swedish.

Then, I got a proposal to move to another multilingual project at Transcom Riga, where customers are served in Swedish and other Nordic languages as well. I was very worried but after some time, and with the help of my team leader, the support of my friendly colleagues and probably due to my customer care experience, I was able to develop my language skills to a sufficiently high level. Subsequently, I was able to communicate with customers without any difficulties. After some time I was able to take on extra responsibilities as a Senior CSR agent, including  call evaluations, IT support for agents, training new hires, assisting team leaders, and much more.

My latest achievement this year was to be chosen as a member of the European Work Council, representing our site in Latvia. Thanks to this assignment, I was able to travel to Spain in June and had the opportunity to meet our CEO Johan Eriksson and many other people, who are in charge of Transcom, in person.

My job at Transcom has given me a lot of great experiences and I have grown as a person. I am grateful for having this job and the career opportunities it has given me so far. I hope to reach new heights in the nearest future.

Author: Gita Firsova

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Transcom Latvia took part in “Summer job for youth” project

This year, Transcom Latvia took part in “Summer job for youth” a project organized by the State employment agency and European social funds.

Almost 5000 young people took part in this project. Many of them considered Transcom’s offer very attractive, and a lot of people showed interest in coming to work for us.

In total we employed 27 students, who got an opportunity to acquire work experience and to develop sales skills. Overall, they were very skilled, communicative and bright people with high motivation. Not only did they contribute new ideas, but they were also lots of fun to work with.

I think that Transcom can offer young people a very valuable first job experience that will serve them well regardless of what they choose to do in the future. We are proud of the platform for career development that Transcom offers young people in many countries. Our agents learn about direct client interaction in a dynamic environment, strengthening their communication and technology skills. Our 27 students in this particular program had a great opportunity to discover their own potential and maybe even a desire for future studies associated with this type of job. Career opportunities are good, as we recruit most of our managers internally.

The students appreciated the opportunity to work at Transcom, because of the work experience they gained in a comfortable working environment. Some of them even continued working with us as permanent employees.

We think we fulfilled the main aim of this project –  to create opportunities for young people – and we gave students a first insight into work life and also about customer needs. We managed to improve their communication and sales skills which will surely help them in the future.

skolēni kolāža

Euro adoption in the Baltics strengthens Transcom’s near shore offering and attracts multi-language skilled people

The Baltics were severely hit by the financial crisis in 2008, but the region has made a remarkable recovery in the last few years. The implementation of the Euro in Estonia and Latvia has contributed to financial stability, a booming economy and a rise in productivity. As Lithuania will adopt the Euro in 2015, hopefully they will see the same positive outcome.

Riga by night

As for Transcom Baltic’s operations, we have had a strong positive development, both regarding growth and the range of  near shore services we provide.

Transcom Estonia has increased  its revenue by one third in the last five years, much of it driven by our near-shoring business. During the same period, we have expanded our multi-language offer and now provide customer care services in ten different languages: Estonian, Russian, Finnish, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Italian, French and German.

Transcom’s growth development in Latvia has been even more impressive. While the revenue has increased by 60 percent since 2009, our  international business has grown from three percent to an expected share of 50 percent this year. From our site in Riga, our 400 customer experience specialists now offer services in Latvian, Russian, English, German and all the Nordic languages.

In Lithuania we have offered near-shoring services since 2003.  Since then we have increased the business significantly.  Eleven years ago, we started with 12 agents offering service in English to one UK client,  now 50 percent of our total workforce (nearly 300 employees) serve eight international clients in English, German, Italian, Spanish, French, Polish, Russian,  Estonian and Latvian languages.

Although local clients are as important to us as international clients, taking into account the size of the local market in the Baltic Region, it is inevitable for us to continue to look for new prospects from neighbouring countries.

How to find people with multilanguage skills

Can we find enough people who speak different languages?  Sometimes it is a challenge as we are looking for a very high and professional language level. Almost all our people who are providing services in languages other than their mother tongue have lived, studied or worked abroad, and they have practiced their language in the native environment. We have also been very succesful in attracting native speakers from all over Europe. These people love to work in an international company like Transcom and appreciate our supportive, yet demanding atmosphere:

Valentijn Hart TL Transcom Estonia

Gary John Coning Team Leader Transcom Lithuania

Kirsti Seljenes Agent Transcom Latvia

Our clients not only expect our people to speak the language well, they also expect them to be real customer experience specialists with the ability to understand customers’ needs and offer the best solutions.  The nature of the service has changed – customers are no longer calling in to ask simple questions or place a simple order. They call or email to solve a complex problem.  In the near future we expect more customers contacting us via chat and that we will have more interactions via Twitter and Facebook.

So the customer service world is changing and Transcom is happy to face this challenge!

Author: Aija Urbiņa

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Excellent service month at Transcom Latvia resulted in a win-win for our clients and employees

At the annual “Good service month” Award that was held in Riga, Latvia on the 14th of April, Transcom won second place as excellent service providers in  the “business to business” category in Latvia. We are also very proud that, thanks to our expertise within customer experience,  we contributed to the win for several of our clients in the B2C category. The clients are rated by service quality – how excellent their customer communication is and three of our biggest clients got the highest evaluation and won their respective field. So the “Good service month” Award was a win-win for Transcom and our clients!

Labsserviss

In March we also had an “excellent service” month for our employees as well. Every week was dedicated to highlighting one specific soft skill such as empathy, call control, communication and active listening.

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All team leaders and product specialists had badges representing these skills, which they gave to agents who showed the most excellent example of these soft skills in their everyday work. At the end of the month, four of our best agents from each department met in a final battle, to find out which department would win the Quality Cup this year. All departments were great and the winner won by a very slim margin, with only one point more than the runner-up.

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As a conclusion, let me show you some of the comments we received from our colleagues and clients during the “Good Service” month in Latvia:

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