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Helene Ruda Aug 13th, 2020

CX Operations and Culture; The Secret Sauce of a Dynamic Brand


CX Operations and Culture

In today’s highly competitive marketplace, customer experience matters more than ever before. Customers have many choices in brands they choose to engage with, and can switch loyalties in a heartbeat. That’s why it is crucial for brands to engage with customer experience providers that deliver results and encourage customer loyalty.

With so many options to choose from, what are your brand’s differentiators? When pricing and products are very similar to other brands, customer experience is king.

How can a company improve their business operations and bottom line by improving their culture?

Happy employees are productive employees. When employees feel valued and heard, they are inspired to perform to their fullest potential. When employees perform at their fullest potential, they take care of clients, they go over and above to provide great solutions, and they represent the brand as a company that truly cares about their customers.
 

To understand Transcom’s investment in culture, we spoke with Mark Lyndsell, Regional CEO Global English.  In his own words:

Describe the culture at Transcom:

Evolving. It’s not something that sits still, and I think the key tenets underpinning it are building trust and operating with transparency. 

Especially when you’re operating across different time zones, geographies, and cultures, you have to do things that bind people together. The critical foundation of this is trust. Without trust, I think it’s impossible to run a business effectively.

Trust is a by-product of transparency. A few years ago, we operated in silos, and didn’t share important information with each other. So one of the first things we did when we initiated these changes were ‘State of the Region’ sessions, where we share what is going on with the company in different regions worldwide.

I would though say that Culture on its own is just one part of the puzzle and must be complemented with a coherent strategy for the overall business 

How do you get your employees to buy in on the company’s culture?

By always trying to lead by example and to drive a focus on behaviour above all things. 

Another key component, is to have a leadership team aligned on our culture and leadership values: 

  • Integrity: Emotional self-awareness and actualization
  • Authenticity: We try not to speak in corporate language, but in our own voice
  • Genuine concern: Entrepreneurial spirit
  • Courage: Learn from mistakes, have courage to make decisions and take risks
  • Excellence: Being the very best that we can be as individuals makes us the best team

Transcom is proud of its culture of equality. What makes that successful in your business?

We’ve put a lot of focus on emotional intelligence in our people, and expect self-awareness from everyone. We put our egos aside for the greater good. 

We are not interested in hierarchy, but rather, we focus on our common mission as a team. We are all about mission and purpose, not job title. This requires us to be very mindful and consequently there are not many examples of managers ‘pulling rank’ or using their job titles to move their ideas through.

How is the culture shift changing and improving Transcom?

A tangible output of investing in culture and people alongside having a coherent business strategy, is that it will provide better bottomline results.  

For example: a few years ago, we were hemorrhaging cash and for nearly eight years, my region never met its annual budget commitments. 

Since we overhauled our leadership team and started to focus on values and behavior in-conjunction with a clear strategy for the business, we’ve consistently improved our profit margins and have become consistent in delivering on our commitments to the Transcom board.

There is a tangible reward in creating a positive culture, connecting employees to mission and values, and to building trust and transparency throughout the organization.

During this lockdown, many companies have found themselves being called out on social media, there is no schadenfreude in me saying this, but as leaders we often reap what we sow.

At the outset of the lockdowns in the region we committed to protect our covenants whether written or unwritten with our team members and in so doing to also protect both our near and long term relationships with our clients.  More than that though we committed to doing so in a way that connects authentically and meaningfully with everyone involved, exceeds expectations, is better than our nearest commercial rivals and lasts positively in the memories of all concerned.  

Again, as a result of our very deliberate actions we are seeing clients grow with us in the midst of the pandemic and we are seeing our employee attrition drop considerably.

What are some of the biggest differences between Transcom and  your competitors?

At Transcom, we have a shared vision and a common mission with leaders, with well-developed levels of emotional intelligence. 

As well as delivering on the here and the now, we set our sights above the current timeline horizon and into the future, thus ensuring that we act intentionally understanding the long term effect of our actions.  I believe it’s also the lack of hierarchy and a flat structure that is a huge differentiator in our organization.  Our jobs as servant leaders is to support the people who work in our business driving our revenues, a sort of inverted pyramid in effect. 

We also believe in promoting from within and making space for our people to give feedback. We believe that employees should feel comfortable expressing how they feel and offering great ideas.

We are incredibly intentional when it comes to our culture, and I’m not convinced that all other companies in the BPO space are equally so, others may use culture as a form of marketing, where for us it is embedded into our very fabric and our DNA. 

How does Transcom’s culture translate to a benefit to clients?

I’ll give an example. We have a large telecommunications client with whom we had a difficult relationship and consistently average-to-poor performance.  

In fact, we often received reds and yellows, and very few greens on their internal scorecard, we were consistently inconsistent in our delivery of customer support and services to this major client. 

When we became intentional about improving our culture as a region and we overhauled our leadership team, this particular client saw an immediate improvement in both our day-to-day performance and also our relationship.

In the first year of this transformation they awarded us ‘Most Improved Vendor of the Year’, in the second year we actually won “Vendor of the Year”! 

Simply put, by being intentional around our culture and investing in its  transformation, we have improved our relationships with our people and our clients, we have seen top line revenues improve and we have seen consistent levels of healthy margin improvement at a bottom line. 

Where do you see Transcom moving in the future?

We continue to focus on a common purpose and a shared vision which is very much underpinned by a high growth agenda.   

It is always an opportunity to evolve and adjust the values of any group or organization  it's important to always re-evaluate. 

Our growth and our overall ambition levels are very high but we believe we have the talent and the drive to make this growth a reality over the next two to three year but doing so in a way that doesn’t dilute or damage our culture but rather enhances and evolves it further.

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