Auckland based call centre at the heart of growth for Debitsuccess
1 June 2012
At a time when New Zealand businesses are continuing to send their call centre requirements offshore, one Auckland-based company is successfully reversing the trend, exporting its award-winning call centre services across Australasia and delivering outstanding growth.
Debitsuccess – New Zealand’s largest full-service direct debit payment processing company – has run a New Zealand based call centre since it began operations 17 years ago, providing membership billing services for health and fitness clubs.
Since that time, the company has expanded into Australia and added a wide range of non-fitness related industries to its client base, providing an end-to-end solution for their customer billing administration.
Wayne Pointon, Senior Operations Manager for Debitsuccess says while the company develops and manages a range of software and online business products for its clients, the beating heart of the company is really the 80-seat call centre, based at its headquarters in Northcote, Auckland.
“The customer service and credit control elements of our full service billing solution are what set Debitsuccess apart from competitors in the direct debiting space,” says Pointon.
The Debitsuccess call centre team currently handles anywhere up to 3,000 incoming calls and over 2,000 email and fax enquiries per day, while making over 3,000 outgoing calls to customers. Annually, Debitsuccess initiates over 15 million transactions for more than 1,200 businesses across Australasia.
Pointon says that while many companies in New Zealand and around the world are outsourcing their call centres to Asia, Debitsuccess has committed to having its own in-house call centre for both practical and patriotic reasons. “Although in saying that, we recently conducted a small internal survey and established that we have employees from 21 different countries. This not only gives the company a good cultural mix but also gives coverage for many different languages.”
“Having our call centre delivered from our New Zealand office means we can maintain day-to-day control over the service and the quality of the delivery,” says Pointon.
“But what’s more, as a New Zealand owned and operated business it is important to Debitsuccess that we support the New Zealand economy. Plus, there is a high quality of talent available here to work in this environment that allows us to deliver a high quality experience for our clients in Australia and New Zealand.”
Pointon says one such high quality individual is Siala Uepa-Holmes, Customer Service Supervisor for Debitsuccess’ call centre, who is responsible for overseeing all daily activity and training in the call centre.
Ms Uepa-Holmes, who has worked at Debitsuccess for 5 years, says that a key part of her task is to create a strong ‘family culture’ in the call centre team.
“Working in a call centre can come with its share of stress, but we work hard to build an atmosphere of trust so that the centre is also a fun place for staff to be. Then, if someone has a problem, they will feel empowered to talk with a team leader, or myself, to sort it out.
As well as regular professional training in service language and positive communication skills for their phone contact with customers, Debitsuccess arranges shared lunches, fun ‘theme’ days, and even regular massages and ice-block breaks for staff.
They also participate in regular community service days out of the office, go to boxing training together, and receive monthly incentives like rugby tickets, gift vouchers and quarterly bonuses for meeting KPIs.
“We also encourage humour and can often find ourselves laughing out loud with each other on many an occasion.”
Ms Uepa-Holmes says the result of Debitsuccess’ positive call centre culture is a high staff retention rate, with over 80% remaining on staff year on year. Some longer serving team members have been employed by the company for 10 years or more.
“The fact is people enjoy working at Debitsuccess. And when your team enjoys their work, they will do that work better.”
Wayne Pointon says it was the company’s approach to building a positive culture that helped secure Debitsuccess the Silver Award in the inaugural Credit Management Industry category at the 2011 CRM Contact Centre Awards, where Debitsuccess matched up against some very strong competition, including several international financial institutions.
“Our success and growth has resulted from having a clear vision of what we want to achieve as a company. A key part of that is ensuring our call centre team is well trained and cared for. This has been vital for creating a work environment that nurtures growth and the talent of the individuals within it.”
For more information about Debitsuccess, call 09-481 0498.
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