By Josh Harvison - bio | email
JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Employees of StarTek and their families were treated Sunday to a special celebration. Tuesday, August 4th marks the 1-year anniversary of StarTek's opening in Jonesboro. Employees were recognized for their outstanding service and their families were given tours of the facility for the 1-year anniversary celebration.
"We've achieved an incredible amount of milestones for our client in terms of providing the highest level of customer satisfaction. We have been successful in hiring, training and on boarding over 600 employees here in the greater Jonesboro area," said Joe Schnaufer.
When StarTek opened in 2008, the company employed 100 people.
"I think really, everything just started off on the perfect foot. I've moved 26 different times in my life and I can say without question my first day here in Jonesboro at StarTek was the warmest welcome I've ever received," said Terry Daley, Site Director for StarTek.
Daley said one reason his company has been successful in attracting new employees is the community support.
"It's a very people centric business. We have one on one relationships with our clients and our customers and that relationship that we build is important and getting in the right market is really key to us being successful," said Daley.
"Based on the demographics, the population, the proximity to a major university, Jonesboro just had a great mix of all of the requirements we're looking for," said Schnaufer.
Despite dismal economic circumstances among businesses across the country, StarTek in Jonesboro said it was doing well.
"It's actually impacted our company in a very favorable way. As many Fortune 500 companies are looking for very cost effective, high value solutions to handle their customers, we fit a tremendous niche and have done very well in the economic downturn and have been able to bring a tremendous amount of jobs to the communities we serve in," said Schnaufer.
"We just finished looking at our compensation structure for our frontline workers, and there's been an uplift that took place on Saturday, so we're trying to get the right folks We're getting good quality folks and I think we're only going to be in a strong position to do that going forward," said Daley.
The inside of StarTek looks much different than the outside. The call center is full of balloons and bright colors.
"One of the things that I think distinguishes StarTek from the other companies I've worked for is really the strong emphasis they make on making the work place be fun," said Daley.
"We are at maximum capacity here. Based on the number of operational seats we do have, however there is always opportunity for expansion should the hours be increased or be extended," said Schnaufer.
"We're constantly looking for ways to make it a fun place to go to work as well as something where it has opportunity and prepares you for success," said Daley.
"You can take a look around if you come in and see us here, you'll understand we love to get our work done, but we also love to have fun," said Michael Crutchfield.
Crutchfield started his career at StarTek as an agent. Within one month, he was promoted to the position of flood support. Now he's working as a supervisor of 15 other employees.
"Most of the time everybody is extremely happy, extremely nervous is usually the thing when you start. You basically get butterflies in the stomach and that's our job as supervisors to get them butterflies out and get them to where they need to be," said Crutchfield.
Crutchfield said he was just like all the other employees now working at StarTek. He had been looking for something new when he learned of StarTek.
"I had always worked in the retail environment and I thought I wanted to try something else and ended up living in Paragould at the time and I was just trying to wash cars and make some money and try to get through school and then StarTek came to town. I thought I would give it a try," said Crutchfield. "It's almost impossible. Back when I didn't have a job, you'd basically have to move with your parents if you can do that, if they're willing to let you and when I finally got the job, i've been able to move out again. I'm back on my feet."
Crutchfield said it was challenging at first. Agents at StarTek sit in their cubicle, taking customer service calls for its clients.
"You can see my little character on my desk, my drawing, just anything to ease the job in the work atmosphere but still keep it professional is what we like to do," said Crutchfield. "Every now and then I might toss something at one of my agents just to snap at them. I've got things like this, it's an airzooka, it shoots a ball of air at them."
Daley said he hopes the future is bright for StarTek of Jonesboro, citing community service projects.
"I know one of the things that we clearly want to do is be involved in the community and make a difference in the community, so I think as time goes on, you'll see more and more of StarTek out in the community in terms of what we're doing to support the community," said Daley.
"We're here to help people be successful and that's with the right on boarding, creating the right environment and really investing heavily in our leadership development so we can coach people to reach their maximum potential," said Schnaufer.
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