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atriga personalities: Georgia Alexiadou and her team have the atriga Contact Centre under control
Georgia Alexiadou sums it up quickly: “A career in debt collection means an exciting, varied and, most importantly, meaningful occupation – no matter what field you are active in.” The Frankfurt native knows exactly what she is talking about, because her personal career path led her to Head of Contact Centre Operations at atriga. And in our conversation with Georgia Alexiadou (45), we also learn how she pursued her goals both pragmatically and successfully.
After her training as a businesswoman in wholesale and foreign trade, the woman from Frankfurt concentrated on working in receivables management at an early stage. Of course, with in-service training and further education. In 1998, this included a support programme for junior staff with personnel responsibility, focusing on contact centre management, quality management and process optimisation. In 2005, Georgia Alexiadou obtained a certificate of expertise from the Federal Association of German Debt Collectors (BDIU), of which atriga is also a member.
Georgia Alexiadou, Head of Contact Centre Operations at atriga: “Our motto is ‘communication instead of confrontation’ – and the many positive feedbacks prove us right.”
A former colleague gave the decisive tip
“After about 20 years in the same company, I was looking for a new challenge in 2016. A former colleague, who now also works at atriga, told me that atriga was looking for reinforcements for the in-house contact centre,” reports Georgia Alexiadou and adds: “That was exactly the right challenge for me: to further expand the centre and make it increasingly important for the company within a few years, while intensifying and motivating the staff. In the past five years or so, Alexiadou has managed to do just that. New or additional tasks have not been able to upset her: “I don’t see that as a burden, but rather as a challenge to implement tasks in a goal-oriented way with my team.”
Was that also possible without any problems at atriga during the pandemic?
Georgia Alexiadou agrees with the atriga managers: “The way atriga dealt with the Corona pandemic was exemplary right from the start. Everyone was provided with FFP2 masks and Corona tests, plus regular information for the employees and constant updates of the atriga Corona guideline.” The contact centre manager also qualifies atriga’s approach to home offices as well thought-out and exemplary: “The necessary home office standards were implemented very early on, even before they became standard because of the pandemic. Consequently, the technical prerequisites were already in place and the optimal equipment for the home office workplaces was provided. Thus, a double workstation was available for each of my employees”.
Presence in the office is and remains important
Within the framework of the internal Corona guidelines, only some of the employees at the atriga Contact Centre are ever in the office, the rest in their home offices. Georgia Alexiadou reveals further details: “Our centre is staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day for constant daily business during core hours. I plan the staffing in such a way that there is a change every fortnight. I consider this temporary presence to be immensely important so that different topics can also be discussed in personal contact. Georgia Alexiadou’s team also has inbound and outbound telephony (incoming and outgoing calls) well under control, the inbound service level is high: 80 per cent of incoming calls are answered within 20 seconds. The intelligent atriga telephone system forwards the calls to the appropriate employees in the various groups so that all concerns can be clarified in the first contact. This ensures a high first contact resolution rate.
In focus: communication instead of confrontation
Especially for inbound and outbound phone calls, highly trained and motivated employees are in demand, who find the optimal conditions for customer-centred communication with defaulters in a collegial atmosphere. One-week full-time training courses impart the necessary technical knowledge for the start – among other things, in the areas of objection handling, legal background and specifications for instalment payment agreements. The whole thing is rounded off by intensive telephone training at the workplace: on the basis of real debtor conversations, each employee receives individual feedback in order to further optimise his or her telephone behaviour. For Georgia Alexiadou, however, it is at least as important “that everyone in my team has the necessary empathy to reach the defaulting customer emotionally in the conversation and motivate him to pay. Our motto here is ‘communication instead of confrontation’ – and the many positive 2021-10-18 (Website DE) atriga Newsletter Personality Georgia Alexiadou feedbacks prove us right. The success of this strategy is also underlined by the high collection rates, where atriga is always far ahead in the benchmark!”
Georgia Alexiadou spoke at the beginning about a career in debt collection as an exciting, varied and above all meaningful occupation. She rounds off her statement: “The requirements are different, but the commitment to the timely realisation of outstanding debts is always at the centre.”