18th Annual MVP Quality Awards

TMCnet News  |  February 01, 2011

This article originally appeared in the Feb. 2011 issue of Customer Interaction Solutions

For the 18th year, Customer Interaction Solutions is proud to present the winners of its prestigious MVP (Marketing via Phone (News - Alert)) Quality Awards.

Each year, award nominees represent the best of the outsourcing community, setting new standards for service quality and customer care by integrating the latest technology trends with time-tested practices for exceeding customer expectations.

Each candidate provides detailed information on its call center volumes, staffing, and technology, and completes an exhaustive 16-point essay detailing their policies and practices supporting their exemplary commitment to delivering sustainable quality across each of their programs. The essay includes company values as well as standards for quality measurement,

agent monitoring and coaching, employee care, and industry development, along with a case study detailing one program, including success metrics.

We congratulate this year’s winners, and are pleased to share some of the compelling comments from their essays that exemplify their continued drive for excellence and commitment to the outsourcing community.

Gold Award Winners:

Cross Country Automotive Services
Medford, MA
B-to-C Integrated Inbound/Outbound

How do you measure customer satisfaction?

We have improved our monitoring process to directly reflect the Voice of the Customer. We have redesigned our monitoring form to closely mirror the responses of our customers in the monitoring survey. The monitoring form was designed to measure the associate’s impact on the call. Supervisors score calls based on three mission critical questions:

1.     Should the customer leave the call with a positive impression based on Cross Country Automotive Services’ standards?

2.     Did the associate do everything to ensure first call resolution?

3.     Were critical internal processes/procedure s followed correctly?

We have moved away from point scoring to binary scoring. It is an all or nothing scoring method and, although more critical, it provides a more realistic look at success. Supervisors are able to coach to trends, rather than exceptions. This allows us to react to actual common themes versus one-off, one-time occurrences.

InfoCision (News - Alert) Management Corporation
Akron, OH
B-to-C Integrated Telephony/Web-enabled

What elements make it easy to do business with your firm?

Our Communicators act as brand ambassadors for our clients. InfoCision Communicators are skilled in every detail of their client s' background, ope rations and all aspects of the specific program they are working on. We are extremely selective in hiring only the very best Communicators. We have multiple team-oriented call centers at each of our facilities, and each center handles calls for a different division of the company. This allows us to match Communicators with the type of work they have the greatest interest in, and ensure they demonstrate the skills necessary to be successful.


Thomas L. Cardella & Associates
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
B-to-C Outbound

 How do you measure customer satisfaction?

A core mission at Thomas L. Cardella & Associates is to focus on executing the basics of contact center services correctly the first time-rework translates into lost opportunity for our clients and reduces their ROI as well as produces higher costs for us. One of the basics is client relationship management and serving as a guideline for all employees on how to best serve our clients is Tom Cardella' s pivotal list of “Twelve Steps to Effective Client Relationship Management.”

These Twelve Steps are more than a list. They are key elements in Tom’s vision for the company, shared by the management and passed on to call center personnel. Implicit in this list is a desire for long-term relationships because we have learned that keeping our focus on the long-term ultimately reduces costs. Long-term client relationships are critical to success but equally important in this industry, known for its turnover, are long-term employee relationships. The company places an equal focus on employee satisfaction, which results in a stable workforce that is more productive. A workforce that is more productive requires less re-training and, therefore, results in a cost savings not only to the company but also to the client.

Silver Award Winners:

Protocall Communications (News - Alert)
Laurel, MD
B-to-B Outbound

Specifically state your policies on quality and your company's philosophy/motto on Quality.

Our philosophy is simple: selling is customer service and the only good sale is a quality sale.

Outsourced clients are offered the best opportunity to exceed sales projections and achieve the

highest quality sales possible, while they solidify relationships with the customers through Protocall. The pursuit of quality – more than any other factor – drives Protocall's inventiveness .

Stream Global Services
Wellesley, MA
B-to-B and B-to-C Integrated Inbound/Outbound

What Do You Do For Customers That Give Them The Impression Of Quality And High Ethical Standards?

Stream takes predictive churn models one step further through predictive dissatisfaction modeling. For a consumer electronics technical support program, Stream analyzed the correlation between call disposition and customer dissatisfaction. We identified the key dissatisfaction drivers to be length of call, number of calls for resolution, and

complex order-taking/up-sell (hard-drive reformats or system replacements). Ranking these elements against each other, we were able to predict which customers were most likely to be dissatisfied with their overall service.

We trained our service professionals to review former contacts within the case management system to quickly assess a customer’s likelihood of frustration and created an outbound queue to contact those who are likely to be dissatisfied. This program has cut dissatisfaction by approximately 88%, and was adopted by the client for its internal centers and shared with competing third-party centers.

Synergy (News - Alert) Solutions, Inc.
Scottsdale, AZ
B-to-C Integrated Inbound/Outbound

How do you measure customer satisfaction?

We have found that the best way to measure customer satisfaction is through customer retention. Synergy Solutions is proud to have significant tenure with many of our clients and continues to work with several of our original clients.

Client referrals also serve as a testimony to customer satisfaction. Whether it is a client giving us a referral upon request when a prospective customer asks for one or even more importantly, when clients move to areas of new employment and proactively recommend that their new company partner with Synergy Solutions based on our history of quality.

The Connection
Burnsville, MN
B-to-C Integrated Inbound/Outbound

What do you do to demonstrate your commitment to staff quality?

In order to demonstrate our commitment to staff quality, we provide extensive training. Prior to answering a single telephone call, every newly-hired agent completes a New Hire training course that includes the following: History and philosophy of The Connection; Responsibilities to our Clients (i.e., customer service skills, sales skills, accuracy, confidentiality, boundaries of the call and standards of excellence); Client history and background; Call goals and objectives; Product/service overview; Q&A requirements; Online system script training; Up-selling; Assessing callers needs; Cross-selling ; Call control; Developing courtesy and listening skills; Internet and PC skills; and How to handle irate callers.

Bronze Award Winners:

Aegis Limited
Irving, TX/Mumbai, India
B-to-C Inbound

What elements make it easy to do business with your firm?

Aegis’ expertise in various verticals – including Financial Services, Banking, Telecom, Healthcare, Insurance, Energy and Utilities, Retail, Entertainment, and IT – facilitates the ease of doing business. Aegis provides quality voice-based support across many languages, such as

Spanish, English, Hindi, French, Tagalog, Bisaya, Kapampangan, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Telugu, Filipino, Arabic, Afrikaans, Tamil, Marathi, Punjabi, Oriya, Gujarati, Singhalese, German, Scandic, Mandarin/Fookien, and Italian.

Alorica Inc.
Chino, CA (News - Alert)
B-to-C Integrated Inbound/Outbound


What do you do for customers that gives them the impression of quality and high ethical standards?

Alorica’s standard project implementation methodology incorporates all activities necessary to implement a successful program. Activities include site preparation, system development, telecommunications and connectivity, hiring, training, testing and quality assurance. The detailed implementation plan includes tasks, responsibility ownership and target dates. The listing includes action items for both the Client and all departments within Alorica that will “touch” the program. The document serves to provide direction throughout the entire implementation and system development life cycle. Weekly status conferences are held to review the plan and the status of the pending items. Any additional issues that are best addressed as a team can be done through this forum.

NCO Financial Systems, Inc.
Horsham, PA
B-to-C Integrated Inbound/Outbound

What elements make it easy to do business with your firm?

IT investments are central to our long term strategy. Each of our objectives for growth and supporting seamless customer service requires different levels of spending. NCO has focused on achieving flexibility to meet the need of its various customer segments. The higher costs of this approach to IT management are offset by the benefits of innovation and our ability to respond to customers’ needs. NCO uses its investments in technology to provide consistent service across all customer segments. NCO’s continued success is matched to our spending levels related to improvements in IT strategy, not industry benchmarks.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi