Our site in Fort Smith, Arkansas opened its doors six years ago, and Karen Hill has been there helping people every day since. She has held numerous jobs in her 72 years, and she’s found SYKES to be one of a kind. “One of my favorite things about SYKES that I haven’t experienced in any other job is that hard work is truly noticed, appreciated and always recognized in some way.”
And Karen has received her fair share of recognition for her hard work and stellar performance during her tenure at SYKES. She’s the longest standing “World Class Hero” – the top level of performance in her site’s incentive program. For the last two-and-a-half years, Karen has received top-notch reviews from the customers she helps by handling their questions and concerns with efficiency and excellent customer service.
What do you do with SYKES?
I work primarily with our large financial services client. I started out in customer service for about three years, then I went to the fraud line of business for two-and-a-half years and now I’m back in customer service. I basically help customers with questions about their statements and credit cards. If they need assistance, I try to be a one-stop resolution.
What’s a typical day at SYKES like for you?
I’m usually here by 7:30 every morning. I check in, get my computer set for the day and then I take calls from 8-5. It’s a pretty routine schedule, but I get a lot of variety in the calls that I receive.
How has your work experience shifted because of COVID?
So many of our agents are working from home, and it’s a skeleton crew on-site. It’s been different with COVID because we are all wearing masks and socially distancing. We are such a tight-knit family here that it has taken some getting used to. We’ve built such strong bonds, so it’s strange not to be able to hug or chat closely with one another.
What’s the best part about working with SYKES?
I’m really blessed to have such amazing team leaders and account managers. They are always encouraging, have been there from the beginning and are always willing to work with me and help me when I need it.
What accomplishment are you most proud of at SYKES?
Being here for six years and learning so many different things – I feel like I’ve done quite a bit here, and at 72, I feel like that’s quite an accomplishment!
What are your hobbies outside of work?
I taught myself to quilt. Every now and then I make a quilt to give to a fellow agent. I also make face masks now. People tell me I should sell them, but it’s hard to charge for something you just love doing. My favorite quilt that I ever made was for my niece – I made it a long time ago, and I’ve had to patch it three or four times because she takes it everywhere with her. Now she’s having a baby, and I’m making a baby quilt for her!
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I always wanted to be a teacher. I love teaching, but I ended up going to business school. I’ve worked as a secretary, bartender, waitress, cook, in senior care – all kinds of different jobs. Then one of my friends who worked for SYKES told me I should apply, and here I am six years later! No matter what I’m doing, I always give 110 percent and I tend to adapt to whatever situation I’m in.
What would you like to do moving forward?
I plan on continuing to do this! Despite everything going on with COVID, I still really enjoy it here. I’ve learned that since you’re never going to see the customer and likely never going to talk to them again, you just have to make the most out of every call and treat those customers the way you would want to be treated. I give every call my all!
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