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Leadership Culture w/ Jeff Stewart

April 17, 2024
5 min

Jay Ollero
Hello, I am Jay Ollero and welcome to the CX Espresso. This microcast features leading customer experience experts who share their thoughts on trends, tools, and best practices in customer experience. CX Espresso are single shots of hot CX topics served to you by Aucera, and today's topic is focused on leadership within a BPO. Here today to provide insight is Aucera's Jeff Stewart, Vice President of Client Success.

Jumping right in, Jeff, the question today is from a leadership perspective, if I'm a company looking to partner with a BPO, what questions should I be asking?

Jeff Stewart:
Yeah, thanks, Jay. Great question. I think what I would look for is really a company that has a great culture of developing and growing leaders. I think a couple things that you can always look at as a litmus test is how long have the leadership been there at all levels, the frontline, the middle, and the upper leadership. So, I think that's the first litmus test.

The second is, do they have a purposeful leadership development program? A lot of people say, yes, we grow our leaders, we're very intentional, we have a roadmap, but then when asked what that is, there's really not a lot of planning and processes.

Jay Ollero:
So, you're looking at the tenure of the leadership and the programs that they have for developing leaders. Can you dive into that a little more?

Jeff Stewart:
One of my favorite professors back in college said, "If you want to know a lot about an organization, ask how long your boss's boss has been there, and that'll tell you everything you need to know." But I think our frontline average leader is seven plus years, our middle management is 10 to 15 years, and our upper leadership is 20+ years, so that speaks for itself.

Secondly is every week we have what we call individual development sessions where we purposely are growing our leaders, and then we have a roadmap for their growth along with regular career pathing sessions. We give them certain opportunities to learn about topics that they want to cover, and we go through things like effective communication, emotional intelligence, critical thinking and problem solving, adaptability, and then different levels of leadership, growing the leader in you, and then when you get onto the higher levels of how do you develop the leaders around you.

Those are things I think that really tell you is the company really developing leaders and are they really serious about leadership, and are they spending time doing it.

Jay Ollero:
What do you think is Aucera's impact from the agent to the customer having this kind of culture?

Jeff Stewart:
Yeah, I think that's a great point. Really, everyone's looking for how can I elevate our customer service, or they talk about CX and we have all kinds of ratings and scores. To me, the real big gap in the customer service industry is what are you doing with your leaders who are working with your frontline agents? I think it's a direct line of when you're purposeful about developing your leaders, they are going out and developing the agents.

So we have the same thing at the agent level, we actually do have a development plan and a career pathing session with them. We can't always guarantee that you're going to be promoted, but we can be growing you so you're ready for your next promotion. That's really a key, because if they're being developed at the agent level, they're going to have great conversations with your customers, and that's really how it translates.

Jay Ollero:
So Jeff, to wrap up our conversation today, can you finish by sharing what you think is Aucera's differentiator in the BPO industry?

Jeff Stewart:
To me, the thing that always stands out with us is when I hear back from people that have left the organization as, "Hey, Jeff, really what I appreciated was all of the growth that we did, and remember when we went through this journey. Those are the things that people really take away from our organization and why people stay."

Anyone can buy technology, but I still think when it comes down to the core of it, leadership will always beat out the competition, along with our great technology and innovation lab. I think that's a differentiator in the marketplace, it still comes down to leadership.

Jay Ollero:
It still comes down to leadership. Jeff Stewart, thank you so much for joining me today, and I want to thank the listeners as well. I am Jay Ollero, and if you'd like to submit CX questions for consideration, please email us at And if you'd like to learn more about Aucera, please visit

Aucera is one of the nation's largest privately held contact center companies. Aucera provides bespoke cost-effective customer services and solutions headquartered in Mahwah, New Jersey. Aucera's customer engagement services are available at onshore in USA, nearshore, and offshore locations for a wide variety of industries.

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