Varkaus, Kuopio, Mikkeli, Helsinki, and now also Joensuu as of June. Call Waves Solutions Finland Oy, an expert in customer service and sales, realised what Joensuu had to offer when Business Joensuu described the comprehensive cooperation opportunities available.

Call Waves was in tune with the times in 2000. Sales, marketing and customer encounters were undergoing a shift; there was a clear need for more than customer service over the counter. Established in Varkaus, Call Waves is one of Finland’s first contact centers.

It includes a Contact Center, Call Center, Help Desk, appointment and exchange services, sales and subscription services. Sales-oriented customer service through different electronic channels: Chat, social media, telephone and messaging 24/7. Call Waves is all of this. Last year, the company had more than three million customer contacts.

An encouraging approach

In Joensuu, Call Waves’ growth, development and technological renewal of its field did not go unnoticed. The sector is well-known in North Karelia: There is a lot of expertise and experience in the requirements of companies in the industry.

– Call Waves is a pioneering company in a sector in which North Karelia is in its way a pioneering region. Even as we speak, there are more than ten customer service centers operating in the region, employing more than a thousand professionals in the field, says Leena Lehikoinen, Development Manager at Business Joensuu.

Business Joensuu contacted Call Waves last autumn.

– They wanted to map out our situation. We in turn were very interested in the skills market in Joensuu, says Piia Puotinen, CEO of Call Waves Solutions Finland Oy.

A sector in transition

Although speech is the main channel in customer service for the time being, new service channels are making their way. For example, WhatsApp is gaining ground quickly. Call Waves will continue to be a company in the industry that stays ahead of change and leads the way in terms of technology.

– The sector is currently going through a technological transformation. We strongly believe that technology supports and enhances services provided by personnel in the field. It is important for customers to get service in a timely manner and in a channel that suits them. Automation and self-service channels are used as a great support for the availability of service, Piia Puotinen adds.

Plenty to offer

– A company that is looking to grow may consider opening an office in a new location for several years. Then things can happen like they did with Call Waves: The impulse comes from us and we get to the practical implementation very quickly, Leena Lehikoinen says.

According to Leena Lehikoinen, what it essential is that Business Joensuu keeps actively mapping out the situation in its relocation services, keeps its networks fresh and uses multi-channel contacts. It all starts with the needs of the company that wants to relocate.

– A company looking into a new location may be interested in a variety of things: Premises, land, workforce availability, and a wide range of business partners, starting from product development, for example. An effective cooperation network enables us to cater to companies locating here in many ways.

Business Joensuu’s Development Manager lists attractive factors in the region:

– The University of Eastern Finland, Karelia University of Applied Sciences, Riveria vocational education and training, educational opportunities all in all. Joensuu’s internationality is a strong asset. The region also has very strong business clusters in areas such as metal, forestry, plastics and photonics. As critical mass and expertise accumulate, everyone benefits, including newcomers in the region.

Piia Puotinen also says that she appreciates the fact that the sector is so familiar to both the area and potential employees.

– For example, the public sector in the region has recognised the industry’s potential for employment and is actively involved in related activities.

Recruitment in progress

Call Waves, which started with 14 employees, has grown to a company of about 190 employees over the past twenty years. Its turnover is approximately 7.3 million euros (2021). The company’s customers include both Finnish and international companies operating in Finland.

In collaborative discussions, Call Waves was convinced by the availability of workforce and how Business Joensuu and the City of Joensuu’s employment services, Luotsi, were prepared to support a company locating in the area.

– Business Joensuu set up contacts with stakeholders in the area, and with their help, we also found our premises on Koskikatu in Joensuu. The central location of our office is a plus. The Luotsi employment services organised the marketing of our vacancies to job seekers and set up the opportunity to participate in two training events organised in the spring. Through the Online expert training, we found our first experts. We feel that the cooperation network works very well.

In June, Call Waves recruited an insurance sales team in Joensuu, and we are also continuing to develop our office.

A one-stop shop

– Business Joensuu provides services to a company through one single contact person and helps the company throughout its relocation process, says Leena Lehikoinen from Business Joensuu.

She also promises companies help in networking with local companies, research organisations and the public sector. Funding services and opportunities may also prove to be useful.

– Cooperation with the ELY Centre is close, and the level of investment and development grants provided by the ELY Centre is among the highest in Finland. Finnvera and Business Finland also cooperate with us in providing services to businesses. We also have two regional capital funds: The Business Joensuu Start Up Fund and the North Karelia Growth Fund.

Text: Sirkka-Liisa Aaltonen/Viestintä Ässä Oy

The production of this article was enabled by the Asiakaspalvelukeskuksista uutta liiketoimintaa Joensuun seudulle – ASPA liitoa – project, funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the Regional Council of North Karelia and Business Joensuu.