Among the Best in Class

  • Source: Event
  • Article Date: 4/12/2017

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For a contact centre, knowing its average call handling time, customer satisfaction scores and other key indicators are crucial. However, seeing how the contact centres measure up to their competitors gives them a more holistic picture of where they stand and how they can improve to stay ahead.

To benchmark itself against other industry players, the PETRONAS ICT Contact Centre (ICC) took part in the 18th Malaysian Contact Centre Awards 2017, by Contact Centre Association Malaysia (CCAM). This marked their second foray into the competition.

Buoyed by last year’s win at the 17th CCAM Awards​, the team submitted entries for seven categories in the 18th instalment of the awards and won three prizes.​
  1. Corporate Category: Best In-House Contact Centre (Under 100 seats) – Silver Award
  2. Corporate Category: Best Innovative Technology Adoption Award (Open) – Merit Award
  3. Individual Category: Best Contact Centre Manager (Under 100 seats) – Navdeep Chadha – Silver Award

ICC was also shortlisted for the finals in the following categories:
  1. Individual Category: Best Contact Centre Professional (Under 100 seats) – Farah 'Aziemah Kamran (finalist)
  2. Individual Category: Best Contact Centre Trainer (Open) – Saiful Nizam Kassim (finalist)
  3. Individual Category: Best Contact Centre Quality Assurance Specialist (Open) – Azwandi B Arif (finalist)
  4. Individual Category: Best Contact Centre Team Leader (Open) – M Asrul Nizam Ahmad (finalist)
  5. Individual Category: Best Contact Centre Team Leader (Open) – Maria Justin (finalist)

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​A display of all the prizes PETRONAS ICT Contact Centre won in the 17th and 18th Malaysian Contact Centre Awards in 2016 and 2017.

​Present at the awards and gala dinner on 30 September 2017, at Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur were PETRONAS ICT's ICC management team comprising General Manager of Operations Freddy Portier; Head of ICC Jessie Khoh; Head of Field Support Services Muhamad Zulkarnain Musa; Manager of Service Desk Operations and Quality Excellence Navdeep Chadha; Manager of Registrar and Incident Management Krishnamurthy Naidu AL Chinasamy; and Manager of Business Support Rubiah A Malik.

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​​PETRONAS ICT General Manager of Operations Freddy Portier (seventh from right) and Head of ICCJessie Khoh (sixth from right) led the ICC team in accepting the Silver award for Best In-House Inbound Contact Centre (Under 100 Seats) category.

A Sweet Victory

Winning Silver in the Best In-House Contact Centre (Under 100 seats) was a sweet victory for the team because they had their sights on this category since last year, and it is the most sought after award by every contact centre.

The Best In-House Contact Centre (Under 100 seats) award is conferred to the contact centre that has demonstrated best-in-class processes, resource management and implemented strategies that are tailored to the needs of the customer.

To Navdeep, receiving the awards is a recognition to the effectiveness “of our services at the national level. It is satisfying to know that we are on par with [the big players such as American Express Malaysia and DHL].”

“Receiving the Merit award for the Best Innovative Technology Adoption Award category was an added bonus because it was not our priority to repeat the Gold medal win,” he added.

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ICC Team Lead for Quality Excellence Azwandi B Arif (centre) accepted the Merit award for the Most Innovative Technology Adoption category from CCAM representatives.​

Although only Navdeep came away a winner for the individual categories – he won Silver for the Best Contact Centre Manager (Under 100 seats) category - the team was satisfied that all of ICC’s nominees for the Individual categories qualified for the finals.

“We pushed for more Individual submissions this year because we were confident [of the services we have delivered] and wanted them [our team members] to have the exposure,” said Navdeep.

Jessie mentioned in her congratulatory email to the team, “It is not an easy feat to reach the final round and you made it. You are all winners in our eyes!”

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ICC Manager of Service Desk Operations and Quality Excellence Navdeep Chadha (third from left) with other recipients of the Contact Centre Manager (Under 100 seats) award and CCAM representatives. Navdeep took home the Silver award. 
One Tough Fight

Indeed, qualifying for the finals of the competition is something to be proud of because competition was particularly stiff this year.

“We were up against 12 other companies, which included big names such as American Express Malaysia, DHL Information Services, Maybank, HSBC, Hong Leong Bank, Citibank and Teledirect Telecommerce, among others,” said Navdeep.

The Awards committee had raised the bar by putting all nominees through a gruelling entry process this year. They had to answer up to 50 questions in essay form and produce supporting documents for each question.

An Eye Opener

For ICC, competing with other key players was enough to expose the team to how rapidly technology changes in the contact centre industry.

“Within a year, some companies have leaped two steps ahead of us. This is good exposure for us because some of the winners this year have adopted technologies such as chatbot (a computer programme designed to simulate conversation with human users, especially over the Internet) and voice recognition features. This means that the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) [telephony menu system] can recognise clients through their voice. The clients do not need to key in their staff number or identification numbers anymore. We do not have this yet and are working on developing Chatbot,” said Navdeep.

“It was a new experience for me. I was glad that the judges showed keen interest in how [ICC] goes about upholding our quality and coming up with initiatives where we collaborate with those from other departments. A good example is when the ICC Quality Excellence team helps to convert a physical form into digital as part of (their Corporate Development). The judges find this interesting because it is not common for contact centre staff elsewhere to do so.” - Azwandi B Arif, Team Lead, Quality Excellence, ICC.

“It was a different experience being judged as compared to conducting training as a trainer. The judges were keen to know the impact that I have had (and the training that I gave) on the operations of a contact centre like ICC. I believe as a trainer, I help our agents improve their knowledge, achieve our Service Level of Agreements (SLA) target, increase user satisfaction and call-handling quality.” - Saiful Nizam Kassim, Senior Executive, Quality Excellence, ICC.

Polite and Professional

The timing of the win was impeccable – just days before the recent International Customer Service Week (2 October to 6 October 2017). 

To celebrate, ICC organised an Open Day on 5 October in conjunction with the International Customer Service Week and invited Group ICT leaders and key business users to listen in as the contact centre agents handle customer calls. The consensus among the visitors was that the agents handed all calls politely and professionally – qualities that undoubtedly contributed to the win.

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PETRONAS ICT Chief Operating Officer Izwan Hasli B M Ibrahim (right), posed with contact centre agent Dhilip during PETRONAS ICT Contact Centre (ICC) Open Day on 5 October 2017. During the event held in conjunction with the International Customer Service Week, Group ICT leaders and key business users had the chance to listen in as the agents handle customer calls.

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Maisarah Wan Mansor, a contact centre agent at ICC, donned a headset decorated with a tiara during the Customer Service Week celebration, which took place from 2 October to 6 October 2017.

Third Time Lucky?

ICC is not discounting the possibility of competing in the 19th Malaysian Contact Centre 2017 Awards and may participate in other categories that they have not competed in before. ICC believes in recognising top performers and will continue to nominate more employees for the individual categories.