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Call Center Spotlight: American Support, Telesales by Evergreen

In 2012, technical and contact center service provider American Support received nine Stevie Awards for exceptional customer service. ICMI takes a look at this award-winning team and spotlights the traits that have made them so successful.

Few companies can boast that their customer service centers are award winning and far fewer can say they have won multiple awards for outstanding quality in customer service, sales support and exceptional teamwork.

The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service are internationally recognized sales, contact center, and customer service awards.

American Support, a telesales service provider for the U.S. cable industry, received nine of these coveted industry awards for its exceptional service in 2012 – including six Bronze awards, two Silver awards and one Gold for “Front-Line Customer Service Professional of the Year.”

American Support At A Glance:

Call Center Locations: Daytona Beach, Holly Hill and Jacksonville, Florida; as well as home-based agents in 26 states
Hours of Operation: 24 x 7
Number of Agents: Currently, more than 550Products/Services Provided/Supported: Customer Care, inbound and outbound Sales, Technical SupportChannels Handled: Phone, email, chat, salesforce.com, SMS and Twitter
Notable: In addition to the Stevie Awards, American Support’s Telesales by Evergreen division received the top award for annual 2011 QA ratings from among all of Comcast’s vendor partners. American Support also took first and second place in the call center category for the year 2011. Comcast initiated these rigorous Quality Assurance and Legal Compliance measures among all its vendors in 2005. American Support’s Telesales by Evergreen has earned the #1 Comcast rating as the top vendor in six of those seven years.

Matt Zemon, President and CEO of American Support told ICMI, "Winning nine Stevie awards is a testament to the great people we have here at American Support who truly care about their jobs and about helping our clients boost their revenues. Our entire company believes in our mission of helping our country by creating jobs right here in America."

On a Mission for Improved Quality

American Support was awarded the Bronze Stevie for the prestigious “Contact Center of the Year (Over 100 Seats)” for consistently above average quality scores.

The company has worked hard to improve its level of quality across the board: first by hiring competent, highly-skilled customer service representatives, then further enhancing their skills with appropriate training and finally setting new and higher standards for what the cable industry passes for quality customer service scores.

American Support has stated that it is “on a mission” to actively redefine and improve the low level of service that the cable industry is known for. The company seeks to exceed all of its service level agreements and quickly ramp up service during peak call times (e.g. during outages when call volumes spike beyond projected norms). It is also notable that the AHT for American Support’s representatives exceeds six minutes. To American Support, this means that all representatives are spending a generous amount time to ensure that all of their caller’s issues are resolved.

The adoption of a virtual contact center technology in 2010 allowed the company to add home agents to its workforce, enabling American Support to hire qualified, exceptional representatives from across the country.

Even their virtual teams are closely monitored for quality. American Support uses a small-teams model to ensure that all virtual reps have the proper oversight and leadership and to make them sure the virtual operations run smoothly. Success coaches, many who started with the company as customer service representatives, regularly monitor calls for quality assurance and then meet with reps on a weekly basis and work with them to make sure they are providing the best service possible.

American Support has also recently implemented a quality improvement committee, (which includes “Front-Line Customer Service Professional of the Year” Gold Award winner, Glenn Sullivan) to study ways to enhance and improve the quality we provide.

Triple Play: Quality, Sales and Campaign Excellence

The company’s Telesales By Evergreen division received two of the Bronze awards in the categories “Sales Outsourcing Provide of the Year” and “Telesales Team of the Year” categories.

During its 2011 campaigns, Telesales by Evergreen Division team members succeeded in improving their customer engagement, and as a result the team saw a substantial increase in upsells for American Support’s clients.

How did they do it?

Under the direction of Jaime Baltzey, manager of client services, the team began engaging our clients’ subscribers in conversations about their current services, their use of those services and how different services could provide the subscriber better features at a lower cost rather – all tactics far better than simply posting sales.

For example, in one of their 2011 campaigns, Telesales was required by a top MSO to sell digital phone service to existing Internet and cable customers. The team succeeded in converting more than two percent of all sales calls. However, a more impressive statistic is that more than 70 percent of those conversions resulted in the subscriber signing up for the cable company’s “Triple Play” service, meaning the customer upgraded his or her Internet and/or cable service at the same time, which in turn, boosted revenue for American Support’s client. One Evergreen supervisor noted that a 70-percent upsell is practically unheard of in the cable service industry.

It is successes like these that have influenced some the nation’s top cable companies to continue to reach out to American Support’s Telesales by Evergreen for their great service practices and outstanding telesales activity – enabling the team’s work to be publicly recognized by those cable companies – and the rest of the customer service industry.

ICMI will continue to spotlight the other award-winning members of the American Support team.

Christina Hammarberg is the former associate editor at ICMI.