Aneta is among the #SutherlandStrong Account Managers with a solid 15 years’ experience in our industry. Starting from A and B in the BPO filed as a Customer Support Agent, the last 11 years she spent is management roles thanks to her persistence and dedication. Speaking 3 foreign languages herself, Aneta is leading the multilingual team for our Hilton program. We took just a little bit of her busy day to talk about the industry trends, the key to the success of her team and their achievements.
Sutherland: Hi Aneta! Thank you for your time. Give us a glimpse of the program you are leading.
Aneta: Currently I am responsible for one of our biggest programs in Sofia that provides phone and email support, customer care for rewards program members and sales reservations for one of the leading global hospitality companies with 18-brand portfolio.
We are one of the best performing sites for our client in terms of Upsell – the % of room reservations booked as an upgraded accommodation. My team is handling customer inquiries from Continental Europe, Russia, and Turkey in 9 different languages. We have a tenured and experienced team with a lot of expertise. Actually, one third of our team members have been with the program for more than 5 years now.
S: We’ve heard that your team is composed of top performers. Tell us about that.
Aneta: Our team members have great sales skills and solid knowledge, gained from ongoing trainings. They are very knowledgeable and experienced and constantly overachieve the performance goals. This is recognized by our client who started operations in new Sutherland locations (Alexandria in Egypt, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia), because of the success of the program in Bulgaria. Our Team Managers are very tenured and passionate about their job, most of them started as consultants in the same program and were promoted because of their skills, dedication, reliability, and people management skills. I am grateful and very proud to be part of this team as there is a strong sense of belonging and team spirit.
S: What are the implications of COVID-19 in our client’s industry and how your team reacted to the new normal?
Aneta: The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic negatively affected the travel industry globally. Proven as a trusted partner for our client we showed great flexibility and consistency and managed to upskill very quickly our staff, so we started handling volumes from regions that weren’t in our primary scope of support. This additional workload had a very positive impact on our profitability. Our efforts were recognized by the client and I am very proud to say that we are now again in a hiring process for new team members. This uncertainty in the travel industry and COVID-19 restrictions in the supported countries was our biggest challenge last year, however we managed to come though it successfully and became even stronger.
S: Share with us some of the recent team achievements.
Aneta: We recently suggested an optimization in the guest assistance folio calls process aiming to provide a first call resolution and an increase in customer satisfaction. The project was initiated because there were multiple negative Voice of the Customer scores related to folio requests of the customers for their recent stay or questions related to the invoice charges they have. The AHT of the team was also high, as the agents had to call back the properties. As we have a team that supports emails and works as an internal Help Desk, we proposed a new process, and this was an easy and smart solution for us and the guests. We were happy that the client recently implemented the solution.
S: How do you keep your team engaged during the pandemic?
Aneta: Before the pandemic there were regular team events inside and outside of our office – sport events, summer parties, games, team buildings etc. Although currently working from home, we try to stay constantly in touch with each other. We conduct regular virtual meetings, remote coaching through different online platforms. Our Team Spirit committee organizes and launches various virtual Rewards and Recognition initiatives that keeps people connected. We value our people and ask them to provide their feedback and share improvement suggestions. We have established in our team an open and honest communication.