CIBC Regina Customer Contact Centre

CCEOC Certified: Gold 2006/2007

2412 – 11th Avenue
Regina, SK, S4P 0K3

Company Description

The CIBC Regina Customer Contact Centre is one of 3 centres located in Canada handling a diverse range of banking products and services.

CIBC (TSX: CM) is a leading North American financial institution. Through its two distinct business lines, CIBC Retail Markets and CIBC World Markets, CIBC provides a full range of products and services to more than 11 million individual and small business clients, administers $203.2 billion of assets for individuals and meets the financial needs of corporate and institutional clients.

CIBC has approximately 37,000 employees worldwide, 1,061 branches and more than 3,800 ABMs across the country. The CIBC group of companies contributed more than $42 million worldwide to charitable organizations and community initiatives in the areas of health, education, community, arts and culture, the environment and the United Way.

Contact Center Description

The management team at CIBC Regina Customer Contact Centre works very hard to make the physical environment functional and enjoyable.

It's a warm and welcoming environment with lots of aboriginal art. The center is located in an older 2 story building. Prior to the contact center moving in, the building was a cheque processing office. It's a professional looking workplace and the colour scheme is very calming. Lots of wall hangings and information about incentives for sales promotions add variety to the decor. There is a very clean and inviting lunch room with: a big screen TV, computer for internet access, foosball table, comfy chairs, vending machines, microwave ovens and dishwashers.

The contact centre has lots of windows providing plenty of natural light. It has clean, well spaced cubicles. Workstations are 10ft by 10ft and arranged in rows. They are configured as single or dual pods with 4 – 6 stations per pod. There are also some singular workstations used for various purposes. Employees typically keep the same desk until they move to a different team. Where desks are shared, each employee has a separate locked drawer for their personal use. Supervisors are located within the area of each team.

The building has 2 above ground floors occupied by the contact center. There are lots of positive elements including updated washrooms. Workout facilities with plenty of new equipment are located in the basement of the building.

There is a library with comfortable chairs and lots of reading material such as product information, periodicals, novels and books of various types. Computers with internet access are also available to employees

All employees have a swipe security card and a security guard is available for walking employees to their cars at night. Hours of operation are 6:00 am – 12:00 midnight, 7 days per week.

The management structure is a hierarchical arrangement with 15 – 1 Team Leaders to agents and 8 – 1 Team leaders to Sr. Managers. The 3 Sr. Managers report up to the Sr. Director. Sales Leaders, QA Managers, Bus. Office Mgrs. also report directly to the Sr. Director. Other roles that report into the Toronto HQ include: Outbound Manager while the Sr. Manager reports to VP Electronic Banking. The VP reports up to the Sr. VP Electronic Banking.

The Learning Department reports into corporate CIBC but works specifically with the contact center. The technology group reports to corporate HQ but are located on site. On-site Scheduling and SL information roles report to the Sr. Director. The 3 Call Monitoring positions report to Toronto but reside in Regina.

CCEOC Certification

The Regina based CIBC Customer Contact Centre has achieved the prestigious Gold level Contact Center Employer of Choice® (CCEOC) designation. CIBC Regina joins an elite group of contact centers recognized by this unique designation.

The CIBC Electronic Banking business unit decided to pursue the CCEOC® Certification award to help build employer of choice branding and industry-wide recognition as a great place to work. Being recognized as a Contact Center Employer of Choice® will help CIBC attract, retain and engage talented employees. The results of the assessment have also provided management with a different perspective on how to address key challenges that exist in the customer contact environment. Through the programs in-depth reporting and analysis, management has gained a deeper understanding of key employee motivation and satisfaction drivers. As a result, CIBC will be able to develop more people focused contact center programs and further position their operation as a market leader in service excellence.

Specific areas of focus for Regina Customer Contact Centre include:

  • Gain industry-wide recognition and build employer of choice branding
  • Improve ability to attract, retain and engage the best talent
  • Identify areas of opportunity to improve employee satisfaction
  • Build pride and engagement

Key Performance Measures

  • Service Levels
  • Sales
  • Average call handle time
  • Customer Satisfaction/Experience
  • Attendance
  • Employee Satisfaction ratings
  • Continuous improvement ideas

Technology and Ergonomics

Each workstation has a high quality ergonomic chair, a 21 inch monitor and, if required, ergonomic keyboards and wrist supports.

The Regina Contact Centre uses an Aspect ACD switch. Calls are front-ended with an IVR that handles 89% of inbound calls. CTI is used to present customer information on the agent screen as a call comes in. An Avaya dialer is used for outbound calls. Lead management software is used to mine customer data for the outbound group. Quality monitoring is used to capture voice and screen information. TVs are visible around the center showing pertinent information. Reader boards show calls in queue and relevant call handling information. Management's desktop shows information relative to service level – used for just in time coaching. Banners at the bottom of the Agent's monitor are used to display new product and corporate information on a real-time basis.

Growth Prospects

Regina Customer Contact Centre headcount is staying relatively constant from an inbound contact perspective. The outbound contact group has grown approximately 20% over last years' numbers. Outbound is considered very strategic to the organization and will continue to be located in-house. The Credit division is relatively constant however there appears to be some growth opportunities based on future corporate initiatives.

CCEOC Attributes

  • Health & wellness and work/life balance

Regina Customer Contact Centre has a number of initiatives supporting health & wellness and work/life balance. They have a Health & Wellness committee on site that meets on a monthly basis to discuss: call center cleanliness, lunch room amenities, charitable causes, physical fitness, safety and other areas of interest. The Committee makes sure H&W information is available in the lunchroom.

The Contact Centre promotes a fragrance free environment and smoking is only permitted outdoors. For safety purposes, fire extinguishers are conveniently located throughout the building. For fitness, there's a fully equipped workout gym in the basement and employees can sign up for on-site massages by a registered massage therapist. Flu clinics and blood donor clinics are also held on-site.

With regards to scheduling, Timebank software is used to manage employee shifts. Shift sharing – where two agents can share one F/T shift – is offered as a way of balancing schedules in the center. Regina also has: unpaid time off if the center is not busy, emergency vacation, shift trades and shift give-aways. To accommodate student schedules, various rotations are used for exam time. The Outbound team doesn't work statutory holidays or Christmas break.

The Credit group offers all the same scheduling options as the outbound group, but because it is a smaller queue there is not as much opportunity to take advantage of the perks. Scheduling is done by seniority which does not allow the less tenured staff to have as many opportunities to secure the more favourable shifts.

CIBC offers a very good short term disability plan. If an employee is near the end of their disability leave, a coordinator works with him/her to help the employee gradually get back to work. If people have to take time off for an appointment, they can do so provided they have permission from their manager and the scheduling department is notified 24 – 48 hours in advance.

Team Leaders are available from 6:00 am – 12:00 midnight to support frontline staff. This helps develop a strong connection with management and fosters team camaraderie.

A toll free employee support line is available through the EAP program to help employees who may need additional support for personal reasons. This benefit is offered to all staff.

  • Rewards & recognition

The Annual Incentive program is based on business, as well as individual performance and provides employees the opportunity to earn a bonus. There is an Achievers Program where individuals gain recognition for their accomplishments. This is budgeted for on a monthly basis and employees can move up a scale based on productivity, sales etc.

Perfect Attendance is a recognition program administered on a quarterly basis. The prize is a lunch with the Sr. Manager or Director. The Customer Experience program provides a cash incentive based on customer compliments and a sales incentive for a top producer. Employees are rewarded with a cash incentive for the best improvement idea put forth through the suggestions box. Support Awards are a cash incentive handed out on a monthly and quarterly bases for the leadership team. The support team in the business office also has monthly and quarterly award incentives. These programs allow employees an opportunity to earn more money.

50 Achievers is email recognition for employees that are meeting performance targets. This is done monthly, quarterly and annually. The grand prize is a trip celebrating the top performers. Employees can also send an "e-card" to any other employee in the company in appreciation for their contribution. There are birthday spins (spin a wheel and get a prize), years of service and anniversary cards. Each team does their own recognition for anniversaries and birthdays.

  • Community support

Regina Customer Contact Centre regularly gives back to the community and supports local charities through various activities. Support is provided to: the local food banks, Run for the Cure promoting inside and outside of work, United Way – Day of Caring, Honey Pot (employees contribute $2 – the social committee will decide how the money will be distributed among various charities). A portion of the money from the vending machines goes into a charity account. There are regular donations to the local radio-athon, Adopt a family, Tele-Miracle, Dragon Boat Festival (ethnic diversity), charity football game, high profile dinners (i.e. supporting diversity in the community) and disaster relief. Another highly supported charity is Habitat for Humanity. CIBC also donates merchandise to various local clubs and sports teams. The Nut Man comes in every now and then and sells nuts to employees to support various charities. Some contact center employees also work with new immigrants teaching English and helping them adjust to their new home.

Contact Center Culture and Social Environnent

People from Saskatchewan always seem to have a lot of fun. The Regina Customer Contact Centre has a very fun atmosphere with lots of games and activities throughout the year. The center allows business casual dress code for Monday to Thursday and casual dress on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Casual days are also used as a theme for raising money. The Social Committee sets up various events throughout the year. They try to have one fun activity and food event per month at little cost to employees. Depending on the time of year and the event, Food Day could be a BBQ, Pizza Day, Pot Luck lunch or something different. The family picnic and annual Christmas party are much anticipated, well attended events. Curling and football games are also very popular. Employee Appreciation days help employees feel valued. Ethnic and diversity celebrations include different buffets and Chinese New Year. Honey Pot is a slush fund where employees donate $2 from their pay cheques every 2 weeks, 20% of that money goes to charity and 80% goes towards the employees in the form of a draw.

Team meetings have lots of fun activities and involve team building exercises like Trivial Pursuit or Battleship. These fun activities are designed to have a link to business objectives. Daily huddles take place to help solidify teams and provide a tight cohesion among the groups. These meetings help motivate staff and build enthusiasm. It's also a venue for celebrating group and individual successes. A culture of camaraderie is a big part of the success of the center. The culture is one of fun and focus. The teams know they have a job to do and they get it done, but also look for opportunities to enjoy their time at work. They are a friendly and competitive group.

Above and Beyond Factors

Above and Beyond refers to the little (or big) extras that differentiates CIBC Regina Customer Contact Centre from all the rest.

Here is a list of some of those attributes:

  • Highly competitive attitude
  • Highly supportive – teamwork environment
  • Open door policy
  • Very dynamic – get things done
  • Most successful and best looking
  • Annual trip
  • Great benefits
  • Competitive compensation
  • Management truly cares and listens to employees
  • Employees feel valued
  • High degree of pride in work and accomplishments
  • Career development opportunities
  • Big investment in employees – training & development