Chief Operating Officer of Support Services Group
“Enhancing Customer Service & Productivity”
Before the global Covid-19 pandemic, the Support Services Group (SSG) was relatively small but growing. Staff worked in contact centers, and success was driven by how well the company’s culture of caring translated down to frontline agents. The pandemic forced SSG to rethink just about everything. To protect employees and guarantee service to clients, SSG deployed thousands of employees to work-from-home in weeks. Marcy Payne led the transition effort, leveraging her prior experience leading a team of 5,000 remote employees. Due to swift action and careful planning, SSG maintained full service for their clients, protecting their business and servicing their customers.
Marcy also needed to preserve SSG’s culture. That meant ensuring teams stayed connected, supporting remote employees, andremembering that everyone was going through stressful times. People had child-care issues to resolve, Wi-Fi connectivity to sort out, and sick family members to worry about. SSG had to get nimble fast, and it was up to Marcy and the rest of the SSG leadership team to make it happen. “The overriding theme was to do right by our people and clients; the rest would take care of itself.”
Today, SSG has more than doubled in size since COVID-19 struck because they successfully navigated challenges while competitors struggled. Marcy is intelligent, decisive, and empathetic. She is a team builder and wants those around her to succeed.
“It starts with giving a voice to our people,” says Marcy. “I want to be sure every employee is comfortable and feels like part of the team. They need to understand that they aren’t here just to do a job, they are here to advance their careers.”
Marcy’s nurturing approach is clearly working, said Bryan Gross, SSG CEO:
“It is one thing to talk about culture and doing things the right way, but it is another to be able to execute and get buy-in from frontline staff,” he says. . “Whatever center I walk into, whomever I meet along the way, I’m driven by how connected our people are to the company. That’s Marcy. We are now a global organization, and somehow, she has been able to keep the family culture alive and well.”
When a leader takes the time to genuinely connect with her staff, culture evolves, and attitudes change. “In our last employee survey, 94% of our staff said they would recommend SSG as a great place to work,” says Marcy. “That kind of employee satisfaction is rare these days.”
A true inspiration to all the women, Marcy says, “I want women to know they can be great mothers and executives at the same time. The migration to work from home is a blessing in that regard. Children get a clearer understanding of what mom does during the day, and mothers get more time with their children. Yes, work and home life intersect at times, and that’s OK.”
The steadfast leader has a unique ideology owing to her grandmother, Gwen Schellstede, the first woman in Fertilizer at Phillips Petroleum company back in the ’50s. “She challenged the norm in a male-dominated oil company and advanced her career as a female executive managing shipping all over the US,” explains Marcy. “Her determination to continue to learn and advance in a career she loved during constant challenges, and gaining respect as a female leader, helped guide me into a career in business focused on advancing to an executive leader.” Armed with such a unique ideology, Marcy has been transforming the company.
Support Services Group was first a tech support company for the electronics industry. As the need for customer care became more prevalent, the company added verticals and now serves most sectors of the economy. “There is intense competition in the outsourcing space. Many companies hire agents before they even know what program they’ll be working on,” says Marcy. “SSG aims to earn customers for life, so we go to great lengths to recruit, train, and retain top talent. We also provide dedicated program management and hands-on, executive-level client support to our partners. We customize our programs to the EXACT requirements and needs of each client. The last piece is providing leading technology that reduces costs for our partners.”
SSG maintains a strong virtual connection and managerial oversight between agents and leadership by employing video conferencing, video chat, chat rooms, and more. “We have also used Virtual Town Hall meetings to bring teams in different parts of the world together as a large group. Our entire recruiting process is digital now, too,” explains Marcy. “We can hire around the world without meeting a candidate in person. I’m really excited about the evolution of our technology platform. We are offering a truly omnichannel platform that will improve customer satisfaction and increase agent productivity.” IEWL
Chief Operating Officer of Support Services Group
Support Services Group is a global, high-touch Omnichannel Outsource Contact Center solution company founded in 1981. Our 23 contact centers are in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Panama, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Hungary, Malaysia, and the Philippines. We provide various types of services from Technical Support, Help Desk Services, Customer Service, E-commerce and Retail Support, RMA Management, Restaurant, and Automotive Customer Service, Utility Support, B2B/B2C Sales, Sales Support, Chat Support, Email Support, Knowledgebase Management, and more.