Marisol Mendoza Castillo – Atento
They are the people who help you order the new products and services you see on TV or the internet. They also assist you with questions or problems about what you bought, and sometimes call because your bill has not been paid.
Yet the voices on the other end of the phone or web chat may not work for the company that made your widget, installed your software or need you to pay your balance. The voices may actually belong to people working for Atento, a Mexico City-based provider of customer relationship management and business process outsourcing solutions for clients all around the world.
And, as Atento’s Senior Legal Manager Marisol Mendoza Castillo points out, the people answering the calls are entrusted with crucial personal and financial data that could wreak havoc if it fell into the wrong hands. To prevent this, Mendoza Castillo leads Atento’s legal compliance efforts, always from behind the scenes.
“I don’t see myself as a regular lawyer, I see law a little bit differently,” she says. “All the work we do all day is kind of silent work, but it’s so important we are already an asset for the commercial team.”
Answering the call
With a workforce of more than 18,000 and 15 call centers in Mexico, Atento handles marketing, customer service and collections services for its customers, including a growing number of Asian businesses. Atento also offers analytics for social media campaigns and interactions, ecommerce solutions and platforms to automate and digitize back office functions.
“We’re an ally so that our clients have a good experience with their final customer,” Mendoza Castillo says of the company approaching its 20th anniversary.
The support Atento provides is so behind the scenes that the client’s customers do not realize they are communicating with outsourced employees, she adds. Because of the company’s global footprint, this means employees may be multilingual and are trained to understand the cultures they serve.
New job, new rules
Mendoza Castillo became Atento’s senior legal manager in December 2017, just as the Mexican government was instituting reforms aimed at reducing corruption. Her efforts to guide compliance to new laws and regulations began almost immediately and is ongoing, she says.
Protecting security for their clients and documenting how it is done is the biggest compliance demand, she says.
Methods include updating the procedure for complaints and responding to them as well as mapping risk in each of the services Atento offers and documenting prevention measures. Mendoza Castillo has spent much of her time creating procedures and training employees in them and on new laws, adding the training is customized for the marketing, customer service and collections areas.
“Every day, our employees have the opportunity to do something wrong, stopping it is about us and our values and saying ‘no,’” she says.
Web of protection
Given Atento’s analytics services, Mendoza Castillo is also hard at work ensuring the company is compliant with new rules about digital services.
“This is a dynamic and changing project,” she says. “We have to take into account that the service portfolio and tools are changing according to each business.”
Creating the new legal structure for digital services began early in 2019, and is a challenging process because, while security issues and protecting client information is always a clear focus, the rules do not always adequately address those issues, Mendoza Castillo says.
“The reality goes faster than the law,” she explains.
The new legal structure will also allow for better standardization of client contracts, although that is no easy feat.
“Every new company is a different challenge,” Mendoza Castillo says. “We sell a very specialized service and have some very different clients and cultures.”
Easy to be a hero
Compliance and standardization are a part of Mendoza Castillo’s pragmatic approach to her law career. Before joining Atento, she worked in-house for Westcon-Comstor, a specialist technology distributor.
“I decided to study law because I was interested in how structures work, how they achieve different objectives,” she says.
Not that she isn’t motivated by social issues. Mendoza Castillo has two that are close to her heart—animal welfare and blood donation.
Helping animals can be as easy as donating food to animal shelters or helping find homes for dogs she sees on the street; and it was her own life threatening, but successful fight against cancer that Mendoza Castillo says made donating blood her primary cause and passion.
“It is so easy to give blood, but sadly, in Mexico, only 2 percent of people do,” she says. “You can be a hero if you just go and give your blood.”
Mendoza Castillo has long enjoyed a love of the theater, beginning in high school, she says, and continuing now in her leisure time.
“I just enjoying seeing someone on the stage trying to be someone else,” Mendoza Castillo says.
The stage is the only place where she might enjoy someone playing a villain, though. At work, ethics and compliance are the core of her practice.
“Our clients have strict regulatory standards,” Mendoza Castillo says. “As we are a company that meets and exceeds their expectations in compliance matters, we have a better reputation with added value for them.”
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