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A unique approach to training & development/Arnaud Serour

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Arnaud Serour, of Aspire Global, reflects on his company’s dedicated approach towards the training and development of staff.

When it comes to recruiting native language speakers for Customer Support positions in international call centres, competition between companies for the best talent is fierce, with speakers of less widely spoken languages being the hardest to find. Ensuring the highest standards of customer service, especially for multi-channel communications strategies, presents a significant challenge. Maintaining headcount is also a priority, but we believe this should never come at the expense of quality.

For these reasons, Aspire Global places great emphasis on developing its customer support personnel. Our comprehensive three-week training course for new employees is designed to inspire each agent, teaching them all the skills they need to guarantee customer satisfaction and maximise player retention across the board. By providing new employees with a solid grounding in how the business functions, and by enabling them to shadow our top-performing people, we build the basis of their skillset. Of equal importance is giving them a clear understanding that the company is fully prepared to assist, encourage and invest in individuals to turn them into effective and valuable members of our organisation. We see this process as a marathon, not a sprint, and this course is only the start of our ongoing commitment to getting the best out of our front-line people.

Thinking outside the box

Instilling the idea that independent decision-making delivers the best results is at the core of our methodology. First we build firm foundations by training every agent in all aspects of our protocols. By giving customer support personnel a full understanding of the bigger picture in terms of player journeys and multiple key metrics, they can take a more holistic, creative and flexible approach to problem-solving, enabling them to resolve issues far more quickly. Our staff are taught to think outside the box to handle every enquiry on a case-by-case basis, and to factor in the player’s history when dealing with issues related to banking or bonusing, so they can resolve any issue to the player’s complete satisfaction. We also stress the importance of the personal touch from the very first contact, to build relationships and to convey to all our players that they are receiving tailored service and customised solutions at every stage.

Learning to fly

We believe that the transition between training and going live on the support desk is crucial. That’s why the third week of our training course is entirely devoted to easing employees into our systems and processes under the close supervision of expert instructors. Literally everything is monitored and nothing is left to chance. From phone calls to live chat and email, we drill new recruits intensively to make sure they get off to the strongest possible start. In all walks of life, best practice needs to be established at the outset, and we’ve applied all the insights gained over 12 years of industry experience to create education that sets our staff up for success. This is especially relevant for agents with no prior experience in customer support. By demonstrating to them that they have the back-up of seasoned industry veterans, new staff can rapidly grow in confidence as they build their knowledge base, becoming more efficient and productive team members.

Nurturing talent

We go above and beyond for our people because we expect them to do the same for the players. Our CS representatives are the public face of our partners’ businesses and we understand the enormity of the trust they are placing in our company. It’s not about delivering adequate customer support – we believe in providing the very best possible service to add tangible value to every player journey, boosting the power of our partners’ brands.

Successful staff development must be seen in terms of coaching talent to help each employee to realise their potential. Just as every player is unique and rightly expects bespoke service, we feel that our customer support agents also deserve to be treated as individuals who naturally want to advance. We understand that getting peak performance from our people means we must offer each of them a path to greater responsibility and professional attainment.

That’s why our staff development strategy has been created to provide precisely that sense of progress. Based on multiple KPIs, including chat QA and monthly knowledge tests, we create a tailored training programme for every single agent, designed to sharpen their skills, reward their achievements and point the way towards greater success.

Arnaud Serour is the vice president of operations at Aspire Global, overseeing all foreign operations and the affiliate department. His background includes over 10 years in managing international call centre operations within the Igaming field.