Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) CEO Garfield Sinclair yesterday confirmed that the company is currently sharing a “contact center experience” with a plan to fully transition the local call center to other regional jurisdictions.
The CEO’s comments come a month after a group of Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) employees staged a protest outside the company’s John F. Kennedy Drive headquarters over the expected downsizing.
“The call center has not moved, we continue though to share a contact center experience,” Sinclair said while appearing as a guest on Guardian Radio talk show “The Morning Blend” yesterday.
“A shared service like a contact center, the way you do that in running a modern operation is you spread the service and the cost of that service across as many operators as possible. Quality resources within the contact center, not just here, but around the region will always have a place in our business.
“They may not actually be answering calls on a regular basis. A lot of our contact center employees are not just capable of answering calls, they are capable of being at the front lines of being a customer service hit squad that is going to be focused on addressing customer issues.”
Sinclair admitted that while other jurisdictions are currently fielding Bahamian customer calls, “Currently our local contact center colleagues only field Bahamian customer calls.”
He said a full transition would need approval from government, which is the 48 percent shareholder.
“We’ve got to get engagement with our union partners first, we’ve got to get approval from our shareholders (government),” he said.
Last month the Bahamas Communications and Public Officers Union (BCPOU) and the Bahamas Communications and Public Managers Union (BCPMU) called on the government to intervene in the matter.
Despite the looming union tension, Sinclair said he’s determined to have a productive relationship with unions.
“What I think we have so far is a failure to properly communicate on my part, I’ve taken full responsibility for where we are at the moment, because I’ve had the same message, that we’re in the middle of a transformation, I’ve also said that what I want to prove is that a telecoms operator with union partners can be best in class, and in fact can be a better operator than my competitors, who do not have the benefit of union partners,” he said.
“I want to turn this model on its head, I want to prove that if you partner with progressive unions you can generate best-in-class metrics and that it is a benefit to have unions as partners, like I truly believe.”