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Winning Moment. (From top, clockwise) Host Auburn Smith, Contestant Michelle of Sitel Panama and Jozal Maniaol rejoiced when Jozal’s name was announced as the champion, March 31. (Screenshot from Sitel Philippines’ Facebook page)

The enemy spaceships approached, orbs of light hovering in space. John Jozal Maniaol knew that they would fire at him anytime and blow him up along with his own ship. Fingers flying on his keyboard, Jozal released shot after shot, sending enemy spaceships into fiery explosions.

Then, all was quiet in space. Jozal made it! He had obliterated every enemy spaceship. He was now Sitel’s first-ever Champion of Chat!

The spaceships, as you might have guessed, are virtual ones, and the galactic battle was ZType, an online typing game. Jozal is not a space pilot and is actually a chat agent at Sitel Eton. Last March 22, 27, and 31, Sitel Group brought together its 13 fastest-typing chat agents from seven countries for Champions of Chat, a global live typing competition.

Making history

Jozal firing away letters on Ztype during the final round

In Ztype, contestants “fired” at approaching enemy spaceships by typing as fast as they could the words on each spaceship. The goal was to type the words before an enemy spaceship got close enough to fire at the contestant’s spaceship. Each contestant had three minutes to complete the ten waves or sub-rounds.

The competition was live-streamed on each competing country’s Facebook page, allowing contestants’ teams to watch and cheer for them.

The 27-year-old Jozal, along with Remar Padilla of Sitel Tarlac and Luningning Mapula, a fellow Eton chat agent, represented the Philippines during the Preliminaries on March 22. However, only Remar and Jozal made it to the Final 8 on March 27.

Both Jozal and Remar advanced to the Final 4 round. In an interesting turn of events, Remar and Jozal found themselves pitted against each other during the round. Jozal won the penultimate round, advancing to the Championships.

At the Championships, Jozal faced Michelle of Sitel Panama in four rounds. Donning a millenial pink headset with cat ears, Jozal typed away, earning enough points to beat Michelle and make history as Sitel’s very first Champion of Chat.

Super chill

“It feels great!” Jozal said of his victory. What makes it even sweeter is that he didn’t expect to win, knowing that other contestants were the best in their respective countries “I told myself that it’s okay if I’m not gonna make it to the finals,” he said. “I’m just going to enjoy the game and have some fun. But I made it and was hailed as the first ever Champion of Chat.”

While Jozal indeed had fun and even looked calm during the livestream, he prepared for the competition like someone who’s out to win. He asked friends and teammates to play ZType with him, using their scores to improve his own.

When it comes to speed, Jozal gets a lot of training from his job as chat agent. Although he describes it as “super chill,” he has to chat with multiple customers at any given time, which can be confusing and sometimes delay his responses. In fact, as a newbie, he once forgot one of the customers he was chatting with. “That’s the time I started to make my own canned responses so that I can respond quickly and effortlessly to customers’ issues,” said Jozal, who is currently working from home.

Tan Reyes, Jozal’s former coach, described him as someone who strives to learn new skills. Tan also noted Jozal’s positive attitude, which shone during the competition.

At the livestream, Jozal endeared himself to host Auburn Smith and audience with his sassy attitude. He flipped his neck-length hair and moved his arms with a flourish, as if voguing.  Such demeanor, along with his big toothy smile, relaxed an otherwise tension-filled event.

To the next batch of Champion of Chat contestants, Jozal gives this advice: “They must type fast to finish each wave. Target the nearest spaceship first so that no enemy can approach very close to shoot you, then kill the mothership.”  There you have it, the secrets to chat championship: speed, foresight, — and lots and lots of sass.



About Sitel Group

As a global leader in end-to-end customer experience (CX) products and solutions, Sitel Group partners with the world’s best-loved brands, from Fortune 500 companies to local startups, to design, build and deliver a competitive edge across all customer touchpoints.

With 90,000 people working across the globe – at home, in contact centers and within MAXhubs – we securely connect brands with their customers over 4.5 million times every day in 50+ languages, driving our clients’ digital CX strategies forward. Powered by our global strength, local expertise and proprietary technologies, we deliver tailored solutions to fit clients’ needs through a consultative, customer-centric approach.

EXP+™, Sitel Group’s Enterprise Experience Platform, is a flexible solution with complete cloud capability, designed to simplify the delivery of end-to-end CX services while boosting efficiency, effectiveness and customer satisfaction. EXP+ creates a robust ecosystem by harnessing the power of four connected product families: Empower, Engage, Explore and Evolve.

With our award-winning culture built on 35+ years of industry-leading experience and commitment to improving the employee experience, we improve business results by pairing innovative design thinking and digital solutions – including self-service, artificial intelligence (AI), automation and data-driven analytics – with the expertise, emotion and empathy of our people to Create Connection. Value Conversation.

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