NuComm International

CCEOC Certified: 2004/2005, 2005/2006

NuComm International
80 King Street
St. Catharines, ON, L2R 7G1
Phone: (905) 323-3939
Fax: (905) 641-1456

Company Description

NuComm International is a Canadian success story making its mark in the competitive global outsource contact center industry.

NuComm continues to grow rapidly, servicing clients ranging from small and mid-sized businesses to Fortune 500 multi-nationals. NuComm offers a variety of innovative "customer care" solutions, ranging from its OnCall™ pay-as-you-go service to its NuVoxx interactive voice response (IVR) service bureau to its full-service outsourced call centers. Owned and operated by a team of experienced contact center professionals, NuComm has been named one of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies™ for five years in a row and is among the few contact centers operating in an ISO 9001:2000 quality managed environment.

NuComm has grown to 11 contact centre sites. Eight of the ten Canadian call centers are located in Ontario including: Barrie, St. Catharines, Owen Sound, Brockville, Sault Ste. Marie, Chatham, Cobourg, Temiskaming Shores. Oromocto, New Brunswick and Regina, Saskatchewan are the other 2 Canadian sites. NuComm also operates a call center facility in Manila, the Philippines.

As a leader in the North American contact center industry, NuComm's contact centers provide technical and service support, customer care and billing, data management, credit and collections and customer self-service programs to some of the best-known companies in the cable, telecommunications, automotive, financial services, retail, catalogue and media & entertainment sectors.

Contact Center Description

The management team at NuComm is continually working to make the physical work environment more functional and enjoyable. NuComm, as a company, has over 100 queues offering virtual centre capabilities. Up-to-date computer and telephony technologies allow for efficient communication with customers and accurate performance management. Most workstations are arranged in rows, and configured so that each TSR has plenty of personal space. TSRs share workstations and this helps to build teamwork and camaraderie. Everyone has his or her own headset and is responsible for maintaining it.

NuComm strives for a paperless office. Notes taken during a phone conversation are recorded in the system. This offers a high degree of security for clients and keeps the workstations free from clutter. The office is kept very clean. NuComm has hired their own cleaning staff that is available 7/24 to ensure offices are clean and free of hazards. There is high degree of building security. A security card is required to enter the building and office.

There are many plants around the offices as well and inspirational posters on the walls. Whiteboards are used to help keep employees current with information from various campaigns they are working on. Balloons and streamers create visibility and awareness for new campaigns. There is an office wall dedicated to employees for kudos and praise. A smoking deck is located outside on the same floor as the call centre. The Kitchen/Cafés are modern and clean facilities with vending machines, microwave ovens, toaster ovens, fridges, a freezer, eating utensils, salt, pepper, sugar etc. Sites with a lounge offer a nice area people can go to read a book or just relax. First aid rooms are available for people to use for any health reason. It has a first aid kit for emergencies. Employees are also allowed to use this room for religious prayer. Management has an open door policy. Some offices don't even have doors. There are 2 training rooms and 2 meeting rooms that can be divided in half to create 4 meeting or training rooms.

CCEOC Certified: Standard & Gold Level 2005/2006

NuComm International is the first outsource contact center in North America to achieve the prestigious Contact Center Employer of Choice® (CCEOC) award.

NuComm has increased the number of certified centers from 3 to 5 over last year and continues to make excellent strides in developing a Contact Center Employer of Choice® culture across the entire operation.

The following indicate the certified sites and their certification level:

  • Brockville, Ontario – Standard Level
  • Chatham, Ontario – Gold Level
  • Owen Sound, Ontario – Standard Level
  • Temiskaming Shores, Ontario – Standard Level
  • Oromocto, New Brunswick – Standard Level

NuComm participated in the CCEOC program to identify areas of opportunity to improve employee performance, engagement & satisfaction and, to elevate the status of its operations.

Specific areas of focus for NuComm include:

  • Agent retention and motivation
  • Attract the best, right fit candidates
  • Improve performance
  • Drive customer satisfaction
  • Develop more effective coaching and communications between management and staff

Becoming certified through the Contact Center Employer of Choice™ program has allowed NuComm St. Catharines to identify new opportunities and develop targeted action plans for continuous improvement.

Key Performance Measures

The top key performance measures for NuComm include:

  • Reps = Overall performance index (measure available to the campaign, based on campaign and graphed through statistical quality control limits)
  • Service Level - Varies per client
  • ASA - Varies per client
  • Close Ratio - Varies per client
  • Call tracking rate = 90%
  • CSAT - 80%
  • ESAT - 4/5
  • Call Quality - 85%
  • S/A - 98%
  • Employee Testing - 80%

Technology and Ergonomics

NuComm uses an Avaya telephony system incorporating IVR, CTI and call routing capabilities. A number of technologies have been developed to streamline call handling and improve internal communications and control. This includes: SilverFox™ Database Management, CIMWeb™ Performance Management System and Review Application, Scheduling/Forecasting Tools, The Coach™ Employee Communication Documentation tool, SickLine™ IVR, Hierarchical tool, HRIS, Weekly Testing application, Internal Intranet and Trouble Shooting Guides, ETA™ (Employee Training Application). The skills based call routing tool - Whisper - sends calls to the first available agent in the appropriate office. All statistics are available on the desktop for all employees. All documentation relating to the company or a specific campaign is available on-line.

Growth Prospects

All sites contribute to the overall success of NuComm International's service offerings. Overall, business has grown rapidly – 30% per year – over the past 9 years. This trend is expected to continue with the addition of 2 new, yet unnamed sites expected to come online later in 2006.

CCEOC Attribues

NuComm has a number of initiatives supporting work/life balance and health and wellness. They offer an employee and family assistance program to all staff. Joint Health and Safety Committees conduct regular monthly inspections, incident reporting, fire drills and evacuation procedures. The committees are made up of reps and management and members are certified through the Ministry of Health & Labour. Each operations site has a Recreation Committee. Their job is to plan social events like: summer picnics, tickets to baseball & hockey games, tickets to shows in the local communities, etc. The CIC (Continuous Improvement Committee) holds monthly meetings to discuss work/life balance issues, get feedback from reps and determine support for various charities.

NuComm is very sensitive to Religious requirements and diversity issues. The company is quick to respond to employee needs. Shift bids are conducted quarterly and are based on seniority. A strong attempt is made to try to accommodate school schedules for part-time staff.

Hourly pay is consistent with other outsource service providers. OPI is used to determine quarterly raises. Statistical quarterly control bands are used to help determine the amount of the raise. Salaried employees are reviewed annually through a new Salary Review application developed in-house.

Full group benefits are available for full-time as well as part-time employees. This is a big plus for part-timers and a real motivator for retaining staff. Benefits include: medical (vision included), dental, life insurance, long term disability, accidental death, EAP, paid bereavement, paid jury duty and subsidized daycare.

Incentives include: free time off, dress down days, cash for outbound sales applications, merchandise, pizza days, paid days off and monthly individual recognition. Recognition also includes The Employee of the Year award. This is handed out at the annual Christmas party. It includes special recognition and a cash award. Call of the Day is recognition given to an employee who handles a call particularly well. The person's name is posted on the corporate intranet.

NuComm regularly gives back to the community and supports local charities through ongoing food and clothing drives. They Sponsor a family at Christmas supplying meals and presents for the children. Employees have the option to donate one dollar from their paycheck that goes into a charity slush fund. Every 2 weeks a draw is held and the winner gets to pick a charity to donate all of the money collected over the past 2 weeks. Over $80,000 is donated annually to a variety of worthwhile charities. The company is very supportive of workers whose families are in need and will provide assistance in emergency situations. NuComm also sponsors local baseball and hockey teams.

Contact Center Culture and Social Environment

The values that govern all NuComm activities and decisions are honesty, integrity and respect. This is defined in their Detailed Business Model.

The main elements in this all encompassing model include:

Mission Statement: We are the best provider of customer-relationship management services in the world - not by a little, but by a lot.

We accomplish this by understanding, measuring, managing and improving business processes so that we maximize the lifetime value of our clients` relationships with their customers.

We believe that our excellence is achieved by:

  • Hiring the best people in the industry
  • Utilizing the most effective tools in the industry
  • Extending our expertise through learning and education
  • Aligning the interest of all Stakeholders
  • Continuously improving

We choose to define the culture of our company. Our culture is one of honesty, dignity, respect, execution, and fun. We will inspire confidence and trust from everyone who encounters us.

All of our stakeholders - employees, clients, partners, community and company - will profit from their relationships with us. We will create much more value than we ask for in return.

  • Key performance drivers - Measures which mathematically model business objectives, and can be controlled by management and staff
  • Strategies: Win-Win-Win (customers, vendors and employees)
  • Competitive Learning & Continuous Improvement Focus

NuComm University, ETA (real time feed of sample calls, training messages, important messages from the executive and management team), interoffice challenges related to performance on campaigns are just a few examples of NuComm's environment of Competitive Learning.

Our focus of Continuous Improvement are supported by employee and management driven initiatives such as the Children's Christmas party, pancake breakfasts, BBQ's, summer picnics, site decorating competitions and an Adult holiday party are all part of the great social environment at NuComm.

The following best describe the NuComm culture:

  • it's like a family
  • people care about each other
  • culture of success - personally and at work
  • balance – work/life
  • open door policy
  • happy reps = better results

Above and Beyond Factors

Above and Beyond refers to the little (or big) extras that differentiates NuComm International from all the rest.

Here is a list of some of those attributes:

  • Excellent communication throughout the organization
  • Philosophy of continuous improvement
  • ISO certified – allows them to document all the great ideas that are developed
  • Allows constructive feedback from all areas
  • Everyone is considered important
  • React to changes and challenges quickly
  • Respectful culture - provides stability and opportunity for employees
  • People are encouraged to grow with the company
  • Support is provided from all levels
  • Detailed process analysis and automation
  • NuComm is a data driven company