Calgary employer recognized for customer service excellence

Director credit's training investment, workplace culture for successes

Calgary employer recognized for customer service excellence

A contact center in Alberta has recognized for its customer service work in 2022 – just over two years since its inception.

For its First Call Resolution (FCR) performance, ATCOenergy won the internationally awarded Call Centre World Class FCR Certification by SQM.

The certification program – done via survey – determines which contact centers, supervisors, and agents are performing at the world-class customer satisfaction and FCR levels. To provide the certification to contact centers, SQM conducts a survey of 800 customers to find out if the company resolved 80 per cent of customer calls on the first call. Companies must sustain this standing for at least three consecutive months.

More than 66 per cent of ATCOenergy’s active advisors received the award.

“Considering [that] we're only a two-and-a-half-year-old contact center, we're quite proud of this achievement,” says Peter Kelava (pictured above), senior director for customer happiness & operations at ATCOenergy, in talking with Canadian HR Reporter.

“Our team is focused on customer happiness and successful call resolution. For example, we aren’t trying to measure the length of the call. What’s more important is resolving the customer’s specific inquiry to their satisfaction.”

Previously, one human resources official shared her employer’s secret to being an award-winning company.

‘A development journey’

Kelava credits the company’s efforts in providing the right training to customer care representatives.

“Our team is focused on creating a customer-centric culture, whether that is through our extensive in-house training program, or providing our advisors with tools to empower them to resolve issues easily for customers.”

To provide the kind of training that delivers such a result, the company came to the realization that it’s “a development journey”, not a one-off, says Kelava.

“Step one is just when they first onboard and have the initial training. But then, it's the realization that this development journey needs to continue.

“We do view it as an investment. And we spend up to seven weeks training our new people – a combination of classroom training and real world examples. So not only do they get the technical [skills], but they also get quite significant soft skills training that really focuses on bringing humanity to the interaction.”

Training at ATCOenergy also focuses on in-depth knowledge around the energy market in Alberta, so advisors can help customers navigate the ever-changing energy landscape. 

Here’s how to create a winning learning and development strategy, according to one expert.

Another key ingredient in providing workers training that ensures their success is having “a great structure and a platform for delivering our training,” says Kelava.

“Our people have the tools in the cloud available to them anytime, anywhere.”

Learning and development can be a great retention tool, according to a previous report.

Recruiting decision, company culture

Before ATCOenergy can deliver the training to workers, however, they must find the workers.

In this regard, hiring people who would be a great fit with the company is key, Kelava says.

“You need to have a great package that's going to attract people, you need to have a great process on how you help both parties determine if it's a great fit. And I think that that's probably the best way of doing that.”

A recent industry webinar — hosted by Jeffrey Smith of Canadian HR Reporter — provided HR professionals with the essential tools and strategies to overcome the most pressing struggles affecting the hiring landscape today.

And the employment experience only starts from there. ATCOenergy also boasts a culture that’s built with workers, says Kelava.

“It's everybody's culture, and this workplace is here for all of us. That notion of listening to each other is very critical for us. And part of that is being able to build that culture.” 

Based on the feedback that they got, ATCOenergy found out that giving back to the community is of utmost importance to their workers.

They, therefore, created programs such as paid volunteer days, Pride events and clothing and food drives for the community.

Peer-to-peer recognition programs is also a staple at the company.

“Our ‘You Shine Awards’... is an internal program where we can recognize each other for the great work that we do.”

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