Calgary Contact Center

CCEOC Certified: Platinum 2006/2007

2201 Eglinton Avenue East
Scarborough, ON M1L 4S2

Company Description

Scotiabank's Customer Contact Centres provide over 100 products and services to retail and small business customers across Canada.

Recently awarded 'Best Contact Centre in the Americas in 2006' by, our 24 hour a day, seven day a week bilingual operation in Toronto contributes to the sales and service delivery of over 7.2 million customer calls annually (inbound and outbound) across all Scotiabank call centres.

Scotiabank is one of North America's premier financial institutions and Canada's most international bank. With close to 56,000 employees, Scotiabank Group and its affiliates serve about 10 million customers in some 50 countries around the world. Scotiabank offers a diverse range of products and services including personal, commercial, corporate and investment banking. With $365 billion in assets (as at July 31, 2006), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto (BNS) and New York (BNS) Stock Exchanges. For more information please visit

Contact Center Description

The Calgary Contact Centre is located in a modern, 2 story building. As soon as you walk in the front doors, you'll notice a large atrium with skylight windows. There is security personnel located at the main entrance. All staff and visitors require security passes. Employees can take the elevator or stairs to the contact centre, located on the second floor. Vibrant colours on the walls, carpeting and partitions help make the centre appealing and comfortable. There are lots of windows and plenty of natural light in the centre.

There are recognition and display boards visible throughout the building. Clean, modern washroom facilities are really appreciated by employees. Hand sanitizer dispensers are available throughout the center. This helps keep the spread of germs down to a minimum. Plants are visible throughout the entire building. This helps bring a little bit of nature indoors.

Inside, Scotiabank provides a subsidized cafeteria offering a variety of hot and cold meal options. Kitchenettes are located in various areas of the building providing refrigerators, microwaves, coffee/tea, hot & cold water and dish sinks. There is an area called "Relaxation Room" where employees can go to relax in a massage chair, read a book or just 'take five' after a tough call. A resource centre with TV's and computers and a gym with change rooms and showers are also available for employees. There is also a well equipped games room with foosball, shuffle board and a pool table. For outside recreation, there is a designated eating area and baseball diamond.

Another initiative used to create an engaging work environment is 2201 Energy FM. This is preprogrammed music played in through a dedicated sound system. This system is somewhat like a corporate radio station where announcements and information can be customized and recorded by staff. Staff feels a sense of ownership when they hear themselves or their peers share key messages on 'their own radio station'. The station is used as an additional communication medium within the centre.

There are Scotiabank ATMs available inside the building for employees. Free parking and convenient public transit located right outside the building are big conveniences.

CCEOC Certification

Scotiabank Calgary Contact Centre is the third financial contact centre to achieve Contact Center Employer of Choice® certification. They scored the highest of any contact center on the first assessment achieving the Platinum level designation.

The following issues were key factors in the decision to pursue the CCEOC designation:

  • gain industry-wide recognition as a great place to work
  • improve ability to attract, retain and engage the best talent
  • identify areas of opportunity to improve employee satisfaction
  • build pride and engagement

Becoming certified through the Contact Center Employer of Choice® program allows the Scotiabank Calgary Contact Centre to benefit from promoting the designation, address key employee satisfaction issues and develop an action plan for continuous improvement.

Scotiabank Calgary Contact Centre has achieved the Platinum level CCEOC designation for 2007/2008 and is looking forward to promoting and maintaining their high standards of excellence.

Key Performance Measures

All teams are guided by a common purpose: Focus on FIRST

  • Putting our customers FIRST
  • Striving to be FIRST in customer satisfaction
  • FIRST call resolution
  • FIRST in achieving business goals
  • Striving to be the FIRST Employer of Choice

All Staff have a scorecard that relates to the four main performance measures:

  • Customer experience/satisfaction
    • Connect
    • Discover needs
    • Present solutions
    • Strengthen relationship
    • Confirm with appreciation
    • Customer Service Score and SQM Scores
    • Knowledge reality Checks (On line product knowledge quizzes and tests)
  • Employee/people satisfaction
    • Applause program
    • cross functional opportunities
    • community services
  • Financial performance
    • Referrals
    • Activities
    • Sales
    • Invoicing
    • Centralized billing
  • Operational performance
    • readiness score and AHT (Average Handle time)
    • punctuality and attendance
    • adherence
    • calls per hour

Technology and Ergonomics

An Avaya phone switch with Dictaphone quality monitoring is used throughout the center. IRS referral system is used to help assist sales and review customer accounts. A soft-phone is used for locating and transferring calls to a branch. "Easy Call" is a courtesy recording used during peak periods to inform the caller if the wait time for an available representative is over 90 seconds.

Instead of reader boards, TVs are visible throughout the centre providing all different types of information. TV messages are part of the ongoing communication strategy for the centre. The TV screens do not display calls in queue. This was a conscious decision on the part of management not to bombard employees with numbers that can cause stress and take their focus away from providing quality service.

Workstations are approximately 5'x4' and provide plenty of desk and personal space. They are arranged in rows and grouped by business unit. Low partitions allow employees to view the entire contact centre from almost any location on the floor. Employees with special requirements are accommodated as much as possible. For example, visually impaired agents use special software (Jaws) to assist in servicing the customer. Each employee has their own workstation which is equipped with an ergonomic: chair, mouse, keyboard, wrist rest and headset. Footrests and anti-glare screens are also available.

Growth Prospects

The Scotiabank Calgary Contact Centre has been growing at a steady pace over the last few years. Currently, there are over 190 CSR staff and 22 managers at the Calgary site. Calgary has been very successful at reaching sales targets year over year. This has helped create a very dynamic, enthusiastic and successful work environment. "Call Redirect" – where branch calls are handled at the contact centre - will continue to grow. Growth is ultimately determined by corporate direction and regional requirements.

The Scotiabank Calgary site continues to support the following strategic initiatives:

  • Commitment to achieving high levels of customer satisfaction to drive sales
  • Emphasis on revenue driven sales and cost containment
  • Revenue focus/accountability remains at senior management level
  • Optimizing and leveraging technology to support sales (campaign pop-up screens, streamlining)
  • Integration and alignment of Bank process/reporting and all-Bank strategy

CCEOC Attributes

Overall, the Scotiabank Calgary Contact Centre displays many positive contact centre employer of choice® attributes.

The following represent some of the main items that stood out as important from management's perspective:

  • Cross Functional Committees
  • Respect for the employee
  • Relaxed work environment
  • Work/life balance – flexible scheduling
  • Culture of diversity

Work/Life Balance

Scotiabank Calgary is very aware of the importance of providing a work environment that helps employees find a balance between their work and personal lives. The Work & Lifestyle Committee meets regularly to discuss work/life balance issues and develop programs to assist employees.

They have work force management and an on-site scheduler to manage the scheduling function. One area of focus for maintaining happy healthy workers is hiring and training to a specific shift. It's important to determine which people will best fit a morning, afternoon, evening, weekend or night shift. This helps Scotiabank control staff attrition and improves retention rates. If an employee requires a change to their schedule, they will more than likely get it provided they give seven days notice. Each situation is reviewed individually and most are accommodated. Each employee is given three personal obligation days per year. This is a big perk as they do not need a reason for taking these days off.

Scotiabank offers alternative working arrangements such as "work at home" (depending upon job function), job sharing and different hour scheduling. These options are very attractive for employees working in the Contact Centre.

Calgary offers many different stress relief opportunities for employees. They include a walking program with the manager, free flu shots, hand sanitizers, massage chairs, workout gym, Relaxation Room, Nurses Room, yoga cards, EAP Program, Laughter is the Best Medicine program, games, foosball and pool tables.

There is a fire warden on every floor and reps are trained in first aid and how to use the first aid kits. The Health and Wellness committee deal with a variety of issues that help make the workplace a safe and healthy environment.

Rewards and Recognition

The Applause program is a peer recognition program that recognizes and celebrates employees or groups who have gone above and beyond the call of duty or produced outstanding results. Employees earn applause points and can redeem them for a wide variety of merchandise ranging from household items, electronics, toys, gift certificates, etc. This program is conducted monthly and points are given to both the sender and receiver. The Applause program is well received and very motivating for representatives.

The Best of the Best is another reward & recognition given to teams and individuals who have demonstrated success. The Best of the Best winners receive a Gala dinner and, chosen from the Best of the Best individual nominations, a cruise is awarded.

Employees who work the more difficult shifts on Mondays and Saturdays are given extra recognition from the management team as well as snacks and drinks on those days.

A gift fund is also available to recognize employees for a particular life event such as a birth, transfer, death in the family etc.

Contact Center Culture and Social Environment

The culture of the Calgary Centre is one of diversity, teamwork, success and fun. People pull together as a team for a common purpose with a variety of community/charity work as well as their day to day functions. Management is always available to respond to rep inquiries and support staff. The Centre VP is often found walking the floor speaking to reps.

A strong connection exists between the leadership team and the employees. The "One Team, One Goal" theme resonates throughout the company and Contact Centre. This helps frontline people feel valued and connected to the rest of the organization.

The Social Committee is responsible for initiating many of the activities for the Centre. There are pot luck lunches and birthday/anniversary celebrations. There are quarterly Scotiabanker dinners, team dinners and outings throughout the year. Christmas dinner/dance and International Day are big events but, the biggest happen during the Calgary Stampede. There are BBQ dinners, special breakfasts, western dress-up days, "Utter Competition", mini-putt, fiddlers and many fun team building activities.

Other social activities include: employee appreciation day, semi-annual parties, Halloween, St. Patrick's Day, Valentines Day and Christmas celebrations. The Contact Centre recently celebrated their 10 year anniversary and the Bank's 175th year anniversary.

Scotiabank's diversity goals are driving the organization forward in its efforts to create a workforce and customer base that truly reflect Canadian society today. The Contact Centre is without a doubt one of the most diverse areas within Scotiabank.

Three major goals define the initiatives put in place to achieve them:

  1. To be recognized as the employer of choice - one that reflects the community and one that attracts and retains talent from a variety of backgrounds.
  2. To re-affirm the bank's commitment to be a positive workplace for all employees.
  3. To strengthen our relationships and our brand image in diverse communities.

Community Support

There is a cross functional committee known as, "Community Heartbeat" that focuses on managing the Contact Centre charity work. This group is responsible for developing the charity work guidelines for the Centre. They help determine what activities will be used to generate money for a given charity and communicate it to staff.

Some of the activities that the group organized to support the community include:

  • Cancer Society – Relay for Life
  • United Way
  • Rick Hansen – Wheels In Motion
  • Food Bank
  • Second Harvest Food Drive
  • Mustard Seed Homeless Shelter
  • Christmas Child
  • Humane Society
  • Salvation Army – Toy Mountain
  • Breast Cancer – Bras For A Cause

Some of the activities organized to raise money include: BBQ's, silent auctions, bake sales, candy grams, and big baskets on Mother's Day, St Patrick's Day and Valentine's Day.

Team Scotia supports charity drives by matching dollar per dollar raised within corporate guidelines. Through the Scotia Employee Volunteer Program, the Bank donates up to $1,000 per year to charitable organizations in which employees are active volunteers.

Above and Beyond Factors

Above and Beyond refers to the little (or big) extras that differentiates the Scotiabank Toronto site from all the rest.

Here is a list of some of those attributes:

  • Part of a large organization – international career opportunities
  • Cross Functional Committees
  • Respect for the employee
  • Great benefits package
  • Employee share ownership plan
  • Year end bonus (if profit targets met)
  • Bank card "Scene" – rewards on Debit & Credit cards
  • Free banking – preferred rates
  • EAP program
  • On-site fitness and recreation
  • Management is well trained
  • Relaxed work environment – casual dress code
  • Work/life balance – flexible scheduling
  • Culture of diversity
  • Vibrant social environment

Scotiabank has won many awards and accolades including:

  • Platinum Contact Center Employer of Choice® Award 2006/2007
  • Best Contact Center in the Americas (250+ agents) – 2006
  • #1 in Customer Satisfaction – Agent Assisted Telephone Banking – Synovate 2000 – 2006.
  • #1 in SQM Customer Satisfaction in Sales and Employee Satisfaction 2005
  • Ranked in the Top 100 Organizations for Training
  • Ranked #2 company in Canada for ROE
  • Ranked #1 in International Banking

Scotiabank has won many awards and accolades including:

  • Platinum Contact Center Employer of Choice® Award 2006/2007
  • Best Contact Center in the Americas (250+ agents) – 2006
  • #1 in Customer Satisfaction – Synovate 2000 - 2005
  • #1 in SQM Customer Satisfaction in Sales and Employee Satisfaction 2005
  • Ranked in the Top 100 Organizations for Training
  • Ranked #2 company in Canada for ROE
  • Ranked #1 in International Banking