Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (STEM), Hon. Phillip Paulwell, is lauding the recent successes of Scotiabank Jamaica’s Contact Centre, noting that the facility represents a model that can be replicated in other areas of the country’s services industry.
The Scotiabank Contact Centre, which is located on Trafalgar Road in New Kingston, has been awarded the gold medal for the 2012 Best Mid-sized Contact Centre in the Americas, which covers North, South, Central America and the Caribbean.
In addition to this award, two employees of the centre earned top prizes, beating out their counterparts from the United States, Canada and Mexico. They are: Narado Smith, who received the gold medal for Best Sales Professional, and Kevon Mercy, who copped the silver medal for Best Customer Service Professional.
Speaking prior to a tour of the facility on Friday (Aug. 17), along with Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, Mr. Paulwell noted that the stellar achievement of the staff of the Scotia Contact Centre is a testament to what Jamaicans can achieve under the right conditions.
“I want to congratulate Scotiabank and this contact centre for showing that we are indeed world class. The components that we have here are right for not only Scotiabank, but for a wide array of businesses to see the opportunities that are available in Jamaica,” he remarked.
Mr. Paulwell noted that the Scotiabank model can indeed be replicated with the establishment of similar contact centre facilities in Jamaica geared at providing service to other parts of the world. “Our people are highly trained and trainable and when you give them an opportunity, they are going to make the most of it,” he stated.
The Minister said it is essential for Jamaica to take advantage of the global opportunities available through the telecoms and Information Communication Technology (ICT) markets. “(Countries like) India have seized opportunities that we should have claimed. We are so close to the US market, people can travel from Miami to Kingston in an hour and a half. Why should we not then be the contact centre destination of choice in the world?” he asked.
“Why are people going to the Philippines and we speak better English than they do? Our accents can be manipulated to take care of the mid-west, the eastern and Toronto. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be looking at dramatically increasing inbound telecoms to drive revenues,” he argued.
Minister Paulwell noted that this vision has become a priority of the government, and the Scotiabank model will enable “us to catapult Jamaica as the leading contact centre destination”.
With a total of 201 employees, Scotiabank Jamaica’s Contact Centre currently serves some 18 countries in the English-speaking Caribbean. The facility makes a total of 2.8 million customer contacts per year and services 246 products over a 24/7 period via phone, social media and instant messaging.
The Technology Minister further commended the managers of the facility for the company’s impressive turnover rate, which currently stands at one per cent. “The turnover rate across the industry is probably the lowest worldwide, but certainly here at one per cent this is exceptional and it means that you are doing something right in terms of your staffing,” he commented.
Minister Hylton also congratulated Scotiabank on the achievements. “This is again an example of the world class potential that exists here in Jamaica and clearly, the Scotia Group has provided the atmosphere, and the right conditions in which our people can thrive,” he stated.
The Industry Minster said the government is willing to provide the policy support, which is critical to enabling the success and growth of such sectors, and to partner with private sector entities such as Scotiabank “in creating the eco-system and the environment that can produce this kind of world class outcome”.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Scotiabank Group, Bruce Bowen, noted that the growth and continued development of the institution’s Contact Centre is testament to the remarkable staff and strong leadership team at Scotiabank Jamaica.
He pointed out that the facility, which started out with seven employees in 2000, still has opportunities for growth. “We have been able to bring in more work from outside Jamaica over the last three years, because of the quality of service we provide. We see more opportunities to bring more regional work in and we have even talked about bringing in additional extra-regional work into the Contact Centre here,” he informed.
The Contact Centre serves Scotiabank’s customers across the region and forms a part of Scotiabank’s integrated channel strategy focusing on delivering outstanding customer experiences and first call resolution, creating capacity in branches, and executing sales and service activities to strengthen customer relationships and engagement.
The institution currently has two other contact centres in the region, in Trinidad and Tobago and the Dominican Republic. All three sites are equipped to provide back-up services for each other, in the event of a natural disaster.