Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GTT) and its shareholder ATN yesterday announced the launch of a customer service activity which will see the transfer of 214 employees of the telephone operator.
In a statement, GTT said that its 214-person customer service team, servicing its needs and those of other ATN International (ATN) affiliates in the United States, Bermuda and the U.S. Virgin Islands, will be transferred and employed by the new Arrow to run the Communications Inc. (Arrowhead) business by June 2022.
“It will create the new heart of a world-class operation that Arrowhead will continue to grow by providing an increasing level of world-class customer engagement and professional support services to its customers,” GTT said.
GTT said it has been actively involved in the evolution of customer service centers in Guyana, with a history that dates back more than 30 years. In 2021, the release says ATN and GTT announced their intention to pilot this new initiative just as a new GTT CEO, Damian Blackburn, was appointed. He said Blackburn immediately began a customer-centric transformation of GTT into the 21st century, first creating business units within the company, to focus on specific customers, “while restoring levels of care by training and employing more customer service agents and introducing proactive outbound calls”. services.” The statement said the outbound service is key to enabling the industry’s key digital engagement activities, such as the paperless transformation of WhatsApp and the e-billing service, which has now been adopted by more than 77% of GTT customers.
In Region 3, the statement said the Arrowhead pilot has created 27 jobs with plans to expand to 40 home-based jobs, facilitating operations at ATN-owned, US-based Alaska Communications Systems. In addition, Arrowhead will also expand its provision of call center services to Viya, ATN’s subsidiary in the US Virgin Islands. In its attempt to create a transformative customer service team, the release says Arrowhead pioneered a work-from-home model.
The release notes that GTT recently launched its flagship GTT Fiber service and embarked on an ambitious Fiber rollout plan, including new areas in Regions 3, 4, 6 and 10, enabling fiber to be available on more than 65% of its copper network. footprint by the end of 2022. He said this rollout will enable the growth of more Arrowhead Customer Excellence roles and opportunities. The new company will initially aim to create 100 telecommuting jobs in Regions 3 and 6.
All of these initiatives last year led to the creation of 99 new customer service positions, the statement said. He said this represents a 66% increase in headcount to significantly improve quality, speed and efficiency for all customers who will use the new Arrowhead services. More than 50% of customer service teams have also successfully transitioned to a flexible work-from-home arrangement, which will be essential for the future of the business.
Additionally, Arrowhead’s Board of Directors also announced the appointment of Guyanese, Shem Erskine, as the CEO of Arrowhead. The board said, “Shem has held leadership roles in customer relations and customer success for over 10 years. We are confident that with this appointment, he will use his wealth of knowledge to have a significant impact and advance Arrowhead’s operations.
The statement said Erskine has more than a decade of leadership experience in the telecommunications and business process outsourcing industries, where he has built a successful career through roles in corporate sales, customer relations and customer operations. Over the past two and a half years at GTT, the release says he has been instrumental in restoring the company’s service levels to industry standards, deploying critical CRM technologies, establishing and the marketing of outgoing capacities.
In a guest comment, Erskine said, “I am delighted to lead this new subsidiary of ATN International. ATN has been engaged in development in Guyana for over 30 years and this activity will shine a light on what is now our core business of customer success for our customers (local and international). Over the past year, we have established a business model that has already created repeat successes through a team of talented Guyanese and the use of best-in-class technology. My immediate goal as Managing Director will be to capitalize on these to deliver planned new services and attract new business. Exciting times are ahead.
The Arrowhead business will be operational from June 12, 2022, and in addition to the transition of the 214-person team to the Arrowhead entity, the following immediate priorities will be to:
Develop a new state-of-the-art physical customer service facility in New Amsterdam that will complement existing facilities in Georgetown and work seamlessly with Arrowhead’s new hybrid and flexible work-from-home team; and
Deploy new services and attract new customers by creating employment opportunities for hundreds of Guyanese in several regions.