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Archive for the ‘News from Centrinex’ Category


Centrinex’s New Office in the Firestone Building Epitomizes Everything Wonderful About Kansas City

From the windows of Centrinex’s new fifth floor office in the iconic Firestone Building, you can see all of downtown Kansas City. Turn away from the window, and you’ll see the “S” from the original Firestone sign on the wall. Each of the building’s floors has one of the letters installed as a reminder of the building’s history. It’s a creative space located in the hub of the eclectic and popular Crossroads Arts District. At night, the view is spectacular. During the day, it’s inspiration for our management team’s strategic planning sessions and where clients get a first-hand look at Centrinex’s services and capabilities.

“Our main location is located in the Kansas City suburbs. We started looking for space in the downtown area where we could showcase our first-class service for VIP clients. Downtown Kansas City has many historic buildings, and the Firestone Building gives our clients a real feel for all that Kansas City has to offer,” explains Bart Miller, Centrinex chief executive officer and owner.

The Firestone Building’s location is in the Crossroads, home to many art galleries, restaurants, shops and businesses, but it is also within blocks of the Kansas City Power & Light District, the largest new development project in the Midwest, and Crown Center, an established shopping and entertainment area, which is home to Hallmark Cards headquarters. Using the free streetcar system, visitors and employees have easy, convenient access to Kansas City from the River Market to Crown Center.

The building was built in 1915 for Firestone, the tire manufacturer, and it is now on listed on the National Register of Historic Places. According to history, when Harvey Firestone was asked why he chose Kansas City for the company’s largest structure to date, he replied, “Kansas City is going to be a great city. It has the location, the spirit, the enterprise, the transportation facilities and the great warehouse of resources on which to feed and grow.”

Firestone’s prediction for Kansas City became reality. “What Firestone saw in this area of Kansas City is the same reason we are drawn to do business here. They are essential to every business’s growth, and Centrinex is no different. We’re looking forward to hosting clients in our new office space, and impressing them with both the view and spirit, enterprise, and resources that make us a top tier call center solution,” says Miller.

Interested in learning more about Centrinex’s first-class call center solutions? Get in touch.

 

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Call Center Employees Receive More Than Job Training Through Centrinex University

Call center agents at Centrinex undergo extensive job training after they’re hired. Some of our customer service representatives who work on specific accounts not only receive training on our systems and processes, but also on our customers’ specialized protocols, which are tailored to their unique call center needs. The nature of working at a call center requires continuing education since technology and processes are always improving. But, there is more to life than work, and Centrinex University was founded to help encourage a healthy work and life balance by offering classes that apply to both.

Centrinex University is an on-site comfortable classroom setting. We understand that people have busy schedules and responsibilities on their shoulders, so courses are held conveniently during the week and on weekends, are voluntary and centered around topics that appeal to a wide variety of interests. Employees who attend the most courses receive a certificate of achievement at the end of the year. Certificates are awarded at a celebratory lunch in their honor.

Each course is led by an expert in the industry and lasts approximately an hour. Most recently, Centrinex employees could sign up to learn about:

  • The fundamentals of Excel spreadsheets
  • How to improve time management skills
  • Proper etiquette
  • Real estate for first time homeowners
  • Signs of domestic violence
  • How to dress for success
  • Sexual harassment
  • Beginning Spanish (ongoing course)

Education is a large part of Centrinex’s culture, but it’s more than job training that applies only to work. We created Centrinex University to give our employees the knowledge and tools that they need to excel in their professional development and their personal lives. Continuing education opens doors to new opportunities and sparks new interests, which makes a positive difference in career advancements and personal lives.

If you’re looking for a career at a call center where your interests are valued, learn more on our careers page.

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Centrinex Ready to Shake, Rattle & Roll in 2016

According to Chinese astrology, 2015 is the year of the surefooted goat. Skilled, confident and nimble describe goats, and those also apply to Centrinex’s business approach over the year. 2015 was a time of significant changes for Centrinex, a call center headquartered in Lenexa, KS. Not only did we grow our workforce to nearly a thousand, but also we heavily invested in our infrastructure – a new location, a new training center, a new backup system with multiple redundancies for emergencies and an upgraded workforce management program.

All of this was done in order to lay the foundation for 2016, ironically, the year of the monkey, which is associated with being ingenious, sharp and alert. 2016 is the year to lead.

Chinese predictions for the year to come aside, from a business perspective, a strong infrastructure is required for a leadership position. The piece that ties our customer service representatives to all the hardware is our workforce management program, which is integrated with our phone system.

Integrating the two allows us to offer a much broader and larger service at a much lower cost with a higher customer satisfaction rate.

Shaking things up 24/7
It comes down to accurate forecasting for tomorrow, the short term and long term. We’re able to input historical data going back days or years ago to forecast call volume so we know exactly how many agents we’re going to staff at any particular time.

We can analyze call volume down to the day and hour. For example, based on historical data we can determine that 10 agents are needed at 11:00 am, but only seven at noon and staff accordingly.

The benefit is that we can ramp up or down according to your needs – you’re not paying for idol agents, and you’re not sacrificing your customers’ satisfaction by keeping them on hold due to limited agents available.

Upping the numbers doesn’t rattle us
The ability to forecast for the long term means we can hire the best qualified agents three months in advancing, providing plenty of training versus hiring a week ahead and making do.

With our network capability, Centrinex can go from 300 to 900 without a hitch. Hardware and software are in place and ready to roll, it’s what we did in 2015 and can do it again in 2016. While the number of customer service agents increases, call time decreases from over a minute to a few seconds. Agent productivity is up thanks to our upgraded workforce management program that allows customer service reps to multitask, handling web chats, emails and calls simultaneously.

Not just any monkey
Not just any monkey can do what our agents do everyday for clients across the federal government, financial services, seminar groups, inbound customer service sectors and more. Not just any monkey accurately forecasts call volume, has highly trained agents on staff at the right time, and integrates workforce management into our system for increased productivity and customer satisfaction and cost efficiencies.

Make 2016, the year of the monkey, the one take the lead. We can help. Give us a call.

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Multimedia Boosting Call Center Agent Productivity

We didn’t start off with nearly 1,000 customer service representatives. We didn’t open with three locations. Like many companies, we were a startup in 2005. You could count the number of employees we had on two hands. That goes for our number of clients back then too.

Fast-forward a decade, and today Centrinex is one of, if not the leading contact center in the U.S. We’ve navigated a recession and managed growth along the way. As the Beatles song goes, “We get by with a little help from our friends.”

All businesses “get by” with the support of their vendors. When you’re a call center, one of your most important vendor relationships is with your phone service provider. For us, that’s Mitel.

What’s good for us is better for you
“Our growth involved hiring more customer service agents and adding additional phone lines, which required a system that could handle the increased load. Mitel was able to match us stage by stage as we grew and supported us in reaching the next level. Any time a company grows, you have to pause and make sure you have the people, equipment and technology in place to move forward. Historically, Mitel has provided the solutions we needed. Having them as a resource makes growing from 1,000 to two, three or four thousand is far easier,” explains Bart Miller, Centrinex founder and CEO.

It’s common for companies to showcase their customer success stories in case studies. When Mitel needed a testimonial of how they can improve agent productivity, they turned to us. Bart is featured in a video, describing the solutions we use to serve our customers across the federal government, financial services, seminar groups, and inbound customer service fields.
Our customers “get by” with our help
And by “get by” we really mean succeed and grow. In the contact center environment, having highly trained and skilled customer service representatives is critical to your business. But technology is what we rely on to ensure our reps can be more productive and interact with your customers – efficiently, quickly and via their preferred channels.

Working on a multimedia platform, our call centers have not only boosted productivity, but also increased customer satisfaction. With these features, our customer service representatives can handle multiple customer interactions at a time and resolve issues more quickly. These capabilities include:

  • Web chat
  • SMS
  • Social media
  • Email
  • And of course, phone

Calls that once logged 1 minute, 30 seconds are wrapped up in 10 to 15 seconds. Yet, customer satisfaction increases because we’re interacting with your customers in their preferred means of communication. Plus we can perform more work on your behalf in less time. It’s truly a win-win situation.

A chain reaction
Because we receive best-in-class technology solutions from vendors like Mitel, we are able to provide that same quality of service to our customers. In turn, with our call center solutions, you have the resource you need to offer the best contact center service. Your customers are satisfied and spurs growth to the point your success is case study worthy. It’s a positive chain reaction and how business should be.

 

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One-third of All Loan Applicants Don’t Click “Submit”

Centrinex’s customer service representatives are empowered to find out why and save the business

The online loan application process is purposely streamlined for the customer’s convenience, yet there is still a 10 to 15 minute time investment involved. Approximately one-third of loan applicants complete the application without officially submitting it for approval.

Why?

There could be any number of reasons why applicants abandon the loan process after filling out the application. Maybe dinner is ready. Maybe the kids needed attention. Perhaps the phone rang. Perhaps it’s a matter of cold feet and the applicant just isn’t convinced that your product is the right solution.

The point is that you will never find out unless you ask. No one is in a better position to do that than a highly trained and dedicated customer service representative (CSR).

Clearly, the applicant is interested in your loan product if he or she took the time to complete the online application. So why accept that one-third of your business is gone for good – poof? Centrinex CSRs contact the applicant immediately. No, our CSRs are not salespeople. But they are trained in your product. They understand all of the options, and they can walk an applicant through the final decision process.

More importantly, our CSRs are empathetic people, trained to discuss the applicant’s goals and offer advice on specific products to ensure the applicant gets the financial solution best suited to him or her.

Is it a successful approach?

Here is what we know:

  • One-third of all applicant’s do not click the “submit” button after spending 10 to 15 minutes filling out the online loan application
  • Our customers achieve a 15 to 20 percent higher conversion rate after our CSR immediately contacts applicants who have abandoned the application

Those are some impressive statistics, which just goes to show how important having engaged CSRs is to your business. Hiring and retaining committed CSRs is why Centrinex is ranked one of the top call centers in the U.S.

Interested in saving up to 33% of your loan applicants? Trust our CSRs to follow up with your customers.

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It’s Customer Service Appreciation Time…

Gimme a “C.” Gimme an “S.” Gimme an “R.”

What’s that spell? CSR! 

CSW2015logoforwebCustomer service representatives (CSRs) are the backbone of any contact center. They are the people on the frontlines making sure that your customers are happy and satisfied. They are often the ones who are responsible for either your customers loving or hating your company, based on how a call is handled. Clearly, a lot of “customer service” weight rests on their shoulders.

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New NACHA Rules Take Effect September 18, 2015

Not too long ago, we published a blog regarding the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) and new rules that would soon take effect. NACHA is a group that governs automated clearing houses. The new guidelines will be imposed and enforced by this association beginning September 18th.

NACHA Rules No Second Chances to Play

NACHA’s new guidelines bring great change in the market, capping total ACH returns to 15% with no exceptions. It is apparent the association means business with this new rule. If you try to push past the 15% allowed by NACHA, the ACH provider may choose to terminate transaction privileges, suspending business entirely.

Out with the Old and In With the New NACHA Guidelines

These new changes have lenders saying goodbye to their old school methods of pushing transactions, knowing they will like be returned, but hoping for payment anyway. Under the new NACHA guidelines, this haphazard approach not only racks up expensive consumer service fees for the borrower, but also costs the lenders any hopes of securing another ACH provider.

Is Strategy Needed to Survive New NACHA Rules?

This new legislation enforcing NACHA’s No Second Chances is particularly disturbing to lenders who offer short-term or installment loans. With these high stakes, precautions must be made to ensure lender transactions will clear with ACH providers. Lenders in this market cannot split loans into several payments due to the 15% cap now being imposed.

Obviously, short-term and other high-risk lenders need to make some strategic moves to roll with NACHA punches. These lenders will strategize by becoming more selective when approving customer loans, and learn to recognize when it is in their best interest to chalk attempted ACHs up as a loss. Still more lenders will team up with more powerful companies capable of developing and utilizing more effective ACH strategies approved by NACHA.

Centrinex Strategy for NACHA Approval

Clients requesting loans can depend on Centrinex to follow the letter of the law, ensuring ACH authorizations are approved while providing superior service and support that customers can rely on. Loan requests are immediately scrutinized for errors while ensuring all signatures and consent forms are properly filled in, avoiding steep penalties and other severe consequences.

New NACHA Policy has been Standard at Centrinex for Years

Centrinex has been reviewing ACH debit transactions to avoid unnecessary bank fees long before NACHA passed these new guidelines and 15% cap. The bank is the only organization that benefits from these fees, as excessive overdraft fees via ACH debits are considered bad business. Not only are these transactions costly to the customer, but also very upsetting and can get the lender in trouble with NACHA and other organizations. In unison with NACHA, Centrinex strives to avoid ACH abuse while remaining dedicated to consumers.

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Centrinex Sponsors Luncheon Featuring Sugar Ray Leonard

Centrinex Proud to Sponsor SportsFest Luncheon Featuring Boxing Legend Sugar Ray Leonard

JULY2015SUGARRAYAnd yes, some of our call center team and executives had the chance to talk to and take photos with the sports legend! Centrinex, a Lenexa, KS-based contact center, is a long-time sponsor of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, supporting events at Sporting Park and Kauffman Stadium. When the opportunity to support the Clubs’ first annual SportsFest Luncheon to support the Clubs’ youth sports programs arose, our CSRs and managers jumped at the chance to be a part of the fundraiser. SportsFest was held on July 9, 2015 at Arrowhead Stadium’s North Club.

The Kansas City Royals teamed up with Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City to bring Sugar Ray Leonard to Kansas City for the afternoon event. The boxing legend grew up seeing lives affected by violence and crime. He joined his local Boys & Girls Club and the rest is history as he went on to become one of the most celebrated boxers of all time.

Sugar Ray Leonard participated in a question and answer session. Also, the Clubs awarded Bonnie and Herb Buchbinder with the John J. ‘Buck’ O’Neil Diamond MVP Award. The award is presented annually to the Clubs sports programs’ Most Valuable Player in tribute to Buck O’Neil’s leadership, perseverance, and support of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City.

Funds raised through SportsFest supports close to 2,000 Kansas City children aged 5-18, and 100 percent of the money raised stays right here in the area. According to the press release issued by the Clubs, “For many youth, however, developmental or competitive sports are not easily accessible. Expense and transportation problems are often barriers to children from low-income households participating in physical activities. The Boys & Girls Clubs’ multitude of affordable and quality sports programs, are an important resource in helping youth develop and maintain a more physically, mentally, and emotionally fit lifestyle.”

Our contact center also is involved with Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI). RBI programs have been started in more than 200 cities worldwide, including Kansas City, and annually give over 260,000 underserved inner city boys and girls the chance to play baseball and softball.

Centrinex supports many nonprofit organizations across Kansas City, including Synergy, Community Linc, Higher M-Pact and of course the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, which is especially near and dear to Centrinex CEO, Bart Miller’s, heart. Our entire call center gets behind these organizations because they make our entire community a better place to live and work.

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Explosive Growth to Take Centrinex from 300 to 1000 CSRs

Our Lenexa, KS based contact center employed 300 customer service representatives in May 2015. Come June, we hired over 600 new employees. In August, we expect to be 1,000 strong, thanks to a new call center contract we secured recently.

Explosive growth at this rate and timeframe requires three things: more call center space, a significant investment in new technology and the ability to recruit and train at lightning speed.

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TMC Names Centrinex / Novasors as CUSTOMER Top 50

TMC has announced via CUSTOMER magazine the rankings of teleservices and business process outsourcing providers every spring for three decades now. For this 30th anniversary, we decided to throw our hat in the ring against other contact centers to see how Centrinex / Novasors ranked.

In April, the results were published, and here is how Centrinex / Novasors fared:

  • 13th in Domestic Inbound Ranking
  • 14th in Domestic Outbound Ranking
  • 17th in Global Aggregate Ranking

According to the article, “These rankings are derived from the details gathered from an exhaustive application process, through which teleservices and BPO providers quantify their service delivery in terms of minutes of usage in their various locations. Through 30 years of consistency in processing and evaluating these applications, these rankings have become the benchmark for businesses seeking high-capacity teleservices agencies. Importantly, we recognize that volume isn’t – and, indeed, shouldn’t be – the sole criteria for selecting a vendor. We believe it remains a criterion in many decision-making processes.”

More about the Ranking Criteria

The primary factor in TMC’s rankings is agency size, based on annual call volume. Therefore, it relies on measurable, third-party-verifiable data to determine agency rankings. Specifically, agencies are ranked based on the number of minutes each was billed by each of its phone companies for telephone services for the previous 12 months.

About the Qualification Process

Qualifying teleservices agencies in this year’s program were required to submit responses to a detailed questionnaire, indicating the nature of their operations and listing the number of billable minutes for the 12-month period from November 1, 2013 through October 31, 2014.

Verification, in the form of the signature of each agency’s president/CEO, was required, in addition to a letter of verification from each of the telephone service providers used, certifying the number of minutes for which the providers billed the agencies during the evaluation period.

The Commitment and Approach Behind the Numbers

We’re honored to be ranked among the top call centers in the country, and of course, that didn’t happen by accident. Centrinex / Novasors handles 1.6 million calls every month. That level of volume requires over 550 qualified customer service specialists, working at our 47,000 square foot call center headquartered in Lenexa, KS.

We are a performance-driven company focused on domestic contact center services at affordable pricing. All of our services are supported by in-depth analysis and detailed reporting, so managing campaigns or customer service approach offers flexibility. More than simply a call center, Centrinex / Novasors helps our customers:

  • Reduce call center overhead
  • Grow their business while utilizing industry call center best practices
  • Improve their bottom line
  • Provide detailed metrics and consulting services

Being one of the top 50 call centers in the country based on billed minutes is remarkable. However, it’s our personalized approach to meeting customers’ goals and expectations that makes Centrinex / Novasors truly stand out.

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