James Smith, Director of Major Markets
SYKES has been a proud partner to our client since 2014. So good has this been that it has seen significant growth across five years with SYKES now supporting the company in over 27 languages and 31 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Australia and South Africa.
Our initial partnership with the company in 2014 was to support UK customers across voice and email. SYKES now supports it from centres in Edinburgh, Berlin, Cluj and Brasov in Romania, Budapest, and Cyprus.
It is the sheer scale of that support which is at the heart of the partnership. For example, in English alone, we handle some 250,000 calls per month. In the UK alone, that’s 65,000 calls and 50,000 emails.
Across the client footprint, SYKES has some 800 heads, with an increasing number working from home in our innovative and very successful SYKESHome programme.
Our role is not simply to manage the account, but to improve service delivery and actively seek efficiency gains to optimise cost, adding value to the client. To that end we recently added three new locations and implemented support from homeworkers which now supports 39% of the business.
Over the past four years, we have handled 11 million calls, and 6 million emails, with each interaction monitored for quality and customer satisfaction.
But SYKES is not just judged on the accuracy and helpfulness of our customer interactions. Emails require a response within 24 hours, Twitter requires a response within five minutes, and chat between 20-30 seconds.
The employee journey
The majority of SYKES’ workforce is based in traditional contact centres, but we have also embraced the new dynamic of using technology to enable people to work from home. This programme is called SYKESHome.
This allows remote members of staff to work the hours that best suit them whilst achieving business efficiencies. SYKES is proud to have unrolled home working with, for example, veterans’ associations and Highlands and Islands Enterprise – giving valuable employment opportunities to people in rural or remote locations.
So far, we have some 200 FTE work-at-home employees across Europe, with plans to significantly increase those numbers by the end of this year.
Adding to the account’s complexity, and the quality metrics that we must deliver daily, are the uncertainties in customer support demand which means that total headcount can rise by up to 600 FTE during peak periods.
For example, last year we experienced unprecedented high call volumes, but we were able to quickly respond with changed work allocations and introduce new staff to the client working from Romania, the Netherlands, and Cyprus.
The partnership between SYKES and our client is therefore one of success, both in delivering quality and accommodating growth, across multiple countries, languages and platforms.
For more information, please get in touch!