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The Value of at Home Delivery Platforms

Having an at home delivery platform in today’s Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Contact Center environment is a requirement not an option. Five to eight years ago it was a must to offer consistency and predictability. Two to four years ago it was a must to offer Operational Excellence. One to two years ago the focus was (and still is) on providing Customer Excellence. A requirement – at least in North America – is also to offer an at home delivery solution.

The value in offering an at home delivery solution is four fold:

  • Flexibility – we can hire / schedule to peaks more easily and given the reach to many more applicants we can find people to work the needed hours of coverage
  • Scalability – we can source high quality candidates more quickly
  • Expertise – we can hire to the specific skill set needed, for example finding people with wireless smart phone experience to support wireless customers
  • Quality – the agent demographic tends to be older, with more education and more experience, and also one that is looking for the flexibility of the lifestyle and thus less likely to attrit

We began developing our SYKES Home delivery platform in early 2009. We first made numerous strategic decisions including having a purely virtual platform vs. a hub and spoke model where agents come into local centers for training and some coaching. Other strategic decisions included hiring people as SYKES employees rather than using contractors as some of our competitors do, and having agents use their own equipment rather than shipping equipment to their homes and trying to retrieve it later.

We are currently using our SYKES Home delivery platform in both Canada and the US, and interest is continuing to grow. We are also finding that we can leverage some of our SYKES Home procedures, tools and automations in our Brick & Mortar environment. Some examples include our assessments and assessment tool, our applicant tracking tool, e-learning courses and approach, and workforce management principles and strategies.

The ideal at home account is one:

  • That can benefit from agents with specific skills and knowledge that they bring to the table
  • With 2-3 weeks of training
  • With training that is suitable for e-learning / blended learning delivery
  • With relatively well defined processes, policies and procedures

To date we have gotten the most interest from Financial Services and Telecommunications companies, and the most traction with Telecommunications companies.

Another big area of opportunity is with our SYKES TeleHealth Call Center Solutions, as they require medical professionals with certifications – such as LPNs and RNs (nurses).  It is hard to find sufficient numbers of medical professionals within driving range of our centers, and it is hard to find medical professionals who want to work in a brick & mortar contact center environment.  As we move further into the clinical telehealth market in the US, we expect SYKES Home to be our predominant delivery platform.