Love Makes the Workplace Go Round with C3!

Rocky Batara
“<” + “3” = LOVE

    Try to type this in Facebook, and you will get a heart. This graphic animation often used in social media messaging is a simplistic and lighthearted depiction of a complex emotion. Love in any form needs demonstration. When one sees love, watches it grow, feels it, lives it, gives and receives it, it becomes real and the most amazing thing, especially if it happens in, of all places, a customer contact center.

    The notion of love is alive and well in C3, a customer communications outsourcer, whose customer contact representatives are surrounded by love, literally as the word fills the spaces on the walls and cubicles around them, and figuratively.  Beyond the literal sense and corporate speak, C3 makes a difference in the information communication technology industry because of its culture of love.

    C3’s full name, C3/CustomerContactChannels, spells out its very essence: Customer, which means that C3 is a company that serves the customer above all else, with full intent to resolve issues quickly, and to do things excellently; Contact, as C3 is an expert in contact center management; and Channels, through which C3 says, for every issue there is a way, there is an answer.

The company was founded by the same team that founded Precision Response Corporation (PRC), turning C3 into a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) company providing customer management solution worldwide. The company has opened customer contact centers throughout the Unites States, Asia, Europe and Central America and boasts of several Fortune 500 companies as its clients. C3 is backed by Stone Point Capital, a private equity firm that has raised and managed private equity funds with aggregate committed capital of $9 billion.

C3 has become a pioneer in handling multichannel customer care and has created a unique, employee-centric culture that is innovative for the contact center industry.  C3 prides itself in having an entrepreneurial spirit that encourages everyone in its organization from every level of management and every type of employee to suggest new ideas and try new things to make the company better.

As a contact center in the Philippines, C3 continues to be a breath of fresh air since it was established recently. It passed the 1,000-employee mark and now has close to 2,000 employees and five accounts. One cannot deny that its growth is exceptional, but its rise to success is because of the contact center industry experience that its core of leaders brought to C3, along with time-tested methodologies and singular focus on customer solutions.

Love what you do

    At C3, “Love What You Do” is not a cliché; it is a way of life. From the point of hire, the tagline comes alive for every employee in C3 and it becomes an essential way of doing things.
C3 Philippines was organized by a core team of seven people, all of whom are seasoned professionals in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry. They brought with them a shared history, the key officers having worked together for almost 10 years in different contact center industries worldwide; tenure; and, the best practices from the industry including their own innovations on how to make a workplace a love-filled hotbed of productivity. This core team knew what was needed to do to make their idea of a dream company become a reality. And this is exactly what they did. They built C3 to be a place of work where someone can love what they do.

    The Philippines being the number one call center destination in the world, employing over 600,000 agents and surpassing India’s 350,000, makes it the ideal place to plant the C3 culture of love. The Philippine contact center industry has grown exponentially in the last five years, contributing a staggering $11 billion (5%) to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This growth has spurred a growth in the income levels of contact center agents.

    But being paid well is not everything, according to Kevin Urrutia, C3’s Vice President for Operations. The contact center industry has seen a high attrition rate even if higher salaries and more bonuses are offered. While the industry average of attrition is 10 percent (10%), C3 only has an attrition rate of between 3 percent (3%) to 4 percent (4%), a significant indicator of how the culture of love in a workplace can affect employee longevity.

“I love people. There is a sense of joy and fulfillment from being able to help someone, which makes me love coming to work every day,” he enthuses. It’s this genuine love and care for people that reflect on the people around him. For instance, he calls everyone by their first names. Even if he is an executive of the company, he treats his employees as peers. “At the end of the day,” he adds, “everybody is equal.”
Do What You Love

    It is everyone’s dream to get to do what they love. And when that dream comes true, it makes everything click: the job becomes effortless. Rick Ferry, CustomerContactChannels’ president and COO, explains, “The whole theme is to love coming to work in the morning, love where you work, love who you work for, love who you work with – it comes from the old notion that if you love what you do, then you never ‘work’ a day in your life. There’s a great deal of responsibility that goes behind that word and that overall theme; we have to live that every day. Essentially, we want our staff to enjoy what they do and be proud of it.”

    At C3, an employee’s life begins with a mutual understanding of respect, responsibility, and passion. And as this work culture blossoms, employees become enamored with the dream that indeed they can love what they do. He can learn to give all that he’s got; to be taught and trained so that he could offer solutions to clients; to increase his skills and therefore his confidence in looking for ways to help; to adapt to changing situations and rise to different challenges – and as he learns to do all these things at C3, he will end up doing what he loves and making his dream work become a reality.

    Jill Vivas, Senior Operations Manager and one of the members of the original core team, says, “At C3, we have an open door policy and employees can talk to us anytime. They can bypass their immediate supervisor and talk to any manager. Even the highest officer, our country manager Andy Sarakinis, is available anytime.”
Jill says she was touched when Andy opened his home to his employees during a string of storms in August this year. Another manager, Chris Cardenas, drove employees from their homes to the C3 building’s training rooms, which were made into temporary shelters for employees and their families. She says she has never heard or experienced such kind of caring from employers before. Things like these make employees fiercely loyal to C3, she observes.

    C3 is taking the Philippines by storm in an unconventional way: by helping its agents learn to love what they do, love where they work, love who they work with and love coming to work. Love in the workplace equals productivity and a rewarding experience. Love the C3 way opens the way to living the dream in the workplace.

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