Contact Center Experts
Original Eight: Peter Coughlan, Administrative Supervisor
Original Eight Series: Peter Coughlan | Administrative Supervisor
“Resiliency is contagious and the secret sauce of the SaviLinx culture”
SaviLinx opened its doors in June 2013 with a handful of employees. In 2016, eight of the original team remain; these profiles of the “Original Eight” are to celebrate the company’s third anniversary.
Peter Coughlan grew up in Massachusetts and since graduating college has called Maine his home. Peter worked for Heather for two years at EnvisioNet, then at L.L.Bean and TD Bank, before joining SaviLinx in 2013.
How did you hear about SaviLinx?
When I heard that Heather was starting a new company in Brunswick, I wanted to be in on the ground floor. I was confident that Heather would build another successful company. And as an added bonus, I shaved two hours off my daily commute! My quality of life was definitely improved.
I hear you recently were promoted. What is your role at SaviLinx?
I started out as a representative, and was later promoted to Super Queue Supervisor – Second Shift. My official title today is Administrative Supervisor, which means I supervise the team leads and 200 new employees working on our new contract.
There is a palpable sense of optimism here. I am humbled to have received a lot of positive feedback since the promotion was announced. I think that promotions also reassure folks that good work and hanging in there pay off.
Can you expand on ‘hanging in there’?
Like Owen Fish, I originally worked for Heather at EnvisioNet, where I worked as assistant service center manager on the MSN retention account. At its peak, I oversaw 14 team leads and 300 representatives operating around the clock. EnvisioNet was a truly invaluable experience. We learned so much in so little time.
In the years between working for Heather, I served as a supervisor in retail and banking, overseeing retention and customer support teams. These roles were possible because of my experience with Heather.
So when many of us came on board, we knew we were in for the long term. And many of took a step backward in our career to be a part of SaviLinx. Growing a company takes time.
This is a very exciting time at SaviLinx. I was looking for an opportunity to bring my experience to bear in a bigger and more significant way. And that was recognized with the promotion.
While it’s always nice to be recognized, I think it’s really a great signal to others of career growth. I think everyone sees bringing on new contracts and hiring new employees as a sign of positive growth for the company and for us individually. Hanging in there matters.
SaviLinx has an enviable employee-retention rate. How do you do it?
It helps that even when Heather and Kim [Williams, COO] are not visible, they are always accessible. Heather has built a culture that recognizes each person’s value. We are not just numbers. Communicating your wishes to grow is both encouraged and appreciated. Heather is always building a pipeline of talent.
What was it like when SaviLinx started?
There was some trepidation. I thought – and I think a lot of us did – that things would happen faster than they did. It has been gratifying to realize that taking the risk to join a startup was worth it. Compared to EnvisioNet, which had explosive growth, this has been careful and calculated. It’s been very smart and strategic growth and incredibly rewarding to watch the efforts come to fruition.
The culture was positive from the moment we started working with one another. And it needed to be. We worked in the Super Queue where we handle multiple service contracts for a variety of companies. There is a constant need for continued training and for everyone to develop their empathetic skills. Every day we were – and today continue to be – asked to step up. That queue is steeped in variety and requires flexibility, agility and patience – in many ways, it is the premier training ground for SaviLinx’s future leaders.
What’s it like today?
There is a real buzz with the onboarding of hundreds of people. People who have been here for a while look at this as an opportunity to develop their skills and take their careers even farther.
What makes the culture special at SaviLinx?
Humor and laughter. In the face of all challenges, we always have humor. We know how to laugh and to not take ourselves too seriously.
The culture today reflects the original team that Heather built. Because many of the people in that initial small group are still here, we have maintained a culture made up of well-rounded people – contributors – who are driven to succeed. As part of the growth, that team, especially Lindsay who recruits, helps mentor people to be a part of a culture that appreciates others.
What does the future hold for SaviLinx?
I am very positive about our future. We have had recent growing pains, but I can only see things getting better from here on out.
I am proud that I am part of the original team that helped build a solid foundation here.
If I could describe one attribute that brings us all together, it’s resiliency. It’s contagious and it’s why we have been successful.