The company’s advocates make each customer interaction personal and helpful.
“We don’t think we’re in the call center business, we’re in the business of helping brands create great relationships with their constituents.”
Just the mention of a call center probably gives you a vision of rows and rows of cubicles full of people in identical polo shirts asking if the person on the other end has restarted their device yet. For some companies, that’s exactly what you’ll find.
Not at HKT Teleservices.
“It’s a dichotomy of sorts: we’re a brand within a brand,” said Dave Shapiro, President of HKT Teleservices (US). “Our employees see the HKT sign on the door, their paychecks are from HKT, their benefits from HKT. However, we truly want them to become an advocate for the brand they work on. They adopt the culture, the passion, and DNA of the company, our client.”
Through its efforts to customize both client services and their consumers’ experiences, HKT Teleservices looks nothing like its competitors.
Advocates Running Engagement Centers
HKT Teleservices has what you would consider call centers. Internally, however, they are known as “engagement centers”. According to Gartner, 89 percent of brand loyalty decisions are not determined because of products, but because of consumer service and experience.
The companies that provide those experiences will thrive; those who see customer experience as a necessary evil will fail.
These engagement centers provide more than telephone service. After all, that’s only one channel for communication.
“We want to be the hub connecting every channel,” Shapiro said. “HKT is more than someone calling an 800 number. Millennials don’t want to pick up the phone. From email to text/SMS, to social media, to chat, we provide the best experience for customers of the brands we serve.”
One of HKT Teleservices’ clients participates heavily in the e-commerce market. It sells products as an employee benefit, offering large companies the opportunity to allow employees to purchase products via payroll deduction. Previously, HKT worked with them on telephone calls and emails.
But that’s not where the present or future of communication is. HKT recommended the company get into chat.
“Immediately the chat volume grew and email diminished,” Shapiro said. “We offered a channel that the client’s customers wanted to use. As the immediacy of communication increased, so did customer satisfaction and sales.”
Advocating for the Customer and ConsumerWithin the company’s engagement centers are not customer service representatives but “advocates”. Since these HKT employees advocate for the brand they represent and the consumer, the moniker fits.
“‘Customer service representatives’ feels old and stodgy, and I think conveys a bad image. Our advocates’ job is to make sure that when the consumer interaction ends they go away with their problem resolved or, at the very least, feeling like they have been treated fairly and appropriately,” said Shapiro.
You won’t find HKT advocates offering a scripted, stilted response to consumer questions. HKT empowers its advocates so that they can truly resolve problems for the consumer.
There are several ways in which HKT Teleservices affirms its advocates provide the best service possible.
Some of HKT’s competitors in the field work under a shared mode--employees answer calls for numerous brands as they come in. HKT’s advocates work for one dedicated client to become experts in the brand, its mindset, and its clients’ needs.
For an online garage sale company, HKT’s advocates are not just avid users of the system but often sell and buy things through the app. A hospitality/shared economy client invited one of HKT’s advocates that worked on its brand to be a brand ambassador for the organization at an event the client was sponsoring.
“We don’t want the advocates to just learn the client’s product, we want them to live it, to see and feel and touch the whole brand experience,” shared Shapiro.
Technology also empowers those at HKT’s engagement centers. Nobelbiz—the cloud contact center, business intelligence, call routing, and customer engagement software provider for HKT Teleservices—provides the company with tools to help customize the experience for the company’s customers and consumers.
“We are the architects, the designers, the ones standing at the whiteboard figuring out how we can improve our customer experience. Nobelbiz helps us fulfill that,” said Shapiro. “It’s a great tech company that provides the backbone and support for a lot of our endeavors.”
HKT Teleservices uses analytics to find out which advocates are better with specific groups of consumers based on demographics. Nobelbiz then provides the customized call routing tool that allows the company to route specific calls to the most effective advocate.
Customized Office SpaceIt doesn’t stop there: even the workplace for HKT’s advocates is customized to fit the specific brand for which they work.
The world’s largest hospitality company in the share economy space—known for its belief in belonging anywhere—exudes inclusiveness. For the 500-plus advocates who service this account, the workspace includes breakout areas, lounge chairs, a gazebo, and even a replica of a Parisian streetscape.
“We go out of our way to create things that feel like they fit the brand […] the client feels like they are in their own home office,” Shapiro said.
The marketplace is demanding this level of customization. Consumers and employees alike are looking for the experience, and HKT Teleservices provides it.
“We do more than fill a role,” said Shapiro. “We proactively try to find unique and innovative ways to enhance customer experience. Our goal is to make it easier to communicate, and I think we do a great job of providing this service.”
HKT’s customer-driven approach is clearly working. By fully aligning with client needs and using analytics and business intelligence, HKT ranks at or near the top in customer satisfaction for most of the brands it serves.
“It’s good to see that our business instincts were right,” said Shapiro. “You have a feeling it will work, but you don’t really know until the numbers come in. Thankfully, now we know. “
HKT Teleservices is a world-class global contact centers and business process outsourcing (BPO) provider skilled in all facets of voice and non-voice customer services, technical support, sales, retention, and other business processes. Our 24/7 operation, supported by state-of-the-art technologies, world-class management practices, and operational processes, contacts customers in languages that make up over half the world’s population. Our flexible business model is designed to meet client requirements and maximize opportunities from every contact.
Leading local and Fortune 500 companies have aligned with our network of multi-channel contact centers throughout the Unites States, Hong Kong, mainland China (Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Chongqing, and Shenzhen), the Philippines, and Panama and to meet today’s challenges; bringing in benefits to improve service quality and customer satisfaction, increasing revenue generation, cost efficiencies and strengthening market competitiveness.