We invited Sergio Augusto Rodsevich on his view on today’s Call Center in Latin America. It’s a pleasure to have his testimony and a critical and comprehensive analysis to help Call Centers begin to think about adopting best practices.
1. A little about yourself: What motivated you to begin to analyze the Call and Contact Center world and how long have you been devoted to doing this?
I remember that at the beginning of the 90’s, there was a vacancy in the National Bank of Lavoro and I went to fill the post as the head of Contact Centers. Without understanding what it was about, I rapidly asked for help from everyone that I knew and realized that this was going to be my professional world. This was just at that time when the Automated Telephone began, based on IVR systems.
Next, I went to take on the the AFJP Generate Telemarketing Department. From there it was an uninterrupted path in various business aspects: In-House operations, outsourcing operations and consulting and teaching since 2004.
2. What has worried you most about what happens in Call Centers? What they lack to improve or where the participants are most unhappy in this field.
From my perspective we are living in a profound ”Technosocial” revolution. We are operating with set practices pertaining to the industrial society and the challenge is to operate within the paradigm of societies knowledge.
We need to understand that work is done where the worker is. Ubiquity, Management 2.0. We are operating in turbulent, changing environments.
Until the activity should be redefined: We speak of the ”Call Center”….Is center the best term that applies? Shouldn’t we look for new meanings to new working environments?
3. In the conference you offered in August last year in Bogotá you touched on many important points and one of the things that you made us realize is that today many Call Centers lose sight that the roots of the organizational chart of a company are: Human capital, organizational culture and technological platforms. What tips can you give us to strengthen these areas?
From my perspective, the order should be: People, Processes, Technology.
People: ”People for People”. We must dedicate 99% of our time to our people, our team, our clients.
The cost of turnover is extremely high, we must have processes that let us orient ourselves to focus on Talent Management Processes. ”Attract, Develop, Loyalty”.
Processes: We can simplify it with What and How. My experience tells me that this is a land of many opportunities for improvement.
Technology: The scaffolding to support the assembly of these three vital processes determines the success of the business.
4. Another important point you mentioned is that Diversity Management is something companies must take into account today. Do you see this great challenge that faces those who manage diverse groups as a learning opportunity? Can you tell us where the opportunity originates?
Four generations, four challenges.
Presently, we have the Generation Y, born at the beginning of 1980, it’s a native digital generation.
In my time, if I missed a day at school my mother would tell me: ”Did you call John/Jane Doe to ask for the homework?” Today, any Generation Y member in the same situation will feasibly respond with: ”I already connected to Facebook and they sent it to me”.
Flexibility should be a skill for everyone who is currently transitioning with this industry. And, we should also be prepared to ”unlearn” constantly.
From the management perspective, diversity means a challenge of how to manage 4 universes with four different codes (emotions/expectations).
5. What most excites you to continue this path to investigate and analyze the reality and practices inside the Call Center?
I am part of this ”call center” world and I have a passion for the people who are part of the industry.
6. And lastly: What ”urgent” advice can you give us based on your experience, to be able to improve life inside the Contact Center?
A simple formula to apply immediatly: ”(-) Me / (+) Us”.
Bachelor of Computer Science degree from the University of Argentina de la Empresa. Post-grad in Project Management from the University of Belgrano Argentina. Operations Training for Latin America in Denver Colorado (Teletech USA). Director of Professional Development Seminary Tele-Sales of the University of Belgrano. Director of Call Center Management in Ecuador, Guatemala and El Salvador. Co-Author of the Call Center Management book ”Towards the D Zone”. Co-Author of the Call Center Management book ”Converging Paradigms”.