When a company looks for a BPO partner these days, it is in order to outsource their day-to-day tasks, so they can reduce routine transaction costs, minimise their assets, and focus more on their core business. Because of digitalisation, the role of the contact centre also continues to change and this opens up more opportunities for us to create partnerships.” – Lim Chee Gay, Chief Human Resource Officer of Teledirect Telecommerce.
The business of outsourced contact centres has changed dramatically in the past few years. What used to be a cost-cutting solution for companies is now seen as playing a vital role in improving customers’ journeys and adding value to the overall customer experience.
Today, the contact centre – or Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) partner – is increasingly viewed as a strategic business unit of an organisation, and act as strategic partners to the brands that they serve.
One such example is Teledirect Telecommerce Sdn. Bhd., a leading business process services provider in Malaysia, who is partnering with clients from various industries such as high-end hospitality, world-class airline, upscale automobile, global internet leader, gourmet food and beverages and many more.
The company spares no expense to ensure that its employees are able to experience and understand the brands that they serve. Walk into the Teledirect office and one will immediately notice that they have modelled their workplace after their clients’ for instance, to have a café concept pantry, hammocks, as well as meeting rooms that are named ‘Gerai’, ‘Kopitiam’ and ‘Canteen’.
Lim Chee Gay, Chief Human Resource Officer, believes that by providing a casual working environment enables employees to deliver better solutions to their clients.
“We aspire to be the ‘best provider of customised solutions’ in business process services in the market. We specialise in the B2B business, and our group’s mission is to help clients to grow their sales or business. Our main point of difference is that we are able to customise solutions according to our client’s or business partner’s needs. For example, we run the entire risk management operations for high-end hospitality industry, including fraud investigation and prevention, which is a unique service for a contact centre, and we are continuing to expand the business that we do with them,” says Lim, who joined the Company in 2017.
Teledirect was first established at Singapore in 1995 by CEO, Laurent Junique. Subsequently, Teledirect experienced a rapid expansion into eight different regions across Asia and Europe including Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Philippines, Japan, China and Spain.
According to Lim, Teledirect started to venture beyond telemarketing into customer service whereby the Company experienced exponential growth four years ago with an average of 50% year-on-year, which was propelled further by digitalisation.
“Digital trends like social networking, cloud computing and analytics have disrupted the market and changed the way businesses operate. They have created many business opportunities for those in our industry. When a company looks for a BPO partner these days, it is in order to outsource their day-to-day tasks, so they can reduce routine transaction costs, minimise their assets, and focus more on their core business. Because of digitalisation, the role of the contact centre also continues to change and this opens up more opportunities for us to create partnerships.”
In a business where its people are key asset, Lim says that they have invested a significant amount of resources in hiring and retaining talent, from internal assessment tools to coaching and one-on-one mentorship programmes for their staff.
One of the Company’s flagship efforts is its job rotation programme, “Walk a Mile in Others’ Shoes”, in which employees are rotated to different department to experience different job scopes. He added that 30% of staff promotions are fulfilled internally, pointing to growth opportunities within the organisation.
When it comes to hiring, language and communication skill are among the top priorities. “We also look at qualities like curiosity to learn, learning agility, adaptability, creativity and the ability to collaborate with others. These are some of the crucial skills that our clients look for in the talents that work for them,” he shared.
Besides, Lim added that because of the nature of their business, Teledirect is one of the few companies that is aggressively recruiting in the current market. Having successfully tripled the workforce since he joined the Company to more than 2000 employees at present, he envisions tripling it again over the next three years, taking advantage of the current digital wave.
“For digitalisation to work we must think from a human standpoint, and consider the customer’s pain points, otherwise it won’t work. For us, one of the important things is to understand our client’s business. In fact, we have become a data point for our clients, where some of them actually understand their consumers through us. The data we gather helps them in launching new products, managing crisis and so on. Using analytics we can actually predict certain behaviour patterns for our clients, and this is one of the things that will keep us relevant in the future,” Lim said.