Published: July 26, 2017 | Comments
An Interview with the 2017 ICMI Global Contact Center Awards Winner for Best Outsourcing Provider
“Callzilla demonstrates a clear focus on caller and customer satisfaction. Excellent presentation on methodology for KPI and becoming the trusted adviser to clients by successfully introducing new KPIs to consider.”
- 2017 ICMI Global Contact Center Awards Judges
In today’s economy, customer experience is a key competitive differentiator. Customer service is at the crux of that experience, which makes relinquishing control of customer interactions risky. We all know the stigma surrounding outsourced service. There have been movies, TV shows, and blogs about the topic. In reality, outsourced service is sometimes necessary, and even beneficial, with the right BPO involved. The key: finding the right partner.
The ICMI Global Contact Center Awards recognizes one outstanding outsourcing provider each year. This year’s award recipient was Callzilla. What makes them successful and how is the service they provide unique? I had a chance to chat with Neal Topf, President of Callzilla, following their win. Here’s what he had to say.
EM: Tell me about Callzilla.
NT: Callzilla is a full-service outsourced contact center and business process outsourcing company with headquarters in Miramar, Florida. We help leading brands acquire and care for English-speaking and Spanish-speaking customers, placing the utmost priority on quality. Brands in health and beauty, finance, telecom, fashion, entertainment, and other industries choose Callzilla for our method of ensuring consistent quality.
We strive to be a true extension of our clients’ brands, providing meaningful ongoing guidance, and delivering optimal customer experiences across all communication channels -- voice, email, chat, social media, SMS text, and other channels.
EM: Training frontline agents to support multiple brands can be a challenge. What’s your philosophy on agent training?
NT: Callzilla emphasizes training, education, monitoring, and evaluation of our front-line team of agents and leaders. We maintain a corporate and operational culture of measurement, benchmarking, continuous improvement, and high quality.
In every client engagement, three proprietary systems at Callzilla are working behind the scenes to continuously improve customer experience quality and service to Callzilla clients. One is the Callzilla Talent System™, a talent acquisition and retention method that encompasses a 9-step hiring process, individually tailored performance goals, ongoing training and coaching, gamification, e-learning, and more. This system yields 3-4x longer employee tenure than average contact centers.
We focus on results and the autonomy and empowerment of our team. Our work environment helps employees achieve optimal productivity. We encourage questioning and reflection, new ideas, innovation, and participation at every level, which enables us to consistently perform with integrity, honesty, respect for others, and empathy.
Our core values support that vision:
• Quality First: We will provide the best customer care services in the world.
• Measure Everything: We will show performance on the client’s KPIs, in real-time if possible.
• Go Long: We will create value for our client to create value for us. We focus long term.
• Love Work: Our work environment will demonstrate respect for the individual.
EM: How do you gain trust with your clients?
NT: Much of our business comes through word of mouth referrals that somehow already know about us. Increasingly though, more and more companies are researching the nearshore model as a way to improve quality, resolution, customer experience, turnover, and cost. When we share actual client case studies that demonstrate significant improvement in each of these KPIs, prospects are much more likely to trust and choose us. And the recognition and prestige of the ICMI award has been incredibly powerful thus far.
EM: What advice do you have for contact center leaders who are writing RFPs for a new BPO?
NT: I love this question! In a nutshell, I think that it’s in the buyer’s interest to know differentiating factors about the service provider. I also prefer non-standard questions where the provider is asked to discuss failures and what they’ve learned from them. We all have them, but only the good ones know how to turn the failure in to valuable learning experiences. I think scenarios are also very good questions to ask i.e. present some data and a description of a real life situation and ask the BPO to describe solutions and prescriptions, much like a business school case study. I believe this demonstrates the BPO’s ability to act like a true solution provider, not just an order-taker.
Years ago, Callzilla chose to hang its hat on quality. Ever since, we have been refining proprietary methods for generating consistently exceptional customer satisfaction and company productivity.
The Callzilla Quality System™ is a proprietary quality management system which proactively generates actionable insights to improve customer experience and client services. It empowers clients with choices regarding refinements in messaging, processes, offers, policies, training and more.
EM: How did your team celebrate the win?
NT: We were thrilled. Several years of participating in the process with ICMI culminated in a huge win for us this year. We dedicated the win to Sylvia Caballero, our Client Services Manager who passed away unexpectedly this year. Sylvia was a very important part of our team, helping our clients with onboarding and guiding our Ops teams to success. There’s a lot of hard work ahead that we must continue to dedicate ourselves to in order to be worthy of the prestigious recognition afforded us by ICMI.
EM: What’s next for Callzilla? What are you focused on over the next year?
NT: A massive investment in network technology and security, expanding our PCI Compliance and HIPAA certifications, and working towards obtaining ISO 27001 certification.
We are enhancing our talent management program, including onboarding, education, and career development for our team members.
And we’re excited to be in the middle of site selection for an additional new site in Bogota, Colombia to accommodate the rapid growth that we’ve experienced.
These are all great initiatives that require an intense amount of time and financial commitment. But when managed correctly, the benefits will be shared with our clients, prospective clients, and team members.
In the meantime, we must keep learning from our peers and contributing expertise where possible. So you’ll find us in #ICMIchat, at ICMI conferences, and I’ll keep posting articles on LinkedIn. If you’d like updates, please follow me on LinkedIn, follow @Callzilla, or subscribe to Callzilla News at our website.
Think you have what it takes to win the award next year? Stay tuned! The application process will open this September. In the meantime, why not join us for ICMI Contact Center Demo? Sharpen your skills, network, and bring back new ideas that will bolster your success in 2018!