Caring for people engraved in DNA

Caring for people engraved in DNA

In an interview with Monika Röhr-Łukasik, Country Director at Foundever, we delve into the motivations and consequences behind the rebranding process, trends in customer relationship management, and the unique challenges faced within the Contact Center industry.

FOCUS ON Business: Sitel Group just announced its official transformation into Foundever™. Could you elaborate on the driving factors behind this strategic decision and shed light on the core values underpinning this transition?

Monika Röhr-Łukasik, Foundever™: The rebranding follows the acquisition of Sitel in 2015 by Groupe Acticall, bringing together diverse digital, learning, analytics and tech capabilities, and most recently with the acquisition of Sykes Enterprises, Inc. in 2021. The company was consolidated and a new brand was needed that would reflect the commitment to innovation, dynamism and determination to provide an excellent service in CX, so this rebranding is a natural step on our journey to become the world's leading and most innovative CX BPO (customer experience business process outsourcing) company.

The rebranding was an internal co-creation process which involved multidisciplinary teams from all areas of the company, complemented with insights from teams around the world. We arrived at the name Foundever™, which is not a word that can be found in a dictionary, but which has a deep meaning and a great history: it shows our founder-led culture, our permanent curiosity and our passion for innovation, all driven by our entrepreneurial roots. It also shows our experience, which is constantly evolving and which is based in our more than 40 years of support to the most beloved brands in the world. It also translates that we have a digital base, but without ever neglecting the human aspect.

The new brand marks a new chapter in our operations and an even greater motivation to achieve our developmental goals. Our DNA is built upon people-centric values, particularly centered around creativity, commitment, and relationship-building. Our diverse and global team, along with shared cultural values, unite us and empower us to bring value to leading global brands.

What is the size and global presence of Foundever™?

Foundever™ is a global leader in the customer experience (CX) industry. With 170,000 associates across the globe, we’re the solutions and the team behind the best experiences for +750 of the world’s leading and digital-first brands. Our innovative CX solutions, technology, and expertise are designed to support operational needs for our clients and deliver a seamless experience to customers in the moments that matter. We support +9 million customer conversations every day in +60 languages across 45 countries. Foundever™ combines global strength and scale with the agile, entrepreneurial approach of our founder-led culture enabling companies of all sizes and industries to transform their CX.

How has the company's development in Poland unfolded so far? What are the key areas of focus for you today?

Foundever™ has been present in Poland for close to 20 years. When I joined in 2008, Foundever™ (then Sitel) had 500 employees in the country and was already supporting clients in more than 14 different languages. With the #InspireGrowth mission established in 2019 we started to strongly promote Poland’s capabilities across international clients.

Since then, the company has experienced significant growth, with almost 1,500 employees and the capability to support in 35 different languages we are supporting 14 different client creating great experiences for customers around the world. Winning the Outsourcing Star in the category of Best Contact Center in 2023 was not only an acknowledgement of our dynamic growth but also meaningful reward for the entire company.

We have a very solid and stable operation in Poland, and we plan to continue delivering the same exceptional CX solutions together with our efficient and innovative team. We are ready to embrace the new brand’s values and be an important part of the new chapter of our business. We want to exploit the huge potential for growth we still have in Poland, and our strong progress since day one gives us a solid foundation for future success. Our primary focus lays on the day to day work of our associates – we are creating a great people centric work environment for our associates based on respect, support, development opportunities and equality.

Our development programs allow us to grow top talents to top management positions. From day 1 employees learn extensively as we invest heavily in training, including soft skills. Our e-learning platform for employees elevates their professional and personal skills and offers multiple opportunities for them to evolve in their careers. We also invest consistently in our employees’ well-being; one of the perks we provide is access to psychological, financial, and legal support. A great testimony for our culture is the fact that Foundever™ won the Best Employer Award in the Polish Contact Center Awards 2023.

What changes and trends are you identifying globally in the Customer Management industry? Are there any differences regarding the Polish landscape?

According a research that Foundever™ conducted in 2023, the main 5 CX Trends – which are aligned with the trends in the BPO sector in Poland are:

  1. CX Goes Back to Basics: Now is the time to reexamine current CX levels. New channels and experiences will ultimately disappoint if those features aren’t built on a solid CX foundation.
  2. Build Trust to Build Data: First-party data presents a massive opportunity for organizations to have a conversation with customers on trust and data protection and how it will ultimately benefit each customer on an individual level.
  3. Seize Every Networking Opportunity: It’s time to make social media an integral element of the customer journey, as it will soon become a mainstream channel — and one that consumers are prioritizing for solving issues.
  4. Avoid the Technology Trap: It takes genuine intelligence for AI to deliver on expectations. Organizations need to use the coming year to review their existing use of the technology and rethink future AI investments.
  5. Take an Educated Approach to the Employee Experience: It’s time to reassess the employee experience and take a holistic look at the future of work to understand the skills in demand today and those that will be crucial to success tomorrow.

As we observe the ever-increasing presence of artificial intelligence, how has it been impacting your work processes and shaping your customers' expectations? Could you share your insights on the role of AI in revolutionizing your industry?

Our role at Foundever is to act as a solutions integrator. As with all innovations we have experienced so far – the rise of the internet, the creation of social media and the birth of artificial intelligence – emerging technologies like AI offer many opportunities to transform and move to the next level in our industry. An important trend that is very much top-of-mind for our clients, our business and our industry is the topic of generative AI and large language models, such as ChatGPT. We are already responding to many questions in this space and can expect that this will continue to grow in the months ahead.

Generative AI presents significant opportunities for our business. Automating repetitive tasks with no real added value enables us to refocus our people on the moments that matter in the customer journey – this will help to maximize the value of the talent in our teams while increasing engagement through more rewarding work. For now, we know many of our clients remain cautious about the implications of this technology. Questions remain concerning security, privatization, access to data, the economic and energy model, not to mention the socio-economic consequences on all countries and their populations. Undoubtedly, the model will evolve in the months and years to come.

What are going to be the next steps of Foundever™in our country?

You never know what the future holds, but for sure we continue our mission to grow, focusing not only on existing client grow and winning new business partners but also on diversity in service delivery. Another milestone for Foundever Poland will surely be the opening of another Hub in Poland. Customer Service is a very dynamic business environment and that is the most exciting part of our CX industry. Next year we celebrate 20 years of activity on the Polish market and it will certainly be a great opportunity to promote the CX industry in Poland among current and potential customers from around the world.

We are keeping our fingers crossed then. Thank you for the interview.

This article comes from magazine:
FOCUS ON Business #12 September-October (5/2023)

FOCUS ON Business #12 September-October (5/2023) Check the issue