International SOS for 'ambassadors' |
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International SOS for 'ambassadors'

Published on Thursday, 26 Jul 2012
Cindy Cheng, HK and Macau GM at International SOS, says customer services executives must manage the logistics of services.
Photo: Thomas Yau

“We are pioneering a new industry so our business is unique,” says Cindy Cheng, general manager, Hong Kong and Macau, at International SOS. The medical- and security-services provider operates from over 700 sites in 70 countries and has 10,000 employees.

The company offers medical- and risk-planning services, preventative programmes, in-country expertise and emergency-response services for its clients’ employees. “Staffed by physicians, multilingual co-ordinators, operations managers and logistics support personnel, our team can respond rapidly to any type of emergency or call of assistance, at any time and place,” Cheng says.

“We work with clients operating in [unstable and unsafe] areas to address specific risks, and then prepare robust crisis-management protocols, medical-evacuation response plans, incident management plans and more. The idea is to ensure [their] business continuity and safeguard the well-being and safety of their employees.”

International SOS clients make up 86 per cent of US businesses in the top 100 places of the Fortune Global 500 list of richest companies, and 70 per cent of companies in the full list.

In line with its growth, the company is adding staff to its Hong Kong team, which has around 100 employees. It is looking for candidates to join its team of customer services executives (CSE).

“CSEs are the organisation’s ambassadors. They are expected to be the first and single point of contact telephonically to handle the entire logistical arrangement for services such as medical referrals, hospital admissions and medical evacuations. Due to the role’s fast-paced and dynamic nature, they are expected to have an eye for detail, be able to multitask extensively and exercise a high level of passion and integrity,” Cheng says.

Cheng says that the company offers CSEs opportunities to work for other alarm centres overseas, as well as to branch out into other departments within the company. These include training and quality, sales and marketing, even finance – as long as they have adequate knowledge and experience of operations.

After an introduction to the history and culture of International SOS, recruits are given several training sessions, including product and services knowledge, work procedure, customer service and communication skills. “Our corporate training curriculum is a structured programme covering many areas, and can be spread over nine weeks,” Cheng says.

Ongoing coaching and training are also provided.

According to Cheng, the typical career ladder of a CSE is senior CSE, operations supervisor, assistant operations manager, operations manager and senior operations manager.


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