Early aspirations determine long-term success
by Jacky Wong
Most successful people have personal mottos that drive them to reach their goals. Brian Tse, assistant account manager, client solutions, TeleTech (Hong Kong) Limited, is no exception.
His personal life philosophy is to never complain about the demands of the job and to always be passionate and energetic, while continuing to learn. With such an attitude, he believes, it is easy to remain committed and make career progress.
Mr Tse's first encounter with the telesales industry was when he worked part-time for a telesales company while he was a computer programming student at the University of Concordia in Montreal, Canada. Although the work was not relevant to his studies, he was fascinated by its dynamic nature and the wide exposure it offered. This first taste of the commercial world has been a lasting influence in his career.
"The telesales industry is not simply about making sales calls for eight hours a day. The job entails training in various skills such as customer service, sales, client database management, administration, IT, as well as people management," Mr Tse notes.
After graduating and returning to Hong Kong in 2002, Mr Tse was determined to join TeleTech, a global business process outsourcing company, as a customer service representative. The company provides a full range of outsourced solutions, including customer management, transaction-based processing, database marketing services, professional sales and eCommerce. Over the last two decades, TeleTech has built a global network of customer management centres to support the lifecycle needs of customers around the world. With operations in 18 countries, the multinational now manages more than two million interactions in 29-plus languages every day. In July 1996, TeleTech became a publicly held corporation and trades on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange (TTEC).
As a fresh graduate, the company's wide business scope provided Mr Tse with an excellent platform to develop his skills in the industry and he soon found his career taking off. In his first two years with the company, he was mainly responsible for customer servicing and fulfillment logistics. He was then promoted to team leader in customer services.
In 2006, Mr Tse was moved to the company's sales team, taking up the position of assistant operations manager. Within another two years, he deservingly moved into his current position of assistant account manager, overseeing the account servicing of the company's key clients.
"There is a significant difference between my current and previous job functions," Mr Tse says, explaining that while he was concentrating solely on client interests before, he now acts as a "bridge" between clients and the company. Staying committed to his job, he fully enjoys serving clients and grasps every opportunity to learn from them.
"You can only be successful through trial and error"
In addition to the benefits of on-the-job learning and extramural courses, Mr Tse believes that salespeople can also gain better understanding of client needs by observing and interacting with people from different walks of life on a daily basis.
He is grateful that the company has given him many opportunities to try his hand at different jobs to widen his exposure and work skills.
"Telesales is a challenging field," Mr Tse stresses. Practitioners will inevitably find themselves challenged by clients. During his time with the company, he has seen many instances of new recruits starting off passionately but eventually quitting the job because of a lack of persistence in managing their job functions and their clients.
Some new recruits also have the mistaken perception that they can make "quick cash" in the telesales business and once they encounter any difficulties, they easily give up.
Mr Tse also has a personal philosophy to help him handle stress at work. "Don't be afraid of failure. If you do fail at something, review the reasons behind it and then find a solution. You can only be successful through trial and error."
He is optimistic about the development of telesales, and encourages candidates who love working in customer service to sign on. "The industry will continue to grow, due to rapid changes in consumer behaviour and the accelerating growth of electronic commerce. In addition to this, over time more companies will be outsourcing their subsidiary businesses to vendors in order to streamline operation costs. This will open up space for the development of outsourcing companies in the market," Mr Tse concludes.
Taken from Career Times 9 August 2008
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