The Customer Service Operations Manager (OM) is responsible for the overall direction, coordination, quality and productivity for the South Africa Virtual Customer Service (CS) work from home team. This position requires a candidate who has the ability to drive process improvements and keep pace with our growth while motivating others to meet the challenges of an extremely customer focused and metrics driven environment. This is a work from home role.
The OM leads and manages teams of 3-4 Group Managers (GrpMs) and 360 Customer Service Associates (CSAs) and is responsible for the overall direction and performance of the teams. Responsible for ensuring GrpM priorities remain focused on supporting Team Managers (TM), their teams and the business. OMs create and inspect mechanisms to prevent and remove defects within their area of control from negatively impacting customers or the business. OMs oversee the operational delivery and development of the teams in their organization.
With sponsorship from senior and site leadership, OMs lead organizational strategies and actions using Amazon leadership principles, Amazon’s mission, and Amazon Contact Tenets. OMs provide overall direction to all layers of their organization to achieve team and organizational performance goals. Engage different stakeholders to influence business decisions, and create partnerships. Promote a Toward Culture by creating a working environment in which leaders treat employees with dignity, respect, and fairness, resulting in an engaged and motivated workforce. OMs coach, support, and guide GrpMs in establishing a work environment where TMs and Customer Service Associates (CSA) are engaged and have a strong sense of achievement for delivering world-class service to customers.
OMs will coach and role model coaching behaviors for GrpMs. OMs define the mission, strategy, mid and long term priorities for the team, they make the appropriate decisions based on judgement and expertise to make trade-offs between business opportunity, resources and sustainability.
OMs review performance trends to define problems or opportunities, align and network with stakeholders and key support functions at a local and network level to take action and continuously improve the quality, service, and performance for the organization, network and site. OMs will also engage with business, product, tech and customer experience teams. OMs will be an escalation point for GrpMs and the known skip level escalation point for TMs to take action on issues or barriers that impact customer experience.
Coach GrpMs to engage, encourage, understand, and ensure alignment with Amazon Leadership Principles and mission. Model coaching behaviors for GrpMs to help eliminate roadblocks and enable GrpMs to support TMs, realize their potential, and improve performance. OMs also provide actionable feedback to senior leaders and peers.
- Provide supportive coaching to all GrpMs on team on a regular basis; deliver coaching in a way that promotes a ‘Toward Culture’.
- Collaborate with GrpMs to set and attain goals based on business needs, organizational goals, site goals, and customer experience improvement.
- Invest in creating an inclusive team culture through active self-learning on inclusive behaviors and coaching TMs.
- Apply a balanced coaching style based on the individual and situation to improve on a new or existing skill or behavior; use a question-based approach when coaching to influence and motivate; consistently provide specific, data driven, balanced, timely, and actionable feedback.
- Coach GrpMs to achieve business or organizational results related to quality, productivity, compliance, and development.
- Instill a culture of coaching and ensure GrpMs provide effective coaching to TMs, to help them eliminate blockers, think strategically, support customers, realize their potential, and improve performance.
Drive site or organization’s engagement activities and initiatives, create a safe, trusting environment for communication and open dialogue; encourage team members to express views, even contrary ones, and to be vocally self-critical.
- Employ a strategic and fair process to show recognition to GrpM, TMs and CSAs; celebrate success on a regular basis.
- Collaborate with HR and additional support units to have a second voice in business decisions or initiatives.
- Build an inclusive culture and identify factors that motivate team members; implement a variety of activities to keep team members motivated.
- Create “two-way” dialogue by regularly gathering feedback from team members on own performance and taking action on that feedback to ensure ongoing personal development.
- Respond quickly to requests for help/information from GrpMs, TMs, CSAs, and others.
- Analyze employee survey indicators and trends (positive and negative) to develop and manage the overall engagement strategy across all teams.
- Explain the reasoning and logic behind, and impact of, decisions, actions and recommendations; use change management practices to implement change.
- Set the direction and culture for the site and organization.
- Create a positive team environment; promote and champion the role of teamwork and collaboration in achieving overall site goals.
- Connect the site to overall network initiatives.
- Engage business, product, tech, and customer experience teams when driving initiatives to influence the inclusion of projects in roadmaps and drive business decisions.
Communicate effectively with GrpMs, TMs, CSAs and site leadership. Clearly communicate goals directly to all team members; create mission and vision for teams; treat all team members with respect and fairness, creating a safe and diverse space to discuss ideas and create synergies.
- Keep Amazon’s culture at the forefront; participate and/or create forums to discuss items such as Leadership Principles and CS Contact Tenets.
- Serve as the escalation point for GrpMs and their teams.
- Hold regular 1:1 meetings formally and informally with GrpMs, TMs, and recurrent skip level 1:1 meetings or round tables with CSAs.
- Effectively present at team meetings, All-Hands, GrpM meetings, site leader meetings and network meetings
- Drive and own Weekly, Monthly, and Quarterly Business Review meetings to report out on metrics with a wider business team or the network of their own organization.
- Express thoughts clearly and succinctly; focus on key points when delivering a message; explain tasks and procedures clearly.
- Proactively set mechanisms in place at every organizational level to make sure messaging is being transmitted and understood as intended.
- Explain the reasoning and logic behind, and impact of decisions, actions, and recommendations.
- Be approachable; be empathetic; listen attentively; understand their perspective and take interest in their concerns.
- Keep business teams informed on updates and changes of site or organization wide initiatives and projects as applicable by organization.
- Write and present well-written and influencing documents (i.e. narratives, press releases, promotion documents, etc.); teach and coach team members and peers on how communicate and write effectively.
Hire and Develop Talent
Support hiring processes to identify and hire top talent, advocating for inclusion and diversity. Coach and support GrpMs to identify development goals, create succession plans, and provide related development opportunities.
- Participate on hiring panels/loops, especially for GrpMs and TMs. Devote time recruiting and assessing candidates.
- Conduct effective behavioral-based interviews.
- Build a talent pipeline; know the top talent at the site; leverage professional networks and partner with recruiting to locate and attract the best talent.
- Create succession-planning strategy for the organization, and contribute to the overall site succession planning strategy.
- Support the training and onboarding of new GrpMs using onboarding tool; use standard launch processes to articulate Amazon culture and new leader roles and responsibilities.
- Regularly conduct career growth planning discussion with GrpMs leveraging career development tooling. Periodically audit for entire team.
- Invest time in self-development activities trainings, workshops, podcasts, mentoring (mentor or mentee), among others, to role model effective self-development and inclusive behaviors.
- Encourage team members to attend, participate and/or facilitate developmental activities, such as trainings, workshops, webinars, etc.
- Actively encourage career progression for all team members inside or outside their teams (promotion/transfer).
- Serve as a mentor for other OMs, GrpMs or TMs on site or within the network.
Guide and oversee the day-to-day operations and set the strategic direction for teams; determine trade-offs between time vs. quality vs. resources; decide if issues can be handled or need to be escalated. Manage difficult and ambiguous problems and create strategies to bring certainty to the organization; share lessons-learned with other teams, business units, and sites effectively.
- Establish and audit clear work processes to enable and drive team performance and implement solutions.
- Regularly observe the day-to-day work of the team to ensure they have the right tools to drive performance.
- Link teams and team member’s work to organizations, broader CS, and Amazon goals and priorities.
- Review and analyze key business metrics weekly and monthly; take note of concerning trends. Escalate as needed, and proactively implement and track corrective action plans.
- Support, inspect, implement or challenge the staffing and capacity plan in partnership with GrpMs, HR and Workflow; consistently achieve headcount volume forecast without overstaffing; provide Workflow with alternative plans.
- Identify opportunities, best practices, or recurring issues in their organization or across different business units and share insights across regions and/or network.
- Work with GrpMs and TMs when attrition spikes; determine root cause, and implement solutions; drive retention strategies in partnership with HR.
- Manage successful launches and experiments (product, business, unit, etc.). Set goals for launches where the strategy may not yet be defined. Use expertise and judgement to determine the right stakeholders to inform regarding decisions, and circle back with the customer or CSA pain points to drive improvements on the experience.
- Create mechanisms to review key business metrics.
- Embrace change and engage teams to embrace change. Create strategies to manage significant changes for the team.
- Influence without authority; influence other business units, business teams outside of CS, and other functions; influence senior leaders in the organization.
- Prioritize and delegate tasks appropriately; check on workload of GrpMs before delegating; be sensitive to team members’ workloads and stress levels; delegate tasks with a purpose to help direct reports grow and based on their strengths.
- Collaborate closely with and develop partnerships with support functions at the site, and network level.
- Act as a role model for wellbeing.
- Participate in site, organization’s, and network wide planning activities (i.e. OP1, goal, setting, peak planning, holiday captain, business continuity recovery planning, etc.).
Proactively participate and support initiatives to identify and solve problems to improve processes; sponsor or take on special projects within the business unit, site, regional, or network level.
- Recognize and/or propose creative ideas for improving business results and the customer experience; do not always rely on history for solutions, search for anecdotes.
- Work with and be an advocate of continuous improvement within the site.
- Be open to other options and ideas; take responsibility for own mistakes and for correcting them.
- Find and interpret data; identify trends in data and their implications; spot errors and discrepancies in data; identify the cause and effect relationships and/or trends between different elements of an issue.
- Continuously audit current processes to ensure constant improvement.
- Resolve issues escalated by the team if within scope, or escalate to the right business team if further support is needed.
- Participate actively in Gemba walks and the daily escalation of issues processes (DEI). Gather data from CSAs on recent issues and tickets; analyze the data and know in depth the issues and tickets. Frequently present issues and speak to details to the Operations Manager and CS leaders; work with TMs to follow-up with CSAs on the results of issues they surfaced.
- Partner with support functions or other business teams in and outside of CS to improve processes.
- Sponsor and drive Kaizen event teams or virtual process improvement teams to identify the root cause of a problem; offer multiple recommendations to fix the issue, and ensure tangible results.
Drive and design the overall performance management strategy for their organization.
- Set SMART goals for GrpMs, TMs and CSAs that are customer focused, aligned with organizational goals, and have clear owners and due dates.
- Review and provide feedback on goals that GrpMs have set for their teams.
- Discuss the criteria used to differentiate individual performance through performance ratings; effectively represent team members during calibration discussions.
- Listen in, take or observe customer calls or other contacts to stay connected to the customer and to monitor team members’ performance.
- Ensure GrpMs follow the HR guidelines and procedures established for performance management.
- Manage individual GrpM performance. Resolve performance and disciplinary issues professionally, quickly, and with respect for the individual documenting properly.
- Support and coach GrpMs in disciplinary processes in partnership with HR.
- Achieve performance targets and contribute to all aspects of it, developing top tier talent, coaching highly valued team members and doing performance management where required
Key Performance Indicators
- Achieve or exceed “Meet the bar” scores for employee survey indices
- Achieve/ exceed or significantly improve specific metrics including but not limited to: quality, efficiency, and productivity as outlined by the organization.
- Support Senior Leaders on achieving financial targets for the site and/or organization.
- BA/BS degree (NQF Level 7) or higher and/or 5 years middle management experience within Amazon and/or 7 years’ experience at senior management level managing a complex business operation in a similar environment
- 5+ year’s successful experience in Operations Management with demonstrated progressively increased responsibility.
- Excellent knowledge of statistical concepts and their application to operations along with expertise in the use of technical/statistical tools to drive quality and process improvement is strongly preferred
- Advanced knowledge of Excel, strong presentation skills, and the ability to motivate and inspire large groups of people are a must
- Project Management experience
- People management of large teams (Managing 90 indirect reports and 4 indirect reports within Amazon and/or at least up to 100+ indirect reports and 4+ direct reports with another company).
- Reliable internet connectivity (Fiber) with 10 Mbps up and down speeds at home office and a separate secure home-office set-up
- Knowledge of Six Sigma/Lean Processes
- Direct experience in Contact Center Operations (Customer Service Support)
- Ability and desire to relocate to take advantage of future growth opportunities
- Must we willing to work in a shifted environment. Amazon CS runs a 24/7 operation and we require our workforce to be flexible in terms of their work schedule.
Amazon is an equal opportunities employer, and we value your passion to discover, invent, simplify and build. We welcome applications from all members of society irrespective of age, sex, disability, sexual orientation, race, religion or belief. Amazon is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from South African citizens who are members of designated groups who may contribute to Employment Equity within the workplace and the further diversification of ideas. In this regard, the relevant laws and principles associated with Employment Equity will be considered when appointing potential candidates. We are required by law to verify your ability to work lawfully in South Africa. Amazon requires that you submit a copy of either your identity document or your passport and any applicable work permit if you are a foreign national, along with an updated curriculum vitae.
Company – Amazon Dev Centre South Africa
Job ID: A2196542