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Raising the bar for call centers

SingTel raised the bar for call centres as a new state-of-the-art call centre and new set of National Call Centre Standards went live today.

Minister without Portfolio launches National Call Center Standards.

SINGAPORE - SingTel raised the bar for call centers as a new state-of-the-art call center and new set of National Call Center Standards went live today.

Minister without Portfolio and chairman, Singapore Productivity and Standards Board (PSB) Lim Boon Heng launched the new standards saying they heralded a new era of customer service.

SingTel developed the new standards in consultation with the Productivity and Standards Board. The national call center standards now forms part of the National Skills Recognition System (NSRS).

Lim presented 82 SingTel customer contact officers with training certificates - the first group to be certified under the new call center standards before officially opening the call center in the new Singapore Post Center.

Lim also presented two PSB certificates to SingTel's president and CEO, Lee Hsien Yang as an endorsement of SingTel's training and workplace assessment centers for the call centre standards.

Lee said the national call center standards are SingTel's contribution to national development, professionalizing Singapore's call center industry and equipping it for global competition in the new knowledge economy.

SingTel's vice-president of Customer Service, Elizabeth Prakasam, said, "SingTel developed the call center standards because we know training gives our staff the knowledge and skills to provide superior customer service."

Lee Suan Hiang, chief executive, Productivity and Standards Board said about 3,000 call center agents, including some 1,500 from SingTel, will benefit from the new skills standards. The recognition gained under the standards could be used to gain entry into certificate and diploma courses conducted by higher institutions of learning locally and abroad.

"The new skills standards are a step forward for the call center industry. Apart from speeding up skills acquisition and sustaining the competitiveness of companies in the industry, the NSRS will help recognise the competence of workers, while adding a degree of professionalism to their work. It will be the passport - to competitiveness for industry, and to employability, for the workforce."

The functional map developed for the call center industry identifies five functional areas:

  • Manage Call Center Business Performance (NSC Level 1)
  • Lead Staff to Achieve Business Objectives (NSC Level 1)
  • Facilitate Call Center Work Team Activities (NSC Level 1)
  • Provide Quality Customer Service (NSC Level 3)
  • Provide Assistance to Customers on Specific Products and Services(NSC Level 3)

    Another 23 skills standards are being developed. These will be completed in the next six months.

    The standards developed were reviewed and endorsed by members of the industry. Among them were DBS Bank, Bass Hotels and Resorts, Lycos Asia, Scicom Teleservices and Teletech Customer Management Services.

    To date, 82 SingTel call center officers have completed training in quality customer service, call center operations and team management and have received competency assessment in the workplace.