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A Contact Center’s Performance is Only as Good as the Team Behind It

August kicks off Centrinex’s “What’s My Story?” extravaganza

Behind every high-performance company stands (or stood) a leader (or group of leaders) whose victories (and failures) make it what it is today. Take the late Steve Jobs for example.

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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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Maximizing CSR Productivity With Checks & Balances

An extra five minutes at break time. Ten minutes late returning from lunch. It doesn’t seem like 15 minutes is a big deal. But when you’re paying customer service representatives (CSRs) to man a call center by the minute, those extra minutes add up quickly. Every minute CSRs are not on the phones is a minute lost, but paid for. Imagine 900 CSRs taking an extra 15 minutes a day. That’s 225 hours of paid time not worked. Every day.

How do contact centers ensure CSRs are working when they are supposed to be working? For smaller contact centers, monitoring time is an easier feat. For large call centers like Centrinex, keeping tabs on nearly 1,000 CSRs takes having managers and processes in place. It also requires a serious focus on establishing expectations and a system of checks and balances.

Here’s how Centrinex monitors your CSRs

Our call center executives and managers set clear expectations from the start. Should a CSR habitually arrive late to work, return late from lunch or breaks or take extra time away from the phones, the issue is addressed immediately. Otherwise, it appears that we’re giving our permission to take extra time throughout the day.

With nearly 1,000 CSRs on the call center floor, it’s impossible to keep tabs on everyone’s schedule. Rather than managers wondering where a CSR is at any given moment, we post schedules at each station for each person. Rather than ask another CSR where someone is, we can look at the schedule and know for certain.

Centrinex partners with a third-party that conducts regular spot checks. This company analyzes our CSR time reports using a workforce management solution. Any time discrepancies or abnormal trends are reported and immediately discussed with the CSR.

Our CSRs are always logged into our phone system or our clients’ websites. The system and sites allow for tracking time down to the second. Reports are run and time spent on various tasks is assessed. This not only helps us train our CSRs on productivity, but also provides a granular view of how much time is spent on specific activities.

Effectively monitoring time boils down to having solid checks and balances in place, then quickly addressing any issues that surface. Centrinex protects our clients’ spend by spending our time and resources on tracking where CSRs are and what they’re doing.

It’s a fine line between being overly watchful, which can make CSRs feel as though they’re not trusted and providing a comfortable work environment where CSRs want to stay. Given our low turnover rate, we’ve mastered how to make CSRs accountable in a fair way.

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Get a Centrinex / Novasors Shark Fin Hat at T-Bones’ Shark Weekend

Centrinex / Novasors is the proud presenting sponsor of Shark Weekend at the Community American Ballpark, home of the minor league Kansas City T-Bones. You’re humming the Jaws theme song in your head already, aren’t you?

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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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“I Went to the T-Bones Game and Got A Great Call Center Job”

Centrinex / Novasors, one of the country’s top 50 contact centers, is a proud sponsor of the Kansas City T-Bones baseball team for the 2015 season. The sponsorship makes sense considering the similar environment both organizations strive to create and maintain: fun, energetic and an enjoyable place to be.

Bart Miller, CEO and owner of Centrinex / Novasors, explains, “Sponsoring the Kansas City T-Bones was an easy decision to make and a partnership that makes sense for us. The T-Bones games attract the type of fans we like to hire as our customer service representatives. The type of people who appreciate a friendly and fun place where they can rally around each other for a common goal. At the ballpark, it may be a win. But at our call center, it’s about working in a family-type atmosphere and truly helping our customers.”

Next time you’re out at the park, check out the Centrinex / Novasors banner displayed above the pitching bullpen out in left field. And keep an ear open for some pretty snappy scripts we’ve written for the T-Bones announcer.

Centrinex / Novasors – It’s Where to Work

We’re one of the leading call centers in the country because we recruit and promote leaders. We have Centrinex University, which helps our customer service representatives excel in time management, leadership, interviewing skills and more. It’s how our employees grow and succeed in their careers. Graduate with the top score, and you’ll be treated to dinner with the management team.

A fun recognition program honors employees’ attitudes, efforts or results that coincide with our company goals and values. People want to be respected and valued for their contributions, and that’s only fair.  Don’t be surprised if you receive a compliment from a customer and see it blown up on a poster hung on the wall.

It’s hard to stay motivated doing a job where you don’t feel appreciated by co-workers or managers. Celebrating the successes and work well done can really make our call center stand out. Our employees mean the world to us, and we do what we can to let them know that. We work hard and play hard from FitBit competitions to Corporate Challenge teams, occasional catered lunches, and more.

While we’d like to give away T-shirts to every fan at every with the slogan “I Went to the T-Bones Game and All I Got was This Exciting Call Center Career,” we’ll have to settle for offering good candidates an equally good career opportunity where there is a chance to move into management positions.

Don’t want to wait to go to the T-Bones game? You’re in luck! You can apply now. Right here.

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OLA Spring Summit 2015 Update

OLA Spring Summit 2015: Where The Industry’s Fate Could be Determined

New NACHA guidelines taking effect fall of this year. The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) latest proposed regulations governing short-term lending practices. Changes in the industry over the last few years. Public perceptions. Considering the issues facing those in short-term lending, the phrase “where our industry’s fate could be determined” isn’t overly dramatic.

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New NACHA Rules Taking Effect

No Second Chances to Play by the NACHA Rules Taking Effect Soon

NACHA (which stands for the National Automated Clearing House Association), the governing body of automated clearing houses and a federal banking organization, established guidelines last year that will take effect in the fall of 2015.

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CFPB’s Latest Regulations For Short-Term Loan Industry

Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s Latest Proposed Regulations Sweeping the Short-Term Loan Industry

At the end of March 2015, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) met in Richmond, VA. Out of that meeting comes the latest round of sweeping federal regulatory proposals affecting the short-term loan industry, specifically targeting loans lasting longer than 45 days where the all-in annual percentage rate is over 36 percent.

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