News Column

Q&A With Tulsa's Director of US Cellular's Customer Care

Jun 28 2013 6:13AM

Rudel DeCastro is director of US Cellular's Customer Care Center in Tulsa. Born and raised in Virginia Beach, Va., he came to Tulsa in 1990 to attend Oral Roberts University and received a bachelor's degree in international business with an emphasis in Spanish. DeCastro held call center management positions at TV Guide and Cingular Wireless before joining US Cellular.

1: How did you get interested in the communications industry?

After graduating from college, I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do, so I took a job at a local call center as a customer service/sales representative. My primary job functions involved taking customer service and sales calls from English and Spanish-speaking customers.

However, it wasn't just the job or the company that got me interested in call center work. The key reasons I enjoyed working in that particular center were the diverse colleagues and the leadership team that created and fostered a great place to work, which was fun yet productive.

And to this day, those same reasons hold true.

2: What are the keys to offering superior customer service in a call center setting?

It starts with leadership excellence, which creates passionate associates, who in turn deliver the world's best customer service, leading to customer advocacy that produces superior business results.

Leaders at the Tulsa Customer Care Center ensure that associates have the best training and knowledge so they can act freely to make informed decisions on behalf of our customers. We're guided by our core values of customer focus, respect for associates, ethics, pride, empowerment, diversity and winning.

3: How many people does the Tulsa Customer Care Center employ? Are there any plans for the center to grow?

We have been in the Tulsa area for more than 25 years, have more than 400 care center associates and are committed to the community. I encourage people to visit uscellular.

jobs to learn more about our open positions.

4: What does your facility do to benefit the community?

As a wireless carrier with national coverage, we put an emphasis on our ability to "remain local" by serving our customers well and working with the leaders in our communities. Associates in the Tulsa Customer Care Center love to support the community by volunteering with various organizations such as the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma,, book drives for local schools and YMCA of Tulsa, among other organizations.

My core team also enjoys taking time every few months for a volunteer project. We recently volunteered at the Kendall Whittier Food Pantry at the University of Tulsa, where we stocked and organized the pantry.

More recently, several of the leaders from the care center partnered with our sales team in Moore to provide relief efforts to those impacted by the tornadoes.

We provided support at six Wireless Support Stations throughout Oklahoma City, Shawnee, Moore and Newcastle to provide a power source for charging wireless devices, offer phone calls and provide Internet access free of charge.

We also gave away chargers and batteries and sent teams to walk the neighborhoods in Moore to offer hands-on assistance to those who were unable to visit the support locations.

We are also continuing our commitment to schools by kicking off the Calling All Teachers campaign starting in August and Calling All Communities campaign returning in November. U.S. Cellular is giving $500,000 to help teachers fund projects to enhance their students' learning experience and another $500,000 for schools to improve their educational resources.

5: What do you look for most when hiring?

With the rapid changes in the wireless industry, our Care Center is constantly evaluating our hiring needs.

We look for associates who are passionate about delivering the world's best customer experience and those that are driven by our core values. We offer a variety of training and development opportunities and encourage our associates to take advantage of these learning opportunities to enhance and grow their skill set.

Source: (c)2013 Tulsa World (Tulsa, Okla.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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