30 Admired Companies to Watch 2021
If we start with the history of World Connection, it was in 2011 that Hugo Vignolo was in search of an investment opportunity when he found a small call center in Guatemala City. He had some familiarity with how call centers function, so he bought the company. At a disadvantage because it was small and relatively inexperienced, there were a few tough years trying to grow the client base. Hugo solicited investments from family so the firm could endure while seeking new business, and it wasn’t until 2013 that World Connection secured a promising new account for 60 FTEs.
It was through that deal that Hugo met Andy Salisbury, the owner of the client company, who soon became another investor in World Connection. While having productive operations in Guatemala, Hugo and Andy knew it was vital to have a U.S. presence, as well, and it was through Andy’s network that they then found another small call center in Boise, Idaho. Its subsequent acquisition thus expanded World Connection’s footprint.
Like every other company, World Connection had its own challenges to deal with, but Hugo saw opportunity in the outsourcing industry in Guatemala. He had the right fortitude and a strong drive to succeed, and he knew he could run the business better than he had found it. With his engineering background, he relied on his ability to learn quickly, think logically, and find like-minded people just as passionate and competitive as he was. That core team he built — who embodied that entrepreneurial spirit — would do whatever it took to find business, try hard, learn from mistakes, and never give up. It was a tough beginning but, over the years, they acquired great clients who were willing to work with the fledgling company. One early client even said they joined and stayed with World Connection in the early days specifically because the team always tried harder and had so much heart in the business.
As the company reached certain milestones, it was able to bring onboard more expertise in the call center/BPO space to help the business continue to grow and mature, but in 2019, the owners knew they needed additional, outside expertise to take it to the next level. After the requisite search, they appointed Hui Wu-Curtis in January 2020 as President/CEO, a position from which she will continue to expand the business and evolve the organization. With her 20 years of extensive experience in global contact center operations across numerous verticals, and her ability to formulate effective leadership teams, she was a great addition to the executive team. Her thought leadership in customer experience, continuous improvement, and call center operations, coupled with her level of transparency and genuineness was a great addition to World Connection.
Today, World Connection provides professional services like business process outsourcing (BPO) services. The firm has cultivated a great reputation with its clients by being a leader and preferred partner in Sales, Customer Service, Technical Support, and Back-Office work, outperforming its clients’ much-larger BPO partners within months of launch. “Providing inbound and outbound call center services and support, including voice, chat, SMS/text messaging, social media, and email support, World Connection provides the flexibility and agility to meet the changing business needs of organizations while providing the individual attention they need and want from an outsourced partner, regardless of size. Executive involvement in all aspects of the business supports both internal staff and clients alike.”
Fundamentally, the firm serves several customers — its clients, customers, and employees. The company states that its best customer strategy starts with its employees. It looks for top talent, in addition to high-potential talent. It seeks people with the right attitude and competencies who want to make their mark in an organization.
“By hiring and developing that internal talent and showing them the best version of themselves, we create a culture of people with purpose. They know exactly how they contribute to our overall success and — with the right people — they deliver the best customer experience for both our clients and their customers.”
World Connection is a medium-sized organization with a relatively flat structure but is much quicker than larger firms. Without a lot of bureaucracy or red tape to deal with, it pivots and adapts to changing conditions in the market quickly. The firm works collaboratively and with full transparency with its clients, integrating people from all levels of the organization — including its executive team — in the operations of its clients.
“Any company can offer technology solutions, but it’s World Connection’s expertise in operations where we understand and compliment these solutions with people and processes. We approach our clients holistically by understanding their business, their market, and their operations, so we can truly be an effective partner, not just a vendor.”
A brief background of the President and CEO
Hui Wu-Curtis comes to World Connection with over 20 years of global contact center operations and customer experience. She most recently came from Arizona Public Service (APS), where she was the GM of Customer Operations and Strategy. Prior to APS, Hui had global responsibility for customer care and servicing at Choice Hotels International. Additionally, she has two decades of leadership experience in key senior management roles for companies spanning verticals in finance, telecommunication, healthcare, hospitality, and utilities.
Hui is actively involved with the contact center and customer service industry. She serves as an ambassador for Call Center World; is a member of Women in Contact Center Leadership with Contact Center Nation; was on the advisory board of Customer Contact Week (CCW); and is a frequent, expert speaker and VIP panel member at global customer service and contact center conferences worldwide. Hui was named Top 20 Social Media Influencer by Nearshore Americas, Top 100 Business Leaders in 2021, CCW 2017 Customer Experience Leader of the Year, and has published several articles on leveraging data analytics and insight to drive innovation in customer service delivery and support.
“When you focus on the right things — like building trust between people and really understanding your client’s business — that works to create the trust and the profitability that benefits both sides.”