This is an English translation of the original article in Spanish. Original article in Relación Cliente Magazine – Málaga, el hub multilingüe ideal para la flexibilidad demandada en Europa, October 2021.
It seems that the stars have aligned to make Spain, and specifically Malaga, the ideal place for the creation of hybrid multilingual contact centers in southern Europe. Comdata has therefore restructured its offices on the “Costa del Sol” with a totally disruptive concept: bright open spaces, fewer workstations, dedicated areas for team-building and a new approach to development. As a result, a traditional facility has been transformed into a true experience center.
NEW WAYS OF WORKING
With the emergence of COVID-19, there has been a mass exodus towards the virtual Work at Home (W@H) model. According to the Cisco report A New Perspective on the Modern Workplace, IT and business professionals are now doing 4.7 times more remote working than before the pandemic.
Although Spain continues to be below the EU average for remote working, there will be a significant increase in the coming months, with more than 50% growth in the adoption of smart working and hybrid models. Much has been said lately about the advantages and disadvantages of the W@H model but clearly nothing will ever be the same again and we have to adapt our business models to this new environment to find the perfect balance between security, productivity, work-life balance, and well-being.
“At Comdata, our commitment is based on a hybrid model that allows us to combine the best of both worlds. We are alternating face-to-face interaction with remote work, to attract, develop and retain the best talent. It means our teams improve their quality of life while, at the same time, we provide safe, flexible and cost-efficient solutions to our clients”, says Pedro Rodríguez Swanson, Comdata’s chief commercial officer.
MANAGING CX FOR GLOBAL CLIENTS
According to Eurostat, there are more than 47,000 multinational companies in Europe alone and, in 84% of cases, decision-making takes place here. Therefore, companies must be able to offer customized solutions that meet the needs of multicultural and multilingual customers. This means responding to specific local needs while maintaining a global strategy. As shown by Comdata, the customer experience has to be managed efficiently and effectively, and serving customers from a multilingual hub avoids the need for a contact center in each country.
Companies that opt for an outsourced multilingual hub stand out for:
- Their flexibility and scalability, which allows them to respond to any eventuality.
- The harmonization of procedures, with the flexibility to handle local specific requirements.
- Their overall view of the processes and problems that may arise in one or more countries, enabling them to respond quickly to any request.
MALAGA, MUCH MORE THAN THE CAPITAL OF THE COSTA DEL SOL
To fully capture the benefits of using multicultural hubs, the choice of hub location is important and Malaga has clear attractions here. There have been regular news reports lately that, for example, Google is planning to install a cybersecurity centre in Malaga, Vodafone has chosen Malaga out of seven European cities to house an R&D center with more than 600 professionals, Globant will create an artificial intelligence innovation centre there, and the city council has just signed an agreement with the Mobile World Capital Foundation for the first Mobile Week to be held there in December of this year.
As a result of this and many other initiatives launched by the regional government of Andalusia, Malaga City Council, Malaga Valley and Malaga Workbay, the city has positioned itself as an innovation laboratory, a center for new ideas and a leader in the digital transformation of the Andalusian region.
It has a vibrant ecosystem of start-ups and company incubators and accelerators that have long been developing the city’s technology fabric. It’s also a multicultural city, which makes it very attractive to business.
Add to that the city’s mild climate, good transport infrastructure, numerous international schools and hospitals, plus the wide range of initiatives created by associations and communities of foreigners, and we can see why it is also an extremely attractive destination for young and well-educated people from all over Europe.
In fact, according to the International Expat City report, Malaga is one of the Top 10 preferred destinations for expatriates, and US Forbes magazine considers it one of the 10 best cities on the planet to live in.
In this new reality, big call center hubs with thousands of positions and agents will soon be a thing of the past. “Our multilingual hub, with more than 600 positions, located in the Malaga technology park, is the first of our 10 omnichannel hubs in Spain that we have restructured to create a differentiating space that generates and fosters experiences. It’s a place where people want to go for its innovative design and Silicon Valley atmosphere; a site driven by continuous learning, specialization, personal development, and team-building activities; and a high-performance center for people to get training, specialize, improve their knowledge of products and techniques, attend personal development seminars, or participate in initiatives that promote a sense of teamwork and belonging with the brands with which Comdata works”, concludes Pedro Rodríguez Swanson.
USING MALAGA’S STRENGTHS FOR COMDATA CLIENTS
The pieces seem to fit perfectly together for Malaga to become a nerve center exporting value-added services for businesses, where technology and the most talented human capital come together:
- The province of Malaga is attracting foreign and digital talent.
- A new way of working is proliferating – it considers the location irrelevant and allows people to enjoy exceptional quality of life.
- There is a growing need for brands to offer a multilingual, consistent, high-quality service to their customers.
- A change is taking place in the physical appearance and use of workspace.
Today in Europe there are well-trained professionals who are willing to move their residence to the Costa del Sol because of the infrastructure, the potential for business innovation and digitalizationation, the pleasant climate, and the quality of life.
Workers who arrive in Comdata’s hub here will do a two- or three-month immersion in the office and once they have “graduated”, they will go on to work from home, wherever that may be. Their visits to this new “experience center” office will be to receive training, interact in person with their colleagues or take part in initiatives to enhance engagement.
As we have seen, there is no doubt that Malaga has the ideal ecosystem for the organizations of the future, and Comdata already has its first clients investing in this disruptive customer service model.