OPW INTERVIEW - Aug 15 - Welcome to the very first online video interview for Online Personals Watch. I’m joined by All Cuccinelli who is the CMO of Procall. - Mark Brooks
(Full Disclosure: Procall is a client of Courtland Brooks. Also, Courtland Brooks is a client of Procall for our upcoming French, German and Spanish blog launches).
What is your personal background?
Years ago I started in the airline industry in sales. After that I got involved in a call center, selling software, for 20 years and then in the late 90’s I got involved in call center outsourcing. I joined Procall in 2006.
What is Procall’s founding story?
Procall was founded by Creag Harry, a brilliant entrepreneur, in the early 1990’s. The call center was in Boca Raton. In ’96 he looked into near-shoring in Latin America and came across Costa Rica, which at the time was a perfect place for outsourcing a call center. He opened up a center in San Jose for his own business, and it grew to 9 centers across the globe.
Are they offshore or outsourcing centers?
We use the term “near shore” because we have centers in the Dominican Republic, Columbia, Guyana and Panama. When outsourcing became popular, centers were in India and the Philippines. The “near shore” market became hot because you could get there in 3 hours from Miami. They have a similar culture and, of course, they speak English which makes it a better option than India or the Philippines. There was a tremendous backlash against some of the larger corporations, Dell, HP for having call centers in India.
How long have you been serving the Internet dating industry?
Our first client came on board in September of 2008 and that client is one of the top 5 dating sites in the world. We’ve had them ever since and expanded with them into more languages and it’s been a good relationship.
How many languages do you support with them?
10 languages, including English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Dutch, German, Swedish, Japanese, and Tagalog. The Panama center supports the Internet dating industry. We have a great pool of agents to work with. Because of the banking industry there are many people who speak many languages.
What services do you specialize in?
Besides Internet dating, we also provide customer service and help desk programs for telecommunications companies such as AT&T, Comcast and Sprint, banking and all different kinds of industries. We support a number of technology companies and provide 1st and 2nd tier help desk support for them. We also do inbound sales order taking. For the dating industry, beyond the traditional inbound voice calls, we do a lot of emails, profile reviews, picture and video reviews, and blogs.
In reality, what kind of savings can you offer Internet dating companies by outsourcing to Procall? Percentage wise what can you save them?
Somewhere between 30% and 50%. The 50% would be if they are located somewhere in the San Francisco, New York or Boston area.
But the real value proposition is not only in the savings but also in terms of the lower attrition rates. Call centers in the near shore area are prime jobs; they are great jobs for people to have. We provide great benefits and people tend to stay with us for years. In fact, I just visited the Dominican Republic recently and that center started in 2003 I believe and there are agents there who have been there since the very beginning. They become the experts because they’re there so long, it’s consistent.
So attrition is very important in creating knowledgeable employees but it’s also a way of saving money. When someone leaves, you have to search for a replacement, you have to train them and then you have the learning curve during the time they become proficient at their work, so all of that is costly.
How do you measure and maintain quality?
First we have our own Quality Assurance Department and the folks there are charged with listening to calls and monitoring calls, on average 10 calls for each agent on a weekly basis. They look at 20 different things. Did they greet the customer properly? Did they respond? They go through a questionnaire and they rank the agents. We also do the same thing with emails.
We have calibration sessions on a weekly basis for quality standards. We also have service goals and objectives that we need to meet every day and even within the day. For example, we have targets of average speed of answer. So when a call comes in we need to answer that call within the first 20 seconds.
Do you have dedicated agents by company?
Yes we have 100% company dedicated agents.
We don’t want to share information between companies of course and the agent is dedicated to one program so they become comfortable with it. There is no confusion on what is acceptable for a profile review. It just works out much better that way.
See www.Procall.com. Contact Al at Al@Procall.com, 561-416-2020