CI Mutual Funds Inc.
Toronto Client Services
CI Place, 151 Yonge St., 11th floor,
Toronto, Ontario Canada M5C 2W7,
Attn: Human Resources.
Toll Free: 1-800-268-9374
CI is a wholly owned subsidiary of CI Fund Management Inc. (TSX: CIX), an independent, Canadian-owned investment management company with approximately $37.5 billion in fee-earning assets as of October 31, 2003.
CI has the industry's broadest selection of investment funds, including mutual funds, industry-specific funds, 100% RSP-eligible global funds, segregated funds and hedge funds. CI is on the Web at www.cifunds.com.
Contact Center Description
The CI Funds CCEOC certified centre is located at their head office in Toronto, Canada. At the time of certification, there were 85 frontline representatives. Due to recent corporate acquisitions, the Client Services department has grown approximately 20%. The majority of inquiries handled at this centre are inbound orders, account inquiries and general customer service calls. Calls come from brokers, individual customers, investment planners and general public. Outbound calls are made to follow-up on inbound inquiries. Customer communication channels include: phone, email, fax, post mail and web.
The organizational structure includes a Vice President Client Services, Managers, Supervisors and Frontline representatives. They have a very fluid management style which allows for quick decision making and a collaborative approach to problem solving.
CCEOC Certification Level
Toronto Client Services Centre has achieved the first level Standard certification for the Contact Center Employer of Choice Award 2003. Attaining the designation from the first assessment is a significant accomplishment.
CI Client Services participated in the CCEOC program so it could accurately target areas of opportunity for improving employee satisfaction.
They specifically focused on the following key issues:
- New opportunities for employee development
- Position the department to attract the best, most appropriate candidates
- Motivate and enthuse employees
- Open and trusting communications between staff and management
- Develop more standardized operating guidelines for supervisors and managers
Becoming certified through the Contact Center Employer of Choice program allows CI Funds to not only benefit from achieving the designation but also to address key employee satisfaction issues and develop an action plan for continuous improvement.
Since achieving CCEOC status, CI Funds management team has continued to develop their quality programs and have experienced very positive results. They are also looking at developing process improvements at both the staff and management levels. The results of the CCEOC Summary Report have helped crystallize CI's focus on the areas that will have the greatest impact on employee satisfaction.
Key Perfromance Measures
The top 5 performance measures are listed as:
- Volume (number of calls, emails, faxes handled)
- Quality (calls, emails, faxes etc.)
One other item, Adherence to Standards was added to the list. It is interesting to note that 4 out of the top 5 performance measures are more qualitative rather than quantitative. This indicates that a strong effort has been made to create a balance between performance metrics and people focused management.
Technology & Ergonomics
CI Funds uses a Nortel phone switch and ACD (automatic call distributor). All workstations are equipped with computer terminals, headsets, ergonomic chairs and wrist supports for keyboards.
CI Funds is committed to growing their client services operation internally. They have a culture of developing and maintaining control of their business functions and processes themselves. They feel this is very important due to the sensitive nature of their business and personal information discussed with clients. The recent corporate acquisitionss demonstrates
Overall, the CI Toronto Client Services Centre displays many positive employer of choice attributes.
CI Funds client service managers know how important it is to recognize and incent their employees. Recognition programs typically focus on rewarding staff for exceeding productivity and quality standards. RI'n'GS (Reliable Information and Great Service) recognition and incentive program was developed to help motivate employees to meet and exceed performance targets and receive corporate recognition for their accomplishments. High performing employees that meet these standards have their picture published in the Insider.
Managers and supervisors organize a Client Services Awards Night 2 times per year. This is to recognize CSR's for providing excellent customer service and performing their job at the highest degree of competency. Other events such as golf with the CEO or lunch with the President help to energize and motivate the staff by giving them the opportunity to meet with and talk to upper executives. As part of the Quality Initiative, pizza lunches are organized to honour top performers.
The client services center has a very open and entrepreneurial culture. Their "do it and get it done" approach creates a spontaneous and vibrant work environment. They are a competitive, young and dynamic work group that benefit from a relatively informal and fluid corporate structure. They have an open door management policy where employees are encouraged to communicate freely with their superiors and peers. The culture is people focused and clearly embraces employer of choice values and beliefs.
The social environment is very active. There is a social committee that organizes various events such as: 50/50 draws, baby picture competitions, bake sales, freezie sales etc. Throughout the year there are themed events like a Halloween workstation decoration competition, a Christmas party, a corporate spring party and a golf tournament. Human Resources invites the company to participate in a pool tournament with proceeds going to the United Way. A softball league runs in the spring and summer. Often on Friday nights, CSRs will socialize together at the local watering hole. To help develop camaraderie and teamwork, one supervisor, once a month, chooses an employee on his team to pick a restaurant that represents their nationality and the entire team goes out for lunch. This is an excellent opportunity for staff to get a taste of their colleagues' culture and start developing common bonds and friendships.
Above and beyond
Above all of the official policies, procedures and structures that make CI Funds Client Services a great place to work, Client Service employees simply seem to have a lot of fun. Above and Beyond refers to the little (or big) extras that differentiates the CI Client Services contact center from all the rest.
Here is a list of some of those attributes:
- Informal work environment – flexible
- Freedom and authority to make decisions
- Open door policy
- People are great – develop real friendships
- Beautiful surroundings – Lunch Room!
- Efficient and effective management - competent
- Outstanding corporate reputation
- Pride of workmanship