The most successful outsourcing partnerships are the ones customers don’t notice. Companies expect more from their business process outsourcing (BPO) partners than simply hitting KPI goals — they need a true, seamless extension of their brand, achieved through their BPO partner’s demonstration of transparency and shared values. For one company with sky-high culture standards, their ideal partner was SYKESHome.
SYKES’ brand partner is a leading healthcare benefits company headquartered in the United States. With more than 30 years’ experience offering insurance benefits support via voice and email, our brand partner first and foremost values helpful, amicable, and resolution-focused customer service.
In preparing for peak open enrollment season, the company decided to outsource some of their volume for the first time in their 30+ years in operation. While they retained more than 250 in-house agents, workforce management issues — including absenteeism and a limited talent pool — led the company to seek out a BPO for approximately 40 additional agents. Finding additional headcount was the first step, but the company expected more — they were looking for a true extension of their brand; one that would demonstrate their values and fit their company culture by embodying the same selfless principles and above-and-beyond helpfulness of their internal staff.
Presented with the challenge of meeting seasonal demand and embodying company culture, SYKES recommended our innovative and proven work-at-home delivery model, SYKESHome. This recommendation was an ideal choice to fill the company’s headcount needs, as SYKESHome brings 20+ years of experience with quick and flexible hiring and unparalleled scheduling capabilities. Additionally, the model taps into a nearly limitless talent pool, provides advanced training and upskilling tied to individual learner needs, and offers the ability to ramp up or scale down as needed. SYKES also recommended specific ways to approach the company’s unique seasonal demand:
- Full-time and part-time support would allow for more manageable shift changes during the early morning and late evening hours.
- Interactive modules, simulators, and quizzes would ensure agents are able to quickly perform the same processes they walk their customers through.
- SYKESHome’s state-of-the-art agent management system, OneTEAM, would work in tandem with the brand’s telephony and real-time monitoring tools to set a foundation for continual improvement.
The SYKESHome delivery model was ideal for what the brand partner needed to meet business outcomes, but their concern for company culture match remained. So SYKES introduced the partner to our agents via an agent focus group. This approach highlighted SYKES’ own culture and demonstrated how seamless the partnership would be. The proven SYKESHome approach, coupled with a good sense that SYKES was the culture fit the brand was looking for, led the company to select SYKES as its BPO partner. This paved the path forward toward a true partnership that would achieve remarkable results during open enrollment and beyond.
Upon careful evaluation and collaboration, the original scope of 40 agents was raised to 100, all of whom were aligned with our brand partner’s goals and values out of the gate. In the first 90 days, those agents met their speed-to-competency goals; in the following months, the insights derived from call reviews and program gap analysis powered operational improvements, fueling the team to exceed benchmarks moving forward.
- Original scope of 40 agents multiplied to nearly 500 at peak in just two years
- 90-day speed to competency met at 95%
- Among the demonstrated behaviors that exceeded the partner’s QA benchmarks: greeting, tone, and rapport
- Partnership expanded from one line of business to six
- In a testament to the partnership’s success, the brand recommended its parent company to SYKESHome
Our brand partner’s laser focus on culture is emphasized by what they listen for on calls: greeting, educating, tone, credibility, and rapport are all aspects our brand partner expects SYKESHome agents to fulfill and are foundational to quality assurance (QA) monitoring. By demonstrating these behaviors — and, by proxy, living out their values — SYKESHome became the true partner that made it impossible to differentiate between in-house and SYKESHome agents.
The partnership has seen undeniable success, but it doesn’t end there. Our brand partner was so pleased with SYKESHome’s approach, performance, shared values, and ease of doing business, they entrusted us with five additional lines of business and referred us to their parent company to outsource their support, as well. This network of brands has led to a growing, successful partnership — one that simultaneously meets benchmarks, finds ways to exceed expectations, and has become a natural, all-encompassing, and trusted extension of their company.