The Silicon Review
“Our culture is one where we strive to make a positive difference whether that is in the lives of our employees, the customers we support and the geographies of which we reside.”
Marketing departments spend millions on campaigns to create a brand personality but it is often the person answering the customer helpline that becomes the public face of a given brand. While advertising creates an image that attracts customers, a brand’s public face is threatened by the quality of its helpline service. Call centers adopt the ‘brand ambassador’ model. They become ambassadors for carrying out the given brand’s mission and vision and uphold quality after-sales services.
In light of the foregoing, we’re thrilled to present Skybridge Americas, Inc.
Skybridge Americas is a customer care solutions provider. It offers onshore, nearshore and work@home contact center services, across multiple channels (voice, email, chat, SMS, social media), to some of the world’s most iconic brands.
The company is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and has additional facilities located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Santo Domingo, Santiago, Dominica Republic, and in remote locations across the United States and some provinces in Canada.
In Conversation with Andrew J. Bosko, Skybridge Americas, Inc. CEO
Q. According to you, what does it take for an organization to survive and flourish?
Companies that survive and flourish stay focused on their stated mission and never get distracted from it. They’re strategic. They have a culture of accountability and employ people who aren’t afraid to make decisions for the good of the company. This requires great leaders. Leaders who motivate others around them, build relationships that create trust and open communication, and that ensure everyone has a clear understanding of what every person in the company is working toward.
What makes them survive and flourish into the distant future is how they respond to their failures. They celebrate employees who take risks because that’s how you get better and drive business.
Q. Why was the company set up? And how did you expand your company and its offerings over the years?
Our company was founded in Minnesota in 1955 as ‘Maple Plains Fulfillment’, acquired by Carlson Marketing Group in 1973, and ultimately by Skybridge Americas in 2011. Over the years, we added contact center services to support our fulfillment business. As our contact center business expanded, it became our core competency. Consequently, in order to focus on our contact center business, we sold our fulfillment division in December of 2018.
Q. What challenges did you face in your initial years? What can your peers learn from it?
Skybridge is in a highly competitive industry. In the initial years, we faced the obvious financial challenges that you might expect. As important, however, are the challenges, we faced with adapting to new technology, employee retention, time management, and effective communication. What we learned is that in order to successfully overcome these obstacles we had to attract senior executives with vast experience who would otherwise not be leading a company of our size.
Q. What kind of responses have you received from your consumers over the years? How have they motivated you to shape your offerings/grow the company?
We have always placed a focus on high quality, high touch business, and truly partnering with our clients to help them build their brand, increase revenue, and profitability. We have quarterly business reviews with each and every client to discuss performance, consumer feedback, gaps in service, future needs, etc. We use this feedback in a 360-degree approach to inform our strategies to provide the best possible service to our clients and their customers. We are continually evaluating new technologies in an effort to improve quality and become more cost-effective. We have clients that have been with us for over 25 years because of the quality and solutions we provide.
Q. Building a culture of sustainability inside an organization is very important to maintain a reputation in the global market. How is it true for your company?
At Skybridge, we specialize in supporting a limited number of iconic brands. Every program is custom-designed to reflect and enhance the brand promise of each of our partners. The polar opposite of a boiler room type operation, we re-create the culture of our clients through careful hiring, exhaustive training, and brand immersion for each of our programs. Each and every program is unique in that no two clients of ours are the same, and we like it that way. Our culture is one where we strive to make a positive difference whether that is in the lives of our employees, the customers we support and the geographies of which we reside.
Q. Is it true that striving for both ethics and success in a business is a tough feat?
No, one drives the other. We actively recruit the best people we can find for our team and this helps drive our success. We view honesty and ethics as binary, you either have it all the time, or you don’t. As such, we have a zero-tolerance policy for violations of this type.
Q. People like when companies are involved in a social community, CSR activities, what do you say about this?
Skybridge Americas is very involved in the communities where we have facilities and have been recognized as such over the years. While we have received many industry awards over the years, we take the most pride in awards that are given by the communities in which we do business, such as Manitoba Customer Contact Association, which has recognized us year after year in many different categories.
Skybridge Americas has been receiving awards from MCCA since 2001; below find a few recent examples:
Q. Where do you see your company a couple of years from now?
Our five-year plan is to grow at a CAGR of 10-15 percent through a combination of organic growth, new client acquisition, and strategic partnerships. We intend to maintain a laser focus on the markets we currently serve and differentiate with bleeding-edge technology such as Artificial Intelligence solutions and the highest quality service available in the industry.
In addition to the unlimited capacity we have in North America due to our work@home model, we currently have the significant, available, fully built-out capacity in both of our facilities in the Dominican Republic and are building a third 500 seat center which will come online in Q4.
The Genius behind the Success of Skybridge Americas, Inc.
Andrew J. Bosko is the CEO of Skybridge Americas. Mr. Bosko has been the guiding force behind Skybridge Americas’ brand transformation, technology upgrades, and recent rapid sales growth since joining the organization in 2016. He is a recognized Business Leader with 25 years of executive management experience and is known for his hands-on style, sense of humor, and relentless focus on results.
Prior to joining Skybridge Americas, Mr. Bosko held executive leadership roles with a number of sales and customer contact organizations. Most recently, he served as Chief Operating Officer at iPacesetters, LLC. Before earning his MBA from Northwestern University, Mr. Bosko attended Loyola University, Chicago, on an athletic scholarship for swimming and water polo, helping his team advance to the NCAA tournament three times. To this day, he can be seen wearing his Loyola Letterman jacket as he cheers on the Ramblers at various sporting events.