The Relationship Centre (Central de Relacionamento) at Ampla Energia e Serviços S/A has undergone a complete reorganisation in the last two years. Studies on call centres were carried out, aimed at identifying the best model that should be adopted in terms of outsourcing, work force management, processes and technology.

Ampla provides power to approximately six million inhabitants distributed in 66 municipalities in the state of Rio de Janeiro, which amounts to some 2,370,640 customers. Given this extensive coverage, the customers, whose geographic or social status are not available, have at their disposal a quality 24-hour toll-free service, in addition to the 51 stores and 33 service centres distributed throughout the concession area and an exclusive service to the corporate customers. Currently, the Centre accounts for 80% of the contacts made. It comprises 504 attendants (call centre and web centre: chat and e-mail), distributed in 186 service stations.

Since the Centre is a strategic asset to the organisation, the workforce is outsourced but the management is Ampla’s responsibility. Out of the approximately 600,000 calls per month to the Relationship Centre, 85% are answered within 20 seconds. Ampla has recently launched an electronic consumption measurement system called Ampla Chip. This device enables customers to monitor their daily consumption, and also gives them access to exclusive special offers.

The performance of the Relationship Centre with the Ampla Chip is of strategic importance for the company. Thus specific training was developed for the agents, aimed at sensitising them to the importance of this product for the security of customers and the success of the company. Besides its new products, Ampla is strongly focused on its internal public, i.e. its staff. It has developed a continuous internal marketing process (‘endomarketing’) carried out through a project named ‘Orientando’ (‘Guided’), achieving a 91% satisfaction in the work environment, with very low absenteeism and turnover (see below).

This contradicts many experts from the outsourcing field, who regard this model as unsuitable for achieving such results. The human factor is highly valued within this model and operators are provided with services such as audiological support, work exercises, massage and Shiatsu therapy, as well as access to a nutritionist and Since the Relationship Centre is regarded as strategic to the organisation, it relies on the total involvement and support of the board of directors.

All its requirements are analysed and serve as a support for decision making and improvements to the internal processes. Ampla understands that changes in processes must occur from the outside to the inside, i.e. from the customers to the company. The technology in Ampla’s Relationship Centre allows the integration of the external service centres, thereby optimising the service at times of crisis and controlling critical situations.

The service can be monitored step by step and the observations are consolidated in a performance report. This approach provides a rapid and clear picture of the main complaints related to any given product or service. The main projects that Ampla has extensively invested in are in the areas of internal marketing, quality of life, human resources, quality control monitoring, and processes.

Internal marketing

Through the ‘Orientado’ project, the challenge has been to provide a level of well-being and satisfaction with the work environment, aligned with a commitment to the strategic objectives and values of the enterprise, and making people feel a part of it. Five areas of performance were identified and a work strategy was structured. Through partnerships several systematic actions have been achieved in the fields of health, entertainment, education, finance and housing, always taking into account the social and economical contexts.

Quality of life

In the Relationship Centre, staff rely on the help of specialised professionals who provide ergonomic guidance, therapies such as massage, Shiatsu and aromatherapy, and audiological and psychological support. The aim is to provide a pleasant, peaceful and relaxing environment, vital for the well-being of the Centre teams.

Human resources

The ‘Relacionamento’ (‘Relationship’) project was established for the development of staff. Through it, programmes such as leadership development and sales and trading are carried out, in addition to the ongoing use of mentoring and coaching. The outcomes are followed through the evaluation of performance and the establishment of personalised career management plans.

Quality control monitoring

Through the ‘Ouvir’ (‘Hearing’) project Relationship Centre staff are able to monitor their performance precisely. Using sophisticated apparatus managers are able to measure, monitor and improve the workers’ performance and activities. In addition the project relies on the support of psychologists and audiologists who analyse those cases that demand greater assistance. The aim is to go beyond the hearing process!

Proceses

The project ‘Transformar’ (‘Transforming’) is a customer relationship project carried out in Ampla’s Relationship Centre. The project involves the management of complaints, which is one of the most efficient methods of measuring the satisfaction levels of customers and identifying potential problems. With the results from this, short, medium and long-term actions are identified aimed at eliminating inappropriate procedures.

AWARDS

Ampla’s Relationship Centre has received a number of awards for performance. Among these are:

  • Vth ABT Silver Award from the Brazilian Association of Teleservices (ABT) for the project Orientado – Taking care of you: Internal marketing actions (2005)
  • Top Award for Marketing from the Sales and Marketing Managers Association of Brazil (ADVB) for the project Orientado – Taking care of you: Internal marketing actions (2006)
  • VIth ABT Silver Award from the Brazilian Association of Teleservices (ABT) for the project Transformar – Aggregating value to the relationship with the customer: CRM actions (2006)
  • VIth ABT Bronze Award from the Brazilian Association of Teleservices (ABT) for the project Relacionamento – Developing talents: Human resource actions (2006)
  • VIIth Latin American Amauta Award for Direct Marketing for the project Orientado – Taking care of you: Internal marketing actions (2006)
  • SESI Quality of Life Award for the project Orientado – Taking care of you: Internal marketing and quality of life actions (2006).