Three ways social responsibility in the call center impacts your bottom line

 

In today’s competitive environment, the business model for successful contact center outsourcing is changing. No longer are organizations making outsourcing decisions based predominantly on cost-cutting initiatives.

Instead Business Process Outsourcers (BPOs) have realized that to gain and grow customers, they need to offer excellent customer service and go above and beyond what was previously expected by clients.

Excellent service requires motivated, engaged and inspired employees who hone their skills over time. Employee turnover has always been a concern for BPOs where a continually revolving workforce disrupts client relationships and does not allow employees to become experts in their roles. While many successful BPO organizations have already increased pay and improved working conditions to enhance employee satisfaction, and in turn customer service, a new trend is also emerging – corporate social responsibility (CSR).

CSR programs are becoming increasingly popular in the BPO industry – viewed as a differentiator and a great means of attracting and retaining top talent. Here’s a look at three ways your own call center operations can benefit from CSR programs:

Employee retention

The bottom line benefits of CSR programs are numerous. Firstly from an employer perspective, CSR can positively impact employee attrition rates. A career in the call center industry can be demanding and speaking on the phone to frustrated customers, while viewing multiple calling screens, requires patience and talent. In countries where the BPO industry is booming – for example India and the Philippines – competition to retain the best agents is fierce.

That’s where CSR can help differentiate a company from its competitors, and enhance job satisfaction among employees.

CSR programs are becoming increasingly popular in the BPO industry – viewed as a differentiator and a great means of attracting and retaining top talent.

At TELUS International we host annual TELUS Days of Giving across the globe. This is where employees volunteer an entire day to bettering the communities in which they live and work. Thousands of our team members spend the day building homes, refurbishing day cares, or constructing entire schools from the ground up. We take great pride in mobilizing our employees to provide support where it’s needed most.

From an employee retention perspective, we’ve seen noticeable drops in annual attrition since implementing our CSR programs. While many factors are at play, we believe CSR is a key contributor to employee engagement and inspires our agents to stay working in our centers. Employees have an intrinsic drive to want to give back to their communities, and by creating opportunities for them to do so, our employees are more committed to the organization and proud to be part of our team.

Hidden talent

CSR also provides leadership opportunities to employees that they wouldn’t necessarily find in their typical day-to-day jobs. Community giving programs offer employees a chance to be challenged and energized, while developing skills beyond their current position. For employees, this can include leading a team in a volunteer program, managing a project, planning an event, or demonstrating their creative and strategic thinking by introducing new activities. Involvement in a CSR program can prove they have what it takes to lead.  For an employer, CSR programs offer a route for talented individuals already in the company to excel and prove they are ready for the next stage of their career.

Caring culture

CSR programs have the potential to instigate real social change in the communities in which BPOs operate. Often a CSR program is focused on helping a local community address basic needs such as housing, education and clean water. Such important programs in communities can noticeably enhance a company’s reputation along with employee pride, making it a sought after place to work.

While many factors are at play, we believe CSR is a key contributor to employee engagement and inspires our agents to stay working in our centers.

Furthermore, creating thousands of well-paid jobs, especially in the developing world, improves the stability of the community. People can build a more prosperous life for themselves and their families at home, rather than having to move away. These opportunities and the wealth in the community lead to the expansion of the middle class.

All of these factors have the potential to transform society in a profound way. This is not just a pipe dream; it is a snap shot of what’s happening in several emerging economies where BPOs operate today.

Key takeaways 

There can be many benefits from a CSR program. However to utilize the power of CSR, companies need to engage the majority of the workforce from C-level to the front line. Mass employee engagement fosters collective pride and a strong sense of purpose. When team members are engaged and proud of where they work, it shines through in delivering excellent customer experiences – and this, for certain, impacts the bottom line.

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Partner quote

Many BPO companies stop at corporate charity. They make the poor objects of charity. I think TELUS understands sustainability and solidarity. It's about empowering the poor to help themselves and one another.

Tony Meloto, Founder of Gawad Kalinga, Philippines

Did you know?

In 2017, over 11,300 TELUS International team members participated in our 11 TELUS Days of Giving events around the world.