Meet Jamel Brown: One of itel’s Rising Stars
For itel’s “Year of You”, we wanted to highlight stories of employee inspiration, determination, and success. And what better way to do that than to spotlight Jamel Brown, Operations Supervisor at itel Montego Bay, and his amazing progression from customer service agent to Ops Supervisor in less than 2 years.
Jamel Brown is no stranger to success. In less than two short years, he has risen from customer service agent to Operations Supervisor. But it was a success that was hard earned.
“Honestly, I came from humble beginnings,” Jamel explains. “I was lucky to attend Cornwall College, one of the top schools in Montego Bay. But I was one of the poorest kids there, so I had to push very, very hard to succeed.”
After graduation, he spent the next few years working in the call center industry but remembers being particularly excited about finally working for itel. “It was one of the more prestigious customer experience companies,” he says, “known for having a friendly work environment, fun activities, and unique rewards for employees.”
In May of 2020, he started as an itel customer service agent, receiving all his training remotely because it was the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. It could have been a challenge, however, Jamel said he had amazing trainers who made sure that he received all the information and understood it.
After only four months on the phone, he was promoted to Subject Matter Expert (SME). By July of 2021, he was again promoted to Operations Supervisor, where he now manages a team of 16 full-time, in-house agents, serving a media/telecom client. His team is the highest performing, consistently achieving an 8.2 on customer satisfaction scores (CSAT), surpassing the client goal of 7.5.
Moving Up the Company
When asked what it was like to undergo such a dramatic rise from agent to supervisor in such a brief time, Jamel said it was fairly smooth. He was supported by his direct managers and his head of department (HOD), who would always sit in with agents during calls.
“My HOD saw me as a good employee and told me I should always try to excel. So, when the posting for SME came out, I wanted to apply. I even mentioned it to a co-worker, and he was certain that they would never promote someone so new to the company. Then, of course, I got the job,” he laughs. “Most companies would say, no way, I need you to be here for six months, even though they see the potential. But with itel, they’re different. They work on whatever potential you have and help you build on that.”
Though formal management training classes were suspended during the pandemic, Jamel received on-the-job training, where he partnered with managers on supervisory duties and attended support calls with the client.
A Day in the Life of an Ops Supervisor
As a supervisor, he directly coaches at least five agents daily. He also conducts group calls, where he reviews performance metrics, and liaises with Workforce Management to discuss scheduling, vacations, or agent staffing, to handle the forecasted call volumes.
“I enjoy interacting with people,” says Jamel, “everyone says that I'm a people person. I give them that positive vibe and try to motivate them as much as I can. Sometimes, people are difficult to motivate. Maybe their hearts aren’t in the job. But as a leader, I must stay strong and continue pushing that person to achieve their best.”
If an agent falls behind or receives a negative customer survey, he works with them directly, to set a performance improvement plan, and to follow up with regular call audits.
“I also like to pair low performing team members with stronger performing agents, in a sort of buddy system,” adds Jamel, “so they can sit close to someone who has all the knowledge or strength in a specific key performance indicator (KPI).”
The Secret to His Success
Jamel fully admits to a competitive streak, which may be a reason for his rapid success. “I like to be at number one,” he says, “When I was an agent, I would always keep an eye on my stats and would monitor my performance in real-time. I'm a bit more driven because I want to be somewhere. It's not just a job for me. It's a career.”
His drive also comes from a real-life inspiration - his mom. “She inspires me because she does her best every day,” says Jamel. “I also draw inspiration from my two little girls.”
It shows. With the high performance of his agents and the great KPI scores he’s reached since taking on a leadership role, he has earned a reputation for being “someone to watch”, a rising star in the itel family.
For now, Jamel enjoys living and working in the beautiful Montego Bay area, “I’m only 15 minutes away from work and 10 minutes from the city center.” He also has a unique hobby that a few team members in Montego Bay already know. “I started this record label with a friend,” he mentions, “No Question Records – back in 2017. My friend recorded a song and I helped produce it. And we just hit a million views on YouTube. That’s made me into a minor celebrity in my community.”
When asked what the future may hold, he mentioned a secret dream that he hopes one day will come true. “The first time we had this focus meeting and I got to meet Yoni [Epstein], our CEO, this crazy thought ran through my head. Maybe one day I could be sitting up there with Yoni. Anything is possible. All I need to do is to continue working hard and who knows? I’m innovative, and very, very persistent.”
Good luck, Jamel! We wish you the best in your career.
Learn more about Jamel Brown and other “Rising Stars” as we profile itel employees and their incredible achievements. Sign up for our monthly newsletter here to keep in the loop.