Focus Direct Inc. – Philippines Joined Masskara Festival


Bacolod City, Philippines is know for Masskara festival which takes place for 20 days from Oct. 1-20. It gives the people of Bacolod as well as the tourist a time to enjoy 20 days of merry making, beer drinking, and street partying. The term Masskara is coined from 2 words: mass meaning crowd and spanish word kara for face. It was coined by Ely Santiago, a painter, cartoonist, and cultural artist who devoted his show in his art of many faces of Negrenses overwhelmed with various crises. Today, Masskara Festival uses the symbol of smiling masks to depict the Happy Spirit of Negrenses despite of the difficulties.

Focus Direct Inc. an outsourced contact center of Focus Services, is located at 22nd street, Lacson which is where the street party is exactly located. During the hype of the festival, Focus Direct Inc. and it’s employees participated in the festivities. The management has it’s own Masskara Bay Making contest.

Masskara Bay Design Contest 004

Masskara Bay Design Contest 012

Masskara Bay Design Contest 006

Camera 360

Camera 360

Camera 360

Friday night, Oct. 18, 2013, the employees wear masks and colorful costumes to join the street party outside with the beat of electro-dance music being played by different DJ’s on the big stage set up in the middle of the street. On the second day, a caravan of the different establishments on the City of Bacolod, Focus Direct Inc. also participated with it’s colorful float and it’s employees marching on the street, giving candies and other perks to the spectators. But the most fascinating event was the paint party held just outside the office of Focus. In these pictures, you will see how amazing the festival and how the employees joined the fun activities.

Day 1:

Outside Focus Direct Inc.

Coffee Break during Masskara

Day 1

Day 1- kae

Day 2:


Giving candies to kids2


Paint party with Cody and Landon

Focus Paint Party

And the Masskara continued till dawn. I think you can now guess what happened next morning after whole day of partying.

This just proves that engagement doesn’t just in the form of monetary payment or perks and incentives. Engagement in this particular event is when the management involves themselves with the employees activities. It’s nice to see that the Director down to its employees celebrates together.

Hope you enjoy the pictures.


The Human Side of Customer Service

Have you received a call from a very upset customer where you can actually feel the anguish down to your bones even if he/she is not really in front of you? Your customers actually knows that your product or service is not perfect and it’s not what really angers them. It’s no secret that most irate (upset) customers are upset because of long holds, tons of automated messages advertising the brand before they can actually talk to a live person only to find out that the representative they were able to get hold of cannot help them and they need to be transferred to different other departments where they’ll have to explain their concern over and over again. If you’re the last representative to receive the call, then you need a BIG GOOD LUCK because you will suffer the wrath of the universe!

Truths about customer service and call centers

  • 72% of all customers believe it takes too long to reach a live agent – Harris

  • 94% of customers do not want to be transferred to another representative more than once – Mobius Poll 2002

  • 84% of customers are frustrated when a representative does not have immediate access to their account information – Mobius Poll 2002

  • 69% said they were on hold for too long – Harris

  • 85% of consumers are dissatisfied with their phone experience – Gartner

  • It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience – “Understanding Customers” by Ruby Newell-Legner

  • Research shows that a 10% increase in customer retention levels result in a 30% increase in the value of the company – Bain & Co.

Now let’s review how we are providing solution to these problems. I’ve seen supervisors and managers who judges their agents by the metrics (Management by Spreadsheet). Brands pressure’s their agents to pass the average handling time which is sad to say, sometimes unrealistic. Encourages their agents to empathize to their customers by providing them word for word scripts and punishes them when they do otherwise. Highlights the importance of first call resolution but fails to provide all the information that their agents need.

You mights say I’m a little pessimistic especially for someone who works in a call center but do you think the customers dissatisfaction mentioned above just sprang up from nowhere without any reason at all? Contrary to what you maybe thinking, I love my job, I honestly do. What I am saying is that there are loopholes in the current customer service process and those holes will continue to get it bigger and bigger if not solved. Customers are getting more and more upset each day for those who continuous to be adamant in the matter. But for those who will get it right will surely gain a lot of loyal customers and brand advocates and will be the next big thing in the world of business.

Today we have a lot of crm systems and call center software’s that provides huge amount of data that will enable us to predict customer behavior, develop better trends and practice in customer service, strengthens our workforce management strategies, provides real time performance data, suits our business needs in a lower cost, etc. There are also huge amount of information circulating online on how to retain customers and attract new ones. Like reward your loyal customers. Give them freebies and perks for signing up to you and a discount if they renew their contract. Don’t make it difficult for your customers to contact your customer service department and make sure you have enough representatives to help them with their concerns. It may cost your business a little but as a marketing strategy, it’s free! I’m sure you would really love to see more customer advocates that refers your product or service to their friends and relatives like you’re more controversial than Gossip Girl. And all these because your customers know that YOU never stop trying to provide the best customer experience to them.