Customer Contact Channels (C3)

An 'employee-centric' connection
By Earl D.C. Bracamonte

While some people hold on to the belief that the Philippines is the second worldwide provider of business process outsourcing (BPO), those in the loop would attest that we have long dislodged India and China to claim the top spot. If this isn’t so, then try to explain the paradigm shift of choice for clients to do business in the Philippines.
The economic landscape is agog with this positive feedback that in the past few years, a lot of companies, whether foreign-based or local, are setting up shop to accommodate the rising influx. One of these visionaries is a company named C3, much like the dutiful robot sidekick from Star Wars.
Customer Contact Channels (C3), a global BPO company, infuses energy into the industry as the most refreshing contact center provider around. The brand is the best in its field, fueled by expertise, experience and stability.
“It all boils down to what you do, who you work for and who you work with. Here, we are all culture oriented. Love is all around,” quipped operations director Kevin Urrutia, while touring us around the center’s facilities.
And just like the theme song from Four Weddings and a Funeral, love is certainly all around the C3 environment. Wet Wet Wet, the artists who interpreted the song, would be delighted to know their ditty has found a home within the company’s walls.
“You have to be an innate people person. Plus you need to be naturally happy, energetic fun, engaged and involved. Otherwise, if you lack most of these qualities, you’ll end up feeling ‘forced’ to come to work. Their hearts are not in there in the first place,” added Kevin, whose 14 years in the business is belied by a young-looking countenance. But don’t let his good looks distract you. He is a busy bee – busier even than the busiest agent on the floor. At times, he’s holed up in his office for more than the regular 8-hour shift. Tis more than the call of duty but he does go the extra mile most of the time.
C3 is definitely making an impact in the Philippines’ customer care industry. “C3 is all about efficient operations. As old-timers, we know what works and does not because we’ve done them over and over again. We are espousing the best practices culled from experience. Our team brings a lot of know-how into the equation: 7 people who drafted all the implementing guidelines in just 30 days! It had to be done because our clients were ready and we were not. T-Mobile started the Manila operations. And today, it is our biggest portfolio.
“We are two-and-a-half years as a global company. We may not be the highest paying employer, but our renumeration package falls under the 70-80 per centa, which is quite high by industry standards.”
In a country where call centers have sprouted like virtual mushrooms all over the archipelago, a good pay, for starters, can make an agent choose to stay. C3 offers above-industry-standard benefits to its employees and is constantly outfitting its human relations policies to fit the needs of its workforce.
“C3 is one extended family structure. As such, we preach the open door policy. So everyone can talk with anyone directly; from the youngest to the oldest and from a floor agent or colleague to the company president, without the need of an appointment!”
In the hierarchy of factors that equate to loyalty, the sense of belonging to a group or unit ranks high among long-staying workers. C3 is a company that values its employees above all, with full support for their training and skills development in order to be successful agents and representatives of the enterprise.
“If you can’t make people happy, there’s no company to talk of at all. It boils down to how involved they are with you. If an employee is not suited for a particular client, for example, but does not want to leave, he or she simply re-trains for other clients.
“You have to identify the perfect fit for each of your employees. It’s a win-win situation because both parties end up happier. Modesty aside, we have a big percentage of our original employees still working for us until now. I guess that says a lot about us as a company.”
While it took six years for Apple to declare earnings, and at least four years for Microsoft to do the same; it only took half that time for C3 to go on profit declaration.
“We cater mainly to US accounts and some European contracts. C3 handles international clients. Our off-shore accounts include travel, healthcare, telecommunications, and quality assurance,” intimated Kevin, at the end of our colloquy.
C3 opened on Nov 1, 20011, a midweek and official holiday all over the Philippines but a regular business day all over the western Hemisphere. That the opening fell on All Saint’s Day is quite telling, but all pointing for the better. While the company started with merely thirty people on opening day, the employee roster has now risen to a whopping 1,600 excluding the support group! It is one of the fastest growing BPOs to date, as evidenced by an ever-increasing human resource inventory and an escalating confidence of its serviced clientele that has more than doubled its contracts with the company since business relations began.
“Ten all-American call center experts that included Ken Epstein and Karrie Carstairs pooled their acumen together and started their very own company in South Florida. That’s how C3 came into being - from like-minded individuals who wanted to share their expertise that’s been honed from years of dedicated service. Everything started there ‘til it crept, slowly and surely, to the rest of the world,” shared senior operations manager Jill Vivas, a practitioner of 12 years (and counting). She was handpicked by Kevin when the staff reorganization began.
Aside from the Philippines, C3 operates in Europe (Sofia, Bulgaria and Scotland), South America (Guatemala and Panama), North America (Canada and USA) and Asia (Dalian, China). In the United States, C3 hubs are located in Salt Lake City (Utah), Twin Falls (Idaho), Delacroix (Oklahoma), Tucson (Arizona), South Florida and Texas.
For more information, simply visit the company Web site through


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