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Buyer Spotlight: The Value of Personal Touch, Relationships, and Partners in the Global Customer Contact Industry

Global call center and customer contact specialists Continuum Global Solutions provides comprehensive solutions for the complete customer contact experience. By offering an intuitive mix of inbound, outbound, back-office, and digital transition services, including voice (calls and interactive voice response) and non-voice services (SMS, chat, social networks, and email), the company’s state-of-the-art call centers and committed staff of more than 15,000 employees, work to guarantee industry-leading service levels.

We recently talked with Elaine Davis, Chief Human Resources Officer at Continuum Global Solutions, to discuss her company, the industry, and how Irish companies have helped Continuum Global Services build success worldwide.

Please tell us about your role at Continuum Global Solutions. 

In my current role, I serve as the Chief HR Officer, looking after the people dimension of our global contact center business. This means taking care of everything from hiring — we hire thousands of people every year — learning and development, training, communications, payroll, and advisory to my peers in the C-suite. Continuum operates contact centers in 14 countries, supporting multiple languages and across a variety of industries from telecommunications to healthcare.

In what ways have you seen the industry evolve?

What has been gratifying to see is how contact centers became more important during COVID. When the pandemic swept the world, we had to close our centers and pivot to working from home. There was speculation that this was the end of the contact center world and that all connections would now be digital and robotic. But in truth, what we saw was that contact centers with real people at the other end of the call were more important than ever. People were isolated, trapped at home, and they wanted and needed the human contact that we provided — even if it was over sorting through a phone bill or a health care claim.

What has been your experience with Irish companies?

I am always happy to announce that I hold an Irish passport along with a US passport, where I was born. I look for opportunities to engage with Irish companies because they show strong innovation in the human interface dimension, really clever UX design, and thoughtful ways of presenting actionable information.

Has there been an Irish company whose innovation has particularly impressed you?

I love Gary Berney and his company, HireUp. It’s an excellent employee referral app – totally mobilized and on a smartphone – that solves the eternal issue of how to deal with employee referrals. It’s a great product, and the people there are lovely to work with.

How can Irish companies continue to innovate and work with US companies?

Innovation is key to breaking through in the US, but the scale is also important. I think Irish companies need to land one or two name-brand partnerships with a customer willing to help with brand recognition and placement so that others join up. Also, I think Irish companies need to be more present in the literature – write articles, get interviewed, post on LinkedIn, speak at conferences. Create a bit of buzz for themselves. To be successful in the US, you can’t be shy and humble – you’ve got to show confidence and a willingness to be heard.

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