CUTS THE TALK
The telco’s secret
to success P.6
IN A DIGITAL AGEHOW ONLINE SERVICES ARE BRINGING CUSTOMER SATISFACTION P.13
Online care in the world
of entertainment P.17
CUS TO M ER C AR E I NS I GHTS /2017
hen I started here at Transcom
six and a half years ago, our
business was still almost
exclusively centered on serving
our clients’ customers over
the telephone. While the phone channel is still
important, the nature of customer service has
gradually changed, as a result of the migration
to digital, non-voice channels such as apps,
social media, chat, and self-service.
Digitalization is having a profound impact on
how people choose to interact and communicate.
For customer care and support, it is clear that
most of us tend to use the channel that will solve
our issues in the simplest, most effortless way.
This is the reason why roughly a third of Trans-
com’s revenue is related to non-voice activities
today, up from under ten percent when I started
in 2010. In the years ahead, this number will keep
While less complex questions will increasingly
be resolved via self-service tools and other
digital channels, contact center agents will be
faced with taking care of the more difficult issues
over the phone, resulting in longer conversa-
tions with customers. As a result, technical and
communication skills requirements for customer
care specialists are growing quite significantly.
The way that we develop and train our people
is becoming even more central to our success.
We are making important investments in order
to stay ahead in the people development and
training area. One example is the new training
site we opened in the Philippines during 2016.
(Read more about this on page 10).
The proliferation of new technologies and
changing consumer preferences require us to
constantly innovate and refine best practices
together with our clients in order to remain com-
petitive. Transcom is supporting many clients on
their digital journeys, helping them to manage
the shift towards digital and multichannel
solutions for customer care. New
technology enables innovative ways
of supporting human interaction and
improving the customer experience,
with positive effects on loyalty,
retention and sales.
Feel free to read on to
learn more about how we are
working together with some
of our clients: TalkTalk,
Whirlpool and Viaplay.
Johan Eriksson, President
and CEO of Transcom
Digitalization is having a profound impact on how people choose
to communicate. This requires us to constantly innovate.
is a magazine published by Transcom.
Here, we share stories from around Transcom,
and also exemplify how we work together with our
clients to enhance their business performance by
improving the experience of their customers.
Editor: Stefan Petterson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: +46 70 776 80 88
Production: Intellecta Corporate, www.intellectacorporate.se
Print: TMG Repro: Turbin Cover photo: Lina Jushke
2 Hello Transcom 2017
TalkTalk takes on the
UK’s biggest players
TRAINING FOR OUR TIME
Transcom opens a new center of excellence
How Agne Butkute became
a winning team leader
Viaplay meets its
Meeting the demands of the millennials
WHY SMART APPLIANCES
REQUIRE SMART AGENTS
Services in a world of connected things
A LEADING LEADER
Eloy Rojas Delgado pays tribute to his team
The winning formula of
team leader Mary Ann Angeles
Why human and virtual agents go hand in hand
3Hello Transcom 2017
SCANDIC COUNTS ON TRANSCOM
– WITHOUT RESERVATION
Transcom’s partnership with Scandic Hotels has been extended, and not only that: the
business relationship has also been expanded significantly.
Henrik Olsson, Country Manager Sweden at Transcom, believes “this is testimony to
Transcom’s service quality, efficiency and, not least, our sales performance, which helps
to generate additional revenue for our client.”
While Transcom has been providing reservation services for Scandic’s customers in
Sweden since 2007, under the new agreement, it will deliver similar services in Danish,
Finnish and Norwegian as well as Swedish. It will be the hotel chain’s sole partner for
reservation services in these four Nordic markets. All of Transcom’s customer services
agents working with Scandic Hotels will be based at the multilingual contact center in
Jobs for shoppers
In the Philippines, you can now
walk into a shopping mall and walk
out with a brand-new career. That’s
because in July 2016, Transcom
launched its mall-based recruitment
hub in Basement 1 of Robinsons Gal-
leria in Quezon City, Metro Manila: a
move that lives up to the company’s
core values of passion, excellence,
and innovation. The idea is to offer
a convenient way for job seekers to
improve their career prospects in a
warm, spacious environment where
nervous applicants feel at ease and
can do their best during interviews.
The number of interactions
managed by Transcom’s agents
during a typical day. Approximately
30 percent of Transcom’s revenue
is related to non-voice channels.
Get ready for
Many heads are better than one… That’s why Transcom believes
in sharing ideas – especially those relating to people, processes
Now, to make life easy, Transcom has developed an in-house
app that staff can use both to deposit their ideas, and discover
those that their colleagues have come up with. There’s money in
this too… because once an idea has been assessed and approved
for development as a business case, the employee gets paid for it.
So, get ready for a brainstorm.
4 Hello Transcom 2017
The Internet of Things (IoT) has been a hot
topic for some time now and we are increas-
ingly surrounded by smart devices and objects
that can communicate with each other and
with the user.
All market analysts and observers are
forecasting exponential growth for the
Internet of Things. Intel has analyzed the IoT
scenario, reporting that 15 billion objects were
connected to the internet in 2015 and esti-
mating that this figure will reach 200 billion
devices in 2020.
We are therefore witnessing the birth of
a new frontier for the interconnection between
people’s physical lives and digital worlds. If this
trend continues, there will be a revolution in
customer care activities too in the years ahead.
Transcom is setting its sights on the future,
by analyzing opportunities and empowering
technology to create advanced contact center
As an example, Transcom’s research lab
LeonarDo 2.0.14 is now focusing its attention
on the new devices we can use to connect
with contact centers. The telephone is no
longer the only contact channel, but also cars,
refrigerators, televisions, alarm clocks, shoes,
keys and washing machines… Another area of
analysis is the transition from classic customer
care to “proactive” assistance, in which smart
objects use the data they continuously collect
to diagnose operating malfunctions by them-
selves and trigger operator calls to the owner.
All told, the Internet of Things really does
seem to be one of the most important and
promising of recent developments, increasing
the quality of life for all of us in ways that are
hard to predict.
INTERNET OF THINGS
TRANSFORMS CUSTOMER CARE
Growing with Transcom
At 46 Theresa Ordiales shares her
inspiring story of growing and learning
with Transcom Philippines.
“My life hasn’t been the same since I
joined the company in 2007. At first, I only
considered entering the BPO industry for
the sake of paying the bills. I never realized
it would lead to the establishment of my
career and the rebirth of my self-esteem.
I was 37 years old then, and just like
everyone else, I started taking calls with a
handful of jitters and apprehensions. It was
like all the negative vibes rolled into one.
Fortunately, after the heart-pounding first
call, I was able to get “the hang of it”.
I never knew I had the confidence to do
customer service – talking to customers,
addressing their inquiries, explaining their
bills, and ultimately resolving their issues.
I started as an agent in 2007, got promoted
as a trainer in 2012, and transitioned as an
Organizational Development trainer in April
this year. It’s safe to say that Transcom has
transformed me and helped me not only
discover, but also harness my skills.”
Read more personal stories at
In April 2016 Transcom launched a campaign
called My Generation designed to honor young
people’s efforts in the workplace. The initiative
included a survey about the way young people
are treated in the workplace, and a competition
inviting young adults to share a post on Insta-
gram about someone who had inspired them
on the career front.
The winner of the competition, Filip Lundahl, had
nominated his best friend, who has made a career out
of his passion for German football. His favorite
pastime, which really began as a hobby writing
for svenskafans.com, has now led to a well-paid
writing job in Hamburg. Inspired by his friend’s
determination to do something he is truly
passionate about, Lundahl says it’s now only
a matter of time till he finds his dream job in
film and TV. Hopefully the prize he won (a visit
to Netflix with careers guidance from a certified coach)
will help him do just that.
5Hello Transcom 2017
Head of Customer
service at TalkTalk,
explains how the
company has tur-
ned things around
to a new strategy
Five years ago, TalkTalk was one of the most complained
about telecoms operators in Britain. Today the company has
completely turned things by revamping the contact centre
operating model and finding new ways for customers to get
the support they need across digital channels.
TEXT: MATTIAS KARÉN PHOTO: DAN BURMAN
7Hello Transcom 2017
fter being handed the Daily
Mail’s ‘Wooden Spoon’, given to
companies their readers deem
have the worst customer service,
TalkTalk, which delivers value for
money phone, broadband and TV
packages to more than 4 million
UK customers, realised it need-
ed to change. One of the problems was that it had
recently acquired several different companies who all
had their own customer service networks. As a result
it was working with many different out-
sourcing providers, making it incredibly
hard to deliver a consistent customer
A decision was made to simplify and
streamline the number of partners and
at each stage, TalkTalk chose to stick
with Transcom, despite the fact that
Transcom’s Manila-based operations
were so far from the UK.
“The temptation was to work with
someone closer, so that’s a testament to
the quality of Transcom’s services that it negated the
distance,” says Sholto Mee, Head of Customer Service
for TalkTalk. “We wanted to move to a larger stra-
tegic partnership where we could develop a deeply
embedded relationship, one with equal respect where
we share in each other’s successes and have to work
together in order to be successful together.”
The results have been remarkable, and today TalkTalk
outperforms larger players such as BT in the regula-
tor’s formal reports on customer satisfaction and com-
plaint handling. One of the main reasons is because
TalkTalk has realised that customers increasingly want
to interact with companies using a variety of channels,
especially digital ones. One of the company’s main
strategies has been to invest in innovations such as
Live Chat functionality and online self-service so that
customers can solve their problems digitally, thereby
reducing the numbers of calls into contact centres.
“We are seeing customers migrate to digital
channels more and more, and customer satisfaction
is much higher in those areas as a result. Today 40
percent of our frontline customer service is through
live chat, compared to 5 percent a few years ago,”
says Sholto Mee.
And consumers are more demanding, and more
likely to switch than ever before, keeping those cus-
tomers happy is crucial.
“Internet connectivity is as important to consum-
ers today as electricity or water. People expect to
be able to be online 24/7, and expectations are on
a completely different level than they were five or
10 years ago. It’s crucial we deliver support in a way
that retains those customers,” says Mark Lyndsell,
Transcom’s Country Manager for UK and Asia Pacific
Today about 1,800 agents in two of Transcom’s deliv-
ery centers in Manilla handle all types of customer
queries for TalkTalk, from billing to technical support.
And TalkTalk is constantly adopting innovative
solutions, such as voice biometric software that helps
identify customers without having to go through
lengthy security questions. Transcom has also created
escalation layers so that more skilled agents can deal
with callers who have urgent problems or complaints.
And TalkTalk is planning to launch a new
We are seeing customers migrate
to digital channels more and
more, and customer satisfaction is much
higher in those areas as a result.
Sholto Mee, Head of Customer Service at TalkTalk
“Today 40 percent
of our frontline
is through live
chat,” says Sholto
8 Hello Transcom 2017
WhatsApp-style messaging application where cus-
tomers can send questions and replies to agents at
any time, without the need for instant responses.
“That’s really exciting because it fundamentally
changes the experience from the customer’s point of
view. They can engage with us on their terms, when
it suits them. If they need an instant response, they
get one. But if they want to send a message, then
get on the train and check the response later, they
can fit in their questions around their day-to-day
lives,” says Sholto Mee.
It’s clear that TalkTalk is determined to stay
ahead of the game and isn’t afraid to make fast and
sweeping changes to the way the company oper-
ates. That means their partners must have the same
attitude, and willingness to evolve.
“The reason why our partnership has lasted so
long is that Transcom has been able to align to
their culture,” says Mark Lyndsell. “TalkTalk is very
entrepreneurial. They like to zig when everybody
else zags. They like to buck the trend. That means
you have be very agile and flexible in terms of your
thinking when you’re working with them.”
And that’s also why TalkTalk feel they have found the
perfect partner in Transcom.
“We operate at the value-end of the market which
means we can’t outspend our competition, we have
to outthink them. That means we have a culture of
moving quickly and delivering innovative products.
So all our partners have to be flexible with us,” says
Sholto Mee. “Transcom is great at that because they
have a flexible management team with the ability
to deal with ambiguity and deal with change. We
talk about challenging with integrity. It’s a two-way
dialogue, and that’s based on trust.”
TalkTalk was formed in
2003 and has quickly
grown to become
one of the biggest
telecom companies in
Britain, with more than
4 million customers.
TalkTalk is a value pro-
vider that is constantly
challenging the more
established giants with
low-cost offers for
internet, phone and TV
250million GB of
of UK population
by the numbers:
customersTalkTalk’s 2015 PR
9Hello Transcom 2017
As Transcom strives to meet the customer
service user’s ever-evolving needs, the
company continues to prioritize compe-
tence development. Hence the new center
of excellence on Epifanio de los Santos
Avenue (EDSA) in Metro Manila.
Completed in November 2016, the
center has been a significant invest-
ment. It features all the latest technology,
preparing trainees for work in the digital
age. Besides instructor-led training the
center offers online courses and even
microlearning: smaller educational units
and short-term activities. “We have to align
with the times,” says Robert Cabral, Vice
President for Learning Development and
Quality. “Content has evolved, becoming
increasingly interactive, and we have to
look at that.”
With innovation at the forefront, the
ground floor has a showcase area, where
touchscreens will allow trainees to
explore web- or app-based learning tools.
His vision for the center is ambitious:
“Ultimately, the plan is to apply virtual
technology in the product and training
labs, and to run a program that will allow
a person to experience a different country
or the customer’s home where they can do
The interiors were carefully planned to
facilitate learning. It may come as a surprise,
says Robert Cabral, but “the color green
stimulates the mind.” Naturally, hemade this
color a key element of the subdued palette
selected for the center. You should never
underestimate the impact of visual stimuli,
he says. “You avoid client logos, advertise-
ments and pictures or anything else that
might be distracting. The idea is to ensure
trainees pay close attention!”
Above all though, the idea was to create
an interesting space: something different
where trainees would enjoy being.
CLASSESTEXT: BIRGITTE VAN DEN MUYZENBERG
10 Hello Transcom 2017
Built in: November 2016.
Located in: Metro Manila.
Number of Learning Development
training staff: 150.
Reason for building it: A bigger,
more centralized facility was needed.
Purpose: To be used solely for trai-
ning and talent development.
Facilities: 24-hour clinic, daycare,
pharmacy, sleeping quarters, free
Extra facilities: Leadership academy
and learning labs.
Number of Transcom training sites
in Manila: Four including the center
11Hello Transcom 2017
Works as: Senior team leader.
Started working for Transcom in 2013
Education: Bachelor’s degree in cultural
Lives in: Vilnius, Lithuania.
Best thing about Transcom: The people.
n November last year, three team leaders were
granted the Transcom Team Leader Award
2016 in recognition of special effort. Agne
Butkute, a Senior Team Leader from Vilnius,
Lithuania, was one of them.
She answers modestly when questioned about
the award: “Honestly, I don’t know why I won, but
I guess I must have done something good. I feel
very humble and proud.”
But when Agne starts to talk about her career,
it is not difficult to understand why she received
During her four years with Transcom, she has
already fulfilled four different roles. In 2013 she
started as a first-line agent, and after just one year
she was promoted to back office. A year later, she
became a team leader. But it didn’t stop there…
In March 2016, she advanced again, becoming a
senior team leader.
“That’s one of the greatest things about
Transcom: you can advance and develop within
the company. You don’t have to go anywhere else.
For me, that is great because I love change, and
I love learning new things.
Today, Agne has four team leaders reporting to her.
“As a leader, I think it is very important to
communicate with my team. I listen to what they
say and do not give them orders. My leadership
is built on trust, and I would never look over their
shoulders. I think this is the best way for people to
develop and achieve good results.
Agne motivates and inspires the agents in her
team by showing them she understands their
“I sometimes take a call so the agents can hear
me talking to the customer. I believe good leaders
lead by example. I can really show my team I
know how it feels to work as an agent. I have the
experience and know what I’m talking about when
I give them advice. I’ve been there myself.”
12 Hello Transcom 2017Hello Transcom 201712
Digitalization is gradually changing the playing field in terms of companies’
interaction with their customers. Meanwhile the technical tools now available are
creating new opportunities to meet customers’ expectations. But the challenge is
to strike the right balance between human interaction and automated services.
TEXT: JOHAN WICKSTRÖM ILLUSTRATION: ROBERT HILMERSSON
CUSTOMER CARE IN A
13Hello Transcom 2017
ustomer experience has never been
hotter.” These were the words
written in a trend analysis pub-
lished at the end of 2016 by Forbes
They are not exactly alone in
highlighting the significance and
value of customer experience: if you do a quick
Google search, you get more than 34 million
widely varying hits for the term. There are many
companies and organizations that have realized
that digitalization has a fundamental impact on
customer relationships. It is of course all about
the way customers experience the services and
products themselves, but also about the way the
company behind these services treats its customers
– that is, the actual customer service offered.
Meanwhile, driven by the younger generation,
today’s customers have much higher expectations
of their suppliers than say 10 years ago because of
the novel fast mobile services now on offer. One
bad experience is enough for a customer to switch
service providers with a couple of clicks. And there
is also the risk of the customer then communi-
cating on social media, which doesn’t tend to do
much to strengthen a brand.
“Customer experience is increasingly crucial
to all companies today,” says Philip Sköld, Chief
Commercial Officer at Transcom. “It’s an impor-
tant source of differentiation.”
There are several major technology trends that are
changing today’s market conditions: the develop-
ment of social media and other fast mobile services;
the emergence of the Internet of Things, with
sensors included in an increasing number of new
products; and innovations in the machine learning
and artificial intelligence domains.
“All companies are wrestling with the effects of
digitalization, and the question of how to manage
the transformation,” says Philip Sköld. “It’s impor-
tant for Transcom to be at the forefront so that we
can help our clients in the best possible way on
this transformation journey. We need to be able
to adapt to our clients’ needs, and be able to offer
them an appropriate and competitive technical
Transcom is continuously working with its
clients to help them reap the benefits of digital-
ization, to become more effective, efficient, and
to support them in developing new services. It’s
partly a matter of providing appropriate services
14 Hello Transcom 2017
for every channel – voice, email and chat but also
channels such as instant messaging, social media
and video chat. But it’s also partly about offering
value-added services such as customer journey
mapping, or advanced analytics of the vast
amounts of customer.
“We prefer working closely with our clients in
innovating and developing the services,” Philip
Sköld says. “Conditions vary from industry to in-
dustry, so we customize our service offering to the
particular need of our clients.”
One thing is clear: customers are increasingly using
digital channels rather than traditional voice
calls to contact customer services centers. This is
facilitated by the development and emergence of
virtual agents and automated services. Even though
still only handling a fraction of volumes, about 10
percent of companies are today experimenting with
the use of virtual agents, and studies show that this
figure is expected to rise to 25 percent by 2020.
One possible conclusion to be drawn from this is
that digital developments are causing companies’
customer services staff to become increasingly
redundant. But many analysts have reached a
different conclusion: automation will allow many
simple customer service tasks to be solved. But
interacting with a human will continue to be
important – and will probably become even more
important – when it comes to answering the more
complex questions raised by customers. This will
put even greater demand on the competence of the
agents in the future.
Philip Sköld at Transcom agrees with this con-
clusion: “There will be a transition between chan-
nels in the future, and the amount of interactions
between the customer and the provider is likely to
increase even if much of it takes place in digital
and automated channels. But the more complex
cases will require more of our agents. They will
need to have a wider range of skills and abilities.
In future customer service operations, it will be
critical to strike the right balance between auto-
mated services and human interaction. In the end,
customer service is about dealing with people.
In 2016, Transcom established a global Innovation
Council to address these questions more systemati-
cally, with representatives from all regions and key
“We addressed this by taking a global approach,
and now run a number of innovation projects – for
example, piloting of virtual agents,” Philip Sköld
says. “We also take advantage of our best prac-
tices across the different regions, and make sure
that these are deployed globally. In this way, we
work systematically on improving and simplifying
processes, both for our clients and their end cus-
tomers. We have also started up industry-specific
groups focusing on e-commerce, for example, that
customize and roll out the offering to our clients.”
Technical advancements not only benefit
Transcom’s clients; but Transcom’s internal pro-
cesses can also be improved by using automated
services that support the agents, for example, by
providing them with tools as speech analytics and
knowledge base systems to speed up the handling
The amount of interaction between
the customer and the provider is
likely to increase even if much of it takes
place in digital and automated channels.
Philip Sköld, Chief Commercial Officer at Transcom
of companies are
likely to be using
virtual agents by
15Hello Transcom 2017
An increasing share of the interactions that the online
service Viaplay has with its customers is digital. The idea is
to be in touch with the customers where they actually are
– and to meet their needs directly: a strategy that pays.
TEXT: JOHAN WICKSTRÖM PHOTO: JENNIFER GLANS
hy are there so many
interruptions when you’re
watching The Blacklist? It’s
becoming tiresome.” The first
question of the day pops up
on Andreas Fjäder’s screen.
He works in Transcom’s
customer service center for
Viaplay, the online service provider that broadcasts
movies, series and sports programmes in the Nordics.
“We’ll sort this out.” This is how Andreas Fjäder’s
routine response to the customer begins…
Here at the customer service center, around 60 employ-
ees provide support for Viaplay’s customers in Sweden,
Norway, Denmark and Finland on the phone, and via
e-mail, chat, web forms, Google Play and social media.
Questions relate to anything from episodes in a TV
series and match times, to connection problems, to
It’s nearly three in the afternoon, and the issues
raised by customers are increasing by the hour.
“On social media, a lot of questions are raised
regarding TV series and new seasons,” says Emir Catir,
one of the team leaders. “We work hard on adopting
an appropriate tone of voice. Our answers have to
stand out, and they have to be human. We respond dif-
ferently from the way we interact on the phone or via
e-mail, where the tone is perhaps a little less familiar.”
Twice a month, Catir works with the agents in his team,
doing exercises that allow them to work on the tone of
voice they adopt in responding to customers. The idea
is to raise the overall level of customer satisfaction.
Once they have finished interacting with the team,
customers can grade the service provided – often with
a thumbs up (green) or thumbs down (red).
“We are usually just above the 90 percent thumbs
up level, which is pretty good, I think,” Catir laughs.
Just a few kilometers from Transcom’s customer
service center is Viaplay’s head office in central Stock-
holm. Here we meet Tomas Yangbyn, who has been
Head of Viaplay’s customer services for the past three
“When I took over here, we were providing fairly
traditional customer services with no digital strategy,”
Thumbs up to
16 Hello Transcom 2017
“You have to keep cool,” says Andreas Fjäder,
one of the agents working with Viaplay.
Emir Catir with one of
the agents in his team.
17Hello Transcom 2017
says Yangbyn. “We now have our sights set on our
growth in today’s digital channels without com-
promising our focus on customer satisfaction.”
And that is just what the company has done –
and it has grown in leaps and bounds: between
2015 and 2016, contact with customers via
digital channels (excluding e-mail) rose from 18
to 48 percent of the total (see graph opposite). At
the same time, self-service has grown enormously
in recent years.
“Our aim is to meet our customers where they
actually are, providing them with contextual in-
formation. And it’s an ever-changing agile process
where one single question is central to everything
we do: how can we make our customers more
When it comes to purely technical problems,
Viaplay has succeeded in steering most dialogue
with customers away from social media, engaging
rather using web forms, chat or telephone ser-
vices and aided by the company’s introduction of
contextual information, i.e. providing information
that is relevant to the situation that the customer
On social media – primarily Facebook, but also
Instagram and Twitter – it’s all about creating a
pleasant, familiar feeling when interacting with
“If you take the wrong tone on Facebook it can
go viral, and that’s not good,” says Yangbyn.
Coping with the broadcast of the 2016 Olym-
pics was a challenge. Viaplay and Transcom
devised a plan in preparation for the predicted
increase in customer queries. Staff numbers were
almost doubled during certain periods.
“We offered customer support around the
clock, and carried out analyses to establish the
times that customers were expected to contact
us, and which questions they were likely to ask:
summaries and schedules were considered proba-
ble topics, for example. And the predictions were
Tomas Yangbyn maintains a close collabora-
tion with his contacts at Transcom as they work
together on the continual development of the
customer services offering. Generally, he visits
Transcom’s customer service center every week
to run through the happenings of the past week
with the team leaders. Besides this, they remain
in regular contact, calling and e-mailing each
other and liaising on Skype on a daily basis.
“Our meetings are quite informal,” he says. “We
look at customer satisfaction over the past week
and discuss how we can boost it even more.
Those working with Viaplay also need to feel that
they are part of our company. They have to feel
involved in Viaplay’s culture, and be familiar with
our ways of working, our tone of voice and our
attitude to things.
Yangbyn says the collaboration between
Viaplay and Transcom is very agile, and is
characterized by a clear culture of change and
close cooperation at every level – “It’s far from a
traditional outsourcing arrangement.”
Our meetings are quite informal.
We look at customer satisfaction over
the past week and discuss how we can boost
it even more.
Tomas Yangbyn, Head of Customer service at Viaplay
Trends of incoming
tickets to Viaplay’s
Tomas Yangbyn, Head
of Viaplay´s customer
services, has a close colla-
boration with Transcom.
Phone 52% 39%
E-mail 30% 13%
Webform 5% 25%
Social 13% 21%
Chat 0% 2%
18 Hello Transcom 2017
Viaplay is the leading provider of digital entertain
ment in the Nordics, offering audiences series,
movies, sport as well as children’s content. The
company is owned by the international entertainment
group MTG (Modern Times Group).
So how is the customer services operation likely
to develop in the future?
“The proportion of telephone and e-mail
interactions will continue to shrink, but I think
the decrease will be less dramatic now,” says
Yangbyn. “Meanwhile, there will be even more
channels of communication as time goes by.
We will also be able to find out more about our
customers and take an increasingly proactive
approach to our work. Today’s customers solve
84 percent of the issues they address to us
themselves – and if you figure out the amount
of money that is saved, it translates into an
Yangbyn expects the biggest challenge faced by
customer services in the future to be dealing with
“We have the technology at hand right now.
But few know how to handle the data available.
It’s all about making decisions based on the right
insights, and daring to experiment. Besides that,
it’s about giving agents a lot of responsibility.
Back at Transcom’s customer service center,
the work continues unabated. There is a real time
manager sitting in a corner with five or six big
screens, keeping a check on current customer-
related activities. If a dramatic increase in the
agents’ contact with customers suddenly causes
a bottleneck, he has to act.
Another question from a slightly irritated custom-
er pops up on Andreas Fjäder’s screen, this time
about a Premier League match.
“You have to keep cool and respond in the best
possible way,” says Fjäder. “In most cases, things
go smoothly. You figure out your own way of
solving problems. He even directs the occasional
question to customer services himself – about the
results of a match result, for instance – to spark
an increase in customer activity.
“Sometimes I get several hundred answers,” he
says. “It’s great fun.”
The agents don’t appear to get unduly stressed.
And many are spurred on by the constant desire
to get better at the job they do.
“It’s the scope for development that has kept
me at Transcom,” says Emir Catir. “You tend to
want to do a better job every day. That driving
force is highly significant.”
solve 84 percent
of the issues they
address to us them-
Around 60 employees
provide support for
19Hello Transcom 2017
never close, a support team must be available around
the clock. The only way to handle that on a reasona-
ble budget is to define a best-in-place self-service ca-
pability with automated technologies such as virtual
customer assistants and robotic process automation
tools that can provide a first level of support without
“Services have to be available 24 hours a day, and
if you only have human support, it’s very expensive
and companies cannot afford it,” says Arturo Fernan-
dez. “So they need to find the right balance between
human and digital interaction with their customers.”
This means customers will interact increasingly with
virtual agents in the future (automated services
using artificial intelligence to answer simple and fre-
quently asked questions), and proactive support will
be offered when an error is detected.
“Transcom is constantly working to
find the best industry-specific ways
of using these new technolo-
gies,” says Arturo Fernandez.
“We appreciate that the same
technology will be used in dif-
ferent ways in the banking,
e-commerce and telecom
industries, for example.”
Even though an increas-
ing number of interactions
will become automated as
time goes by, the individual
customer service agent will
still play a crucial role, even for
e-commerce companies. The differ-
ence is that they will manage more com-
plex tasks, working across multiple channels
in the future, instead of specializing in just one.
“In the past, the agent concentrated on just
one channel,” says Arturo Fernandez. “But we are
moving forward with the ‘smart agent’ who, with the
digital revolution, will need to have skills to handle
everything from voice to chat, to e-mail, to instant
messaging. In some cases, this will mean offering
them more sophisticated training in the technologies
available, and we are currently testing ways of im-
proving things like agent motivation, brand advocacy,
gamification and new compensation models.”
The e-commerce industry is revolutionizing
not only the way people shop, but also the way
they interact with customer care agents.
TEXT: MATTIAS KARÉN
he millennials’ motto of “anytime,
anywhere availability” is putting
unprecedented demands on companies
to deliver instant support around the
clock. This means customer service
companies need a new strategy to make
sure those demands are met.
Arturo Fernandez, Global Head of Business
Line Development, Transcom, says the key is to be
proactive rather than reactive, to deal with
customers across digital channels,
and to make maximum use of new
automation tools that can ease
the burden on human agents.
must have a clear strategy for
how to use digital chan-
nels such as chat, instant
messaging and social media,”
he says. “In more tradition-
al sectors, voice is still an
important channel. But the
millennials who shop online
prefer to engage with compa-
nies across digital channels rather
than over the phone. This means we
need to change our traditional approach
– putting the right human agents in front of
our clients – to a more technological and digitalized
The global turnover for the e-commerce industry is
expected to increase from the current EUR 2,520 bil-
lion to EUR 5,230 billion by 2020. This makes it an
increasingly important sector for the customer care
industry, but also one that poses unique challenges.
Traditional retail businesses only needed to offer
customer services during normal business hours,
when their stores were open. But since online stores
20 Hello Transcom 2017
Global revenue for the e-commerce industry reached €2.52 trillion in 2016 and is expected to double by
2020. While giants like Amazon and China’s Alibaba are among the biggest companies, consumer goods is
only the third biggest product category for online sales. Here is a breakdown of the market shares:
Online shoppers are using more
and more devices to make their
purchases, increasing the need for
seamless customer service across
all channels. Here’s a look at the
percentage of people who used a
certain device to make a purchase
over the last year:
39% 20% 19% 18% 4%
Food groceries Online travel Consumer goods Fashion Home living
SOURCES: E-COMMERCE FOUNDATION REPORTS 2014–2016, STATISTA A.T. KEARNEY
SOURCE: PULSE OF ONLINE SHOPPER 2015
21Hello Transcom 2017
The latest Whirlpool refrigerator is far more
than just a humble cold cabinet. It’s a smart
device. So when the connection fails, and the
frustrated customer starts calling, a Transcom
customer service agent is there to help them
– and their fridges – keep their cool.
TEXT: LOUISE NORDSTRÖM PHOTO: WHIRLPOOL
magine a future where your fridge helps you decide
what to make for dinner. Or where your washing
machine determines how to treat that irritating stain
on your jumper. At Whirlpool, the world’s number
one major appliance manufacturer, these types of
innovations are already in the works, and they require
a whole new level of customer service. Fortunately,
that job is in the capable hands of Transcom, Whirlpool’s
“For every day that goes by, domestic appliances are
getting smarter and smarter,” says Stefano Ballerini, Cus-
tomer Service Manager EMEA (Europe, the Middle East
and Africa) at Whirlpool. “They will do more and more
for us and we will be able to operate them from our mo-
bile phones. The whole market is going in this direction,
and sooner or later they will be launched, presenting us
with a new reality.”
But, Ballerini notes, these types of appliances will also
become more and more difficult to use. And it will be
especially tricky when things go wrong.
“The array of troubleshooting will be so much greater
than it’s ever been. It won’t just be about the machine
itself anymore… Perhaps it will be about the router it is
connected to, or other machines that are linked to the
PLAYING IT COOL
IN THE CONNECTED WORLD
Ballerini predicts that this will put a lot of pres-
sure on the customer service agents handling the
clients; not only will they need to have the people
skills required to effectively calm down an agitat-
ed customer, they will also need to have technical
skills that extend far beyond just bolts and screws.
“The agents need to know just about everything
there is to know about internet connections, routers
and so forth to be able to deal effectively with this
kind of reality,” he says, adding that, already today,
his company relies a great deal on the Transcom
agents’ knowledge to avoid real-life technician
intervention and still keep Whirlpool’s customers
happy and satisfied.
“The truth is, people don’t read the user manuals
that come with the machines they buy. That is one
of the main problems we have. If everybody actual-
ly read them, people would find 80 percent of the
solutions to the problems they encounter and call in
for are there in print. But that’s where Transcom’s
agents have us covered.”
Transcom became a strategic Whirlpool partner in
2014, when the global white goods giant acquired
a controlling stake in Italian household appliance
group Indesit. Transcom had provided Indesit with
customer contact services since 2007: a coopera-
tion that began with five European countries and
quickly grew to cover 12. Today Transcom provides
customer assistance services for Whirlpool in some
20 countries throughout EMEA, in 28 different
And there seems to be a great demand for these
services. In EMEA alone, Transcom’s agents receive
a staggering 10 million e-mails and calls from
Whirlpool’s customers every year: or 30,000 a day.
And the questions range vastly in nature, often re-
quiring both extraordinary people skills and almost
Debora Mendola, Global Account Manager,
recalls when a customer phoned in to report that
the light inside his refrigerator didn’t go off when
he closed the door. The agent then asked him how
he could possibly know this since the fridge door
was actually closed. “The man then answered that
he had put his little son inside the fridge to check,”
she says bemused.
In the first year of its partnership with Transcom,
Whirlpool’s operating costs were optimized, mainly
thanks to Whirlpool being able to whittle down
the number of providers to just one thanks to
Transcom’s multi-language services, located in just
four contact centers.
“This means I just have one number to call and
one person to speak to if I have a problem now. It
makes life so easy,” Ballerini says.
Ballerini, who has worked with Transcom since
back in the Indesit days, says that although the
cost-savings are of course of great importance to
the cooperation between Whirlpool and Transcom
working so well, it is particularly Transcom’s flex-
ibility, responsiveness and loyalty that he appreci-
“When you walk into the customer assistance
services center in Budapest, you feel like you’re in a
Whirlpool center. Everything is Whirlpool branded
and everyone is talking Whirlpool – to the point, in
fact, that we gave the Transcom agents the same
Christmas gifts we gave our own staff, because they
really feel part of our team.”
“We are true partners,” Ballerini says. “We work
together, we fight together and we always come out
with a joint decision. This is so, so important.”
The array of troubleshooting will be
so much greater than it’s ever been.
It won’t just be about the machine itself
Stefano Ballerini, Customer Service Manager EMEA, Whirlpool
Whirlpool Corporation is the number one major
appliance manufacturer in the world, with approx-
imately USD 21 billion in annual sales, 93,000
employees and 70 manufacturing and technology
research centers in 2016.
Transcom’s 350 agents provide Whirlpool with
customer assistance services in 28 languages in
more than 20 countries, operating out of four main
centers. In 2017, Transcom’s mission for Whirlpool
was extended to also cover sales calls, starting in
France as the first market.
25Hello Transcom 2016
fter five years as a team
leader and nine years within
Transcom, Mary Ann Angeles
from Manila in the Philippines
has found the key to success:
you need to stay positive and help cus-
tomers from the heart. That is also what
she teaches the agents in her team.
“I believe that if you focus on the positive
things in life, your work becomes much eas-
ier and more enjoyable. Having a positive
spirit also rubs off on the customers. I want
to have this influence on my team too.”
And maybe it is because of her positive
way of thinking that she won the Transcom
Team Leader Award 2016, which is granted
in recognition of special effort.
“I was really surprised and so happy to
win,” she says.
All the award winners were invited to a
leadership conference in Amsterdam, the
Netherlands. For Mary Ann, that was the
best thing about winning.
“Going to Amsterdam was my second
trip out of the Philippines. It was very inter-
esting and fascinating to go to Europe. It
was also an honor to meet all the leaders
from Transcom. At first, I was a bit shy.
But everyone was so down to earth and
humble, it made me even more proud of
winning the award.”
There is no doubt that Mary Ann likes
Transcom. And she has no plans to pursue
a career elsewhere. In fact, she says: “I
would like to retire within Transcom.”
Maybe her role as a team leader will be
inherited by her daughter. Because some-
times Mary Ann brings her seven-year-old
to work after school.
“She has visited me at work since she
was three years old, and she really enjoys
it. She likes to sleep in the childcare facil-
ities here with other kids, and she gets to
meet my colleagues.
Soon Mary Ann will be leaving her team
for a new one and a new set of agents.
“It’s going to be fun teaching new agents.
But I will miss my old team – people I
have worked with for three years. Separa-
tion is always difficult.”
FACTS/MARY ANN ANGELES
Work as: Team leader. Started
working for Transcom in 2007.
Education: B.Sc. in computer
Lives in: Manila, the Philippines.
My favorite memory from Trans-
com: When I was chosen as the
Best Team leader. It was the high-
light of my career at Transcom,
and I will treasure it for a lifetime.
Influencing with positive vibes
25Hello Transcom 2017
Tell us more about Altor
“Altor is a family of four Private Equity Funds
headquartered in Stockholm. We identify
promising companies, such as Transcom, and
work as an active owner with a long-term plan
in order to help these companies reach their full
What other companies are included
in the Altor portfolio?
“We currently have 28 companies in our four
funds, some of which are more well-known
than we are. Amongst the companies that are
current or previous members of the Altor family,
you can find the ski manufacturer Rossignol, the
online IT retailer Dustin, the investment bank
Carnegie,the clothing brand Helly Hansen, and
the European debt collection group Lindorff.”
Why do you want to take Transcom
off the stock market?
“After almost two years as Transcom’s largest
shareholder, we are impressed by the team and
attracted by the opportunities ahead of us, but
believe that faster and more thorough changes
would be beneficial. To make this happen, a
period of private ownership is a good solution.
We have a long-term investment horizon,
resources and capital to build a stronger and
even more competitive Transcom in a private
What are some of the most important priorities
for Transcom going forward?
“Altor supports Transcom’s strategy, but I
believe that we can help to speed things up. For
example, we want to help increase digitaliza-
tion and look at opportunities to grow through
How will this ownership change affect
Transcom’s clients and employees?
“Transcom is, and will continue to be, committed
to delivering excellent service and support to
its clients’ customers. At the same time, we are
planning to accelerate the implementation of
some activities, increase investments to support
digitalization and also make targeted acquisi-
tions. Our plan is to grow the company by further
improving Transcom’s offerings, market position
and competitiveness. I am convinced that this
will create positive effects both for Transcom’s
employees, clients and other stakeholders.”
A new contact center has opened in Bialystok,
the biggest city in north-east Poland. The Bia-
lystok team will support domestic clients in the
Polish language, allowing the company’s service
centers in Gdansk and Olsztyn to strengthen
their position as multilingual near shore deliv-
ery centers, and expand their capacity as key
delivery hubs for clients throughout Europe.
MEET ALTOR, TRANSCOM’S NEW OWNER
The dedicated Transcom team at Altor:
Klas Johansson, Mattias Holmström,
Offices: Stockholm (HQ), Oslo,
Number of employees at Altor: ~60.
Number of employees in portfolio companies:
~ 60 000.
Number of companies in the portfolio: 28
Find more information at www.altor.com
board member and
partner in Altor.
At the end of 2016, the Swedish private equity company Altor announced that they
wanted to buy Transcom thus becoming the company’s sole owner. Klas Johansson,
board member and partner in Altor, shares his view on the road ahead and why he
wanted to take Transcom off the stock market.
26 Hello Transcom 2017
We are making significant investments
in innovation in order to be in the
forefront, and are developing our partnerships
with technology providers in order to bring
the latest solutions to our clients.
Johan Eriksson, President and CEO of Transcom
Transcom’s customer contact centers in Groningen
in the Netherlands and Rostock, Germany have been
certified with the COPC Outsource Service Provider
(OSP) Standard. Both centers have demonstrated
their ability to deliver outstanding services, with a
focus on customer and employee satisfaction as well
as cost reduction.
On Transcom’s corporate blog, we share stories from
around the company. We also try to exemplify how we work
together with our clients to enhance their business perfor-
mance by improving the experience of their customers.
This special website replaces the traditional
front section of Transcom’s annual report,
giving you key highlights from 2016. You
will also find Transcom’s people sustaina-
bility report here.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT TRANSCOM
A global customer
€586.1million in revenue in 2016
In 20 countries
and near shore
Triple win in Spain
Transcom Spain was awarded three
prizes at the seventh annual Platinum
Contact Center Awards held in Madrid in
June 2016. The triple win was secured in
the following categories: Best Customer
Service in Banking; Best Customer Service
in the Publishing sector; Best Customer
Transcom Italia wins award
In 2016 Transcom started to optimize the
customer assistance processes of online
travel operator Lastmi-
nute.com, for which it has
been managing customer
care activities since 2015.
These initiatives have de-
livered even higher levels
of customer satisfaction,
more efficient contact
and reduced operating costs. In March
2017, Transcom Italia was assigned the
2016 best Customer
award from the CMMC
“This award crowns our
partnership with Trans-
com,” said Lastminute.
com group Operations
Manager Giorgio Bonafini.
27Hello Transcom 2017
eam leader Eloy Rojas Delgado
has just arrived at work for the
afternoon shift. He manages
a team of 20 agents working
with a client within telephone
“During a normal day, I try to assist the
agents with their daily work,” he says. “I
help them develop by giving them advice.
I also monitor their results as well as the
quality of the calls.”
Right now, Eloy and his team are working
on a very broad and complex campaign
so he is trying to give the agents more
feedback than usual.
“I have to correct them sometimes,” he
says, “but it’s also important to acknowl-
edge a job well done.”
Every day, the team has meetings to
discuss the work. “It is important for us
to talk to each other; it makes it easier
for us to do our work. We have the meet-
ings to build something we can share.
Because during the working day, we all
tend to focus on different parts of the
Eloy believes it is necessary for him to
be part of the team and to help improve
the customer experience. “For example,
sometimes the customer asks to talk to a
team leader. By then, the agent has often
taken the first step to help the customer,
but I then try to take the next step to solve
Having started working as an agent in
2003, Eloy has been at Transcom for 14
years. And he loves the contact he has
with the people in the company.
In November 2016, he became one of
the winners of Transcom Team Leader
Award, which is granted in recognition of
special effort or outstanding performance.
“Of course, I didn’t expect to win – it was
a really nice surprise,” he says. “But I think
my team’s efforts and their results are
among the main reasons I won.
A naturally enthusiastic person, Eloy
seems to really enjoy his job.
“I really do like my work, and I want to
continue to develop within Transcom. But
I also love my spare time. I like running,
biking and other sports, and I also enjoy
Works as: Team leader. Started
working for Transcom in 2003.
Education: English Philolog.
Lives in: Torre de la Reina, near
My favorite memory from
Transcom: At the very beginning,
when working for the telecom-
munications company ONO, we
could watch football Premier
League matches while working.
That was a pleasant job.
The key to building a winning team