Head of RPS Ops, Workplace Services & Education
Twenty-five years ago, Glenn Pendleton joined T. Rowe Price as a phone associate in Tampa, Florida. Today, he's head of Workplace Investors Service and Education and responsible for retirement contact centers in Colorado Springs and Owings Mills. Together, they comprise 300 associates conducting 1.5 million service calls and 100,000 live chats per year.
"My team and I are responsible for hitting our overall service and quality metrics and ensuring that we have the right number of trained staff to meet projected contact volumes," Glenn explains. His role requires a balance of analytical and people skills. "I'm looking at our quality scores on a daily basis, combing through them to make sure we're providing the service we need," he says. "But I'm also trying to produce future leaders of the organization by hiring the right people and helping develop them by offering feedback and career guidance."
Glenn looks for candidates with track records of success who can lead and influence many people across various sites. He can easily recognize when a potential hire has a dedicated service mindset. Although technology has changed customer service to include live chats, it hasn't changed the foundations of what they do. "The way we communicate may have changed since I was a phone associate, but the ability to relate to another human being remains the same," he says. "You still need to understand what the clients are asking for and have the motivation to want to help them."
Whether associates speak with clients over the phone or type responses into a live chat, there's always a critical digital component to customer service. Yet Glenn believes it will forever depend on people-to-people interactions. "Especially when you're dealing with someone's finances, they're always going to want an element of people contact there," he explains. "That's not going to change. At the end of the day, clients want to know that they can pick up the phone and talk to a human being about their money and livelihood."
Recently, a client called Glenn out of the blue to express gratitude for how he was able to help him resolve a problem years ago. "That means a lot," says Glenn. "We are here to serve our participants and to make sure they're supported. Our goal is simple and profound: to help them retire within the timeframe they want."
Glenn was tapped for his current leadership role four years ago when a company reorganization established new contact centers. "I've always been on the operation side, whether it's front or back office," he says. "I had a mentor who was a fund manager back in the day, which is a totally different side of the business for me. I learned a lot. That's one thing I love about T. Rowe Price -- I feel very supported. They want to see leaders succeed and help set them up for success."
He describes T. Rowe Price as a large company with a small company feel. None of the 7,200 associates feel inaccessible. "Our CEO Bill Stromberg will come out to Colorado Springs and visit and meet with the associates," he says. "That's the culture from the CEO down."
Reflecting on the two decades he has worked at T. Rowe Price, Glenn attributes his success to pushing himself outside his comfort zone and taking lateral positions to gain skills and exposure in different areas. As the son of a U.S. Air Force veteran and grandson of Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps veterans, Glenn is also proud to participate in the VALOR @ T. Rowe Price business resource group.
"We handed out school backpacks and supplies for family members of the military," he recalls. "It is a great event because you can see the immediate impact you have on the children and families when we can help them prepare for a new school year. It makes me proud to work for such an organization that allows me time to go and make a direct impact on our community."