Jordan Punzalan is one of our team leads at HGS-Philippines. He has been with us for nearly five years, and he shares his journey with us:
“You’re hired! Your start date will be on October 24, 2014,” was the good news that changed my life for the better.
Before becoming a part of the customer service industry, I always heard that you could compare life at a contact center to a movie. One can see a plethora of storylines on the production floor, and sometimes, even on the same day! While parts of these storylines are real, the one type of story I've come across working here and know to be true is the inspirational kind. These are not the typical rags-to-riches accounts. I've met a variety of individuals—working students, single moms, and senior citizens—who are working hard to grow in their lives and provide for their loved ones. I think people in contact centers shatter stereotypes in the best way possible. At HGS, everyone has a story that others may not see, but more than that, everyone has a large heart that is open to those in need.
“Are you willing to stay with us for a long period or do you have any other plans?” the manager asked me during the final interview. I answered the question with all honesty—that I had other plans and that I only wanted to gain experience in this industry. Even as I felt like I'd given a negative answer, I got the confirmation call. I felt valued and was grateful for the risk the company had taken in hiring me. Over the years, I have continued to see how the organization builds trust and shares hope with all employees. The dedication from the organization to make employees' lives better makes you feel like you are in good hands.
“Thank you for calling. My name is Jordan. Can I have your name please?” I said on my first mock call during training. Our trainer wanted to challenge us, so she pretended to be a caller asking for the supervisor. “Can I hold you?” I said in response, and the whole room went quiet. Then, my seatmate corrected me; "Is it alright if I place the call on hold for two to three minutes?" When I realized what I had said, I couldn't stop laughing. I can never forget how my reassuring my trainer was. The tips, strategies, and knowledge that she shared cleared up all my doubts and nervousness.
"We do not have that kind of money! My daughter will die if you don't approve my request," a caller had cried and shouted, during our phone labs. We were exposed to the real world, where the emotions of the situation were not filtered. As customer service representatives, we are required to be equipped, ready, and as my former team lead once said, with a weapon for the war. In our case, that weapon is empathy. It helps you understand the person, by walking in their shoes. The role taught me so much not just because of exposure to severe cases but also because I was surrounded by very empathetic people. I learned from them to smile even if I am in the middle of a tough situation. I'm proud to be part of a team that never gives up.
When I joined here, I was a novice who was looking for opportunities to prove myself. I have found people who have believed in me and supported me in my journey here. Today, not only have I grown as a professional, but I also love my job. As the first company to present me with the opportunity, HGS will always be special to me.