Toronto Contact Center

CCEOC Certified: Platinum 2006/2007, Gold 2007/2008, Platinum 2009/2010, Platinum 2010/2011, Platinum 2011/2012

2201 Eglinton Avenue East
Scarborough, ON M1L 4S2

Company Description

Scotiabank's Customer Contact Centres (CCC) provides over 100 products and services to retail and small business customers across Canada.

Previously awarded 'Best Contact Centre in the Americas' by, our 24 hour a day seven day a week multi-lingual operations in Toronto and Cornwall contributes to the sales and service delivery of over 12.5 million customer calls annually across all Scotiabank Contact Centres.

Scotiabank is one of North America's premier financial institutions and Canada's most international bank. With more than 70,000 employees, Scotiabank Group and its affiliates serve some 18.6 million customers in more than 50 countries around the world. Scotiabank offers a broad range of products and services including personal, commercial, corporate, and investment banking.

Contact Center Description

The Toronto Customer Contact Centres leadership team is dedicated to creating an environment that is functional yet appealing. As you walk through the Centres, focal areas are clearly designated for motivational and professional recognition and information displays. There is plenty of natural light and plants inside with a courtyard outside made up of interlocking stone patio, benches, picnic tables, and landscaped gardens, creating an oasis for employees.

Kitchenettes are located throughout the centre and include refrigerators, microwaves, coffee/tea taps and sinks. Additionally, there is a tastefully appointed area with massage chairs and reading materials, called "The Quiet Zone", where employees go to relax or 'take five' after a tough call.

TVs are well-positioned throughout the centre and broadcast a variety of messaging from site activities to a real time feed to world and domestic news, sports and health-related messaging. On occasion, high profile sporting events are also displayed. A conscious decision to exclude telephone productivity metrics, like calls in queue, was made in order to avoid bombarding employees with too many 'numbers'. The objective was to minimize distractions and stress levels and enable employees to focus more on delivering quality customer service experiences. 2201 Energy FM, a pre-programmed music station, plays a popular and diverse mix of music and information pieces, many of which are recorded by employees every quarter. A sense of ownership and pride is evident as these messages, some with an element of fun, play throughout the centre.

Within the Toronto complex, Scotiabank provides a cafeteria that offers a wide variety of healthy, hot and cold meal options, including a Tim Horton's coffee shop. The common area of the building is a place where employees can enjoy a game of pool, watch TV or play video games during their break and lunch. Scotiabank ATMs are also available in this area and 24/7 security personnel are stationed at all entrances.

There is plenty of free parking and public transit is just steps away, with a shuttle that runs between the local GO train station and shopping malls.

CCEOC Certified: Platinum 2011

Scotiabank's Customer Contact Centres (CCC) is the first bank to attain the Contact Center Employer of Choice® certification. They are also the first contact center to have achieved the Platinum level designation on their first assessment. This year's assessment also included the new Cornwall location.

The following objectives 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 Toronto & Cornwall CCCs to benefit from: Promoting the designation, addressing key employee satisfaction issues, and developing an action plan for continuous improvement.

Overall, the Toronto CCC previously achieved a CCEOC designation; with Platinum in 2006, Gold in 2008, Platinum in 2009, Platinum in 2010 and Platinum in 2011. Toronto and Cornwall sites are looking forward to continuing to promote and maintain their high standards of excellence with Platinum in 2012 and onward.

Key Performance Measures

All teams are guided by Scotiabank's 'One Team, One Goal' philosophy and Core Values: Integrity – Respect – Commitment – Insight – Spirit – Community.

All employees have a balanced scorecard that encompasses four main performance measures.

  1. Customer experience/satisfaction
  2. Employee/people satisfaction
  3. Financial performance
  4. Operational performance

Technology and Ergonomics

The contact centre environment is both professional and appealing. Ergonomic workstations provide plenty of desk space and personal area, which are arranged in rows and grouped by functional area. Low partitions provide employees a view of the entire centre from almost any location, and are completely accessible. Specialized software (Jaws) is also available to support visually impaired agents in the delivery of customer care.

Growth Prospects

The Scotiabank Toronto Customer Contact Centre has been growing at a rapid pace over the last few years. The entire operation includes four centres across Canada – Calgary, Toronto, Halifax and Cornwall. Every year 62,000 emails are handled and over 53 million Sales and Service calls flow through the Contact Centres, of which 12.5MM are agent-assisted (10MM inbound calls and 2.5MM outbound),.

Currently, there are almost 900 employees and over 60 managers at the Toronto and Cornwall centres. They have been very successful at surpassing sales targets year-over-year and along with regular recognition and incentive programs, have contributed to creating a very dynamic, motivated, and successful work environment. Employee attrition is currently at 18% of which half are internal transfers to other areas of Scotiabank.

The operation will continue to grow in support of the following strategic initiatives:

  • Create capacity through optimization of technology
  • Commitment to achieving customer service excellence
  • Emphasis on operational effectiveness and efficiency
  • Leadership development and employee engagement
  • Revenue focus/accountability that remains at senior leadership level

CCEOC Attributes

Overall, Scotiabank's Customer Contact Centres displays many positive Contact Centre Employer of Choice® attributes.

The following represent some of the main attributes from management's perspective:

  • Respect for the employee
  • Relaxed and open work environment
  • Work-life balance – flexible scheduling
  • Culture of diversity
  • Cross Functional Committees
  • Growth opportunities for employees
  • Vibrant social culture

Work/Life Balance

The organization is very aware of the importance of providing a work environment that helps employees find a balance between their work and personal lives. As such, Scotiabank offers flexible work options like a compressed work week, job sharing, variable-hour scheduling, phased retirement and working from home – all of which are attractive options for employees.

An area of focus for maintaining happy healthy workers is the ability to hire and train for specific shifts and to determine if a candidate is best suited for a morning, afternoon, evening or weekend. As a 24/7 operation, an onsite scheduler also uses workforce management to support shift changes requiring seven days notice. These are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, most of which are accommodated and contribute to staff attrition and stable retention rates. All employees are entitled to three personal obligation days without explanation per year, and also deemed a great benefit by employees.

Rewards and Recognition

The Scotia Applause recognition program enables employees to earn 'points' and redeem them for a wide variety of merchandise available through an online catalogue (i.e. household items, electronics, gift certificates, trips, etc.). The peer recognition component of this program provides employees an online mechanism to recognize each other with a Peer Certificate and is based on Scotiabank's core values of Integrity – Respect – Commitment – Insight – Spirit – Community – Collaboration - Environment. The Annual Best of the Best component recognizes Top Individuals and Top Teams who have demonstrated exceptional all-rounded performance throughout the year. Nominated teams and individuals are awarded Applause points along with a celebratory team dinner or a chance to win a trip respectively.

Contact Center Culture and Social Environment

A strong connection exists between Scotiabank, the Contact Centre leadership team and employees as a result of the "One Team, One Goal" philosophy, and resonates throughout the company at all levels.

The culture of the Customer Contact Centres is one of diversity, teamwork, respect and fun. Sustainment strategies like the Cross-Functional Committee Framework, provide opportunities for employees to pull together to generate a variety of activities and events through five different committees. The Professional Development Committee for example, supports employees in career development by creating tools and mechanisms that enable career road mapping including the delivery of workshops on how to build a personal brand for success. My Learning Centre also provides over 3,000 e-learning courses for ongoing skills development further supplemented by the Scotiabank Education Assistance Program.

The leadership team is also readily available to respond to employee questions or concerns, and you'll often find the Centre VP on 'the floor' chatting with employees. On a more formal basis, Employee Round Tables, hosted by a member of the leadership team, provide employees an opportunity to bring issues / challenges to the table for constructive discussions around possible solutions for consideration. Quarterly 'My Fifteen' sessions enable additional opportunities for employees to schedule one-on-one time with any senior leader in the centre to discuss topics of their choice. This popular program continues to support regular, open and two-way communication at all employee levels.

Cross departmental interchange sessions are offered to employees as an opportunity to spend a day in another area of interest. It allows them to get a better sense of the area when considering a job change. It also helps develop additional support and understanding of the role Contact Centre employees play in the organization.

Food is universal and can usually be found at the Centre through team-organized pot luck lunches, birthday celebrations, or just the fact that it's Friday. The Culture & Lifestyle Committee is responsible for initiating centre-specific activities that promote and celebrate diversity. The International Pot Luck Day for example, focuses both on food and fundraising for the annual Christmas dance. The Scotiabanker Association is another forum for employees to network both professionally and socially through quarterly business dinner events and other activities at a corporate level. Scotiabank's diversity goals drive the organization forward in its efforts to create a workforce and customer base that truly reflect Canadian society today. The Toronto and Cornwall Customer Contact Centres are without a doubt 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 customer relationships and the Scotiabank brand image in diverse communities.

Community Involvement

The Community Heartbeat Committee focuses on leading and supporting the centre's fundraising efforts and volunteer activities and highlights include:

  • The Heart & Stroke Foundation Big Bike Ride
  • Local Firefighter's Christmas Toy Drive
  • Habitat for Humanity Build Day
  • The United Way
  • Regular contributions and donations to local community youth centres, long term care homes, food banks, and women's shelters.

The Team Scotia Community Program also recognizes individual volunteers by matching funds raised by them for local causes, and the Scotia Employee Volunteer Program also 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's Customer Contact Centres from the rest and attributes include:

  • Respect for the employee
  • Relaxed and open work environment
  • Work / life balance – flexible scheduling
  • Culture of diversity
  • Growth opportunities for employees
  • Vibrant social culture
  • Cross Functional Committees

The Toronto and Cornwall Customer Contact Centres create a "Foundation for Success" with elements that include:

  • Regular Employee Appreciation Events
  • Applause Recognition Program
  • Cross Functional Committee Framework
  • Employee Surveys
  • Open Communication
  • On-site Training Support
  • On-site Human Resources Support
  • Call Quality Monitoring Program
  • CARE Program
  • Contact Centre Portal
  • External Benchmarking and Measurement

Scotiabank has celebrated some exciting and prestigious accolades and successes over the past few years…

  • Platinum Contact Center Employer of Choice® Award 2006, re-certified Gold in 2007, Platinum in 2009, Platinum again in 2010 and Platinum again in 2011
  • SQM Contact Centre Awards (Call Centre of the Year 2010, World Class Certification 2007-2010, Highest Customer & Employee Satisfaction in the Banking Industry 2007-2010, World Class Employee Satisfaction -2010)
  • Best Contact Center in the World – 2007 Silver Award (®)
  • 'How May I Help You' Survey – Scored 90.3 out of 100 – (CBC News Survey 2007)
  • Best Contact Center in the Americas 2006 (250+ agents) – (®)
  • #1 in Customer Satisfaction – Agent Assisted Telephone Banking (Synovate 2000 – 2007)
  • 50 Best Employers in Canada 2010 – 7th Consecutive Year (Globe & Mail Report on Business)
  • Training Top 125 (Ranked 18th in 2009)
  • Canada's Best Diversity Employers 2010
  • The Green Top 30 2010
  • Canada's Most Reputable Bank (Canadian Business magazine 2010)
  • Great Places to Work 2010 (Institute Canada)