Thanks to binocular vision and two retinal focal points that allow simultaneous, highly acute vision both forward and to the side, eagles in flight can spot a rabbit up to two miles away. It’s no wonder these birds have become synonymous with vigilance. Although keeping a close watch over performance and satisfaction is always important, here VMC service desk expert Andrew Vloedman discusses extra vigilance during service desk onshoring.
“How we manage an onshoring effort depends on the client’s business drivers. If cost isn’t an issue but performance is, we may handle it one way; but if cost or something else is the driver, how we onshore will be different. It’s critical to understand those drivers so there’s an immediate positive impact from overcoming key issues. For example, if a client’s issue is language or cultural, we take steps to neutralize that. If it’s performance, then we structure how we bring things back to make sure we improve metrics in the process.
Usually where performance is the concern, we take a ‘double bubble’ or phased approach. The two service desks operate simultaneously, but one is ramping up while the other is ramping down. In a re-shoring effort, that means we’re shifting more calls to North America and routing fewer offshore. We time the phase-in and phase-out to sync up with several factors. As the business grows, as the North American agents become more seasoned, as we build the pool of agents required, we transition accordingly. This also serves as an insurance policy, of sorts, against any ‘hiccups’ such as retraining needs or tools challenges. With this tandem coverage, you have sufficient resources to both meet demand and resolve the issue without any overall degradation of service. It provides a much more stable platform.
Sometimes this type of transition doesn’t make sense, though. If, for example, the offshore performance is extremely sub-par, the client may not want to keep those agents on the phone. They want a 100% changeover, and they want it ‘yesterday.’ This means making a hard cut by shutting off one desk entirely when you turn on the other. This should be a last resort, since this kind of move can be much more painful. The customer really needs to believe that current offshore performance is so awful that no matter what initial issues you may have in the U.S., it will still be an improvement over what’s going on offshore. Another case is where ‘split delivery’ makes more sense. You may be able to keep some of the more basic support offshore if costs are lower. But, for the higher level, more technical issues or complaint handling, or where language and culture may have more bearing, you set up the North American desk and route those calls here.
Generally, bringing a service desk back to the U.S. is not difficult. You just need sufficient lead time to have a quality team in place and to be set up for success. That means being thorough in examining upfront your tools, your infrastructure and your training. From there, it’s about ensuring a smooth transition.”
Eagles can be just as focused on what’s ahead as what’s going on around them. How could you employ an eagle’s eye view to ensure a smooth transition for a service desk move?
Contact Andrew Vloedman by email at AndrewVl@vmc.com or 877.393.8622.